The changing of the seasons can present fulfillment challenges and opportunities for health and beauty eCommerce brands. When giving your business a fulfillment makeover, there are several factors to keep in mind that — if applied — can positively impact your overall bottom line.
Improve Your Product Storage
Health and beauty products have different vulnerabilities than apparel, jewelry, accessories or other items. For example, cosmetics can be more susceptible to damage due to handling or the type of packaging used.
The solution involves working with a 3PL that understands how to minimize damage and has a team experienced in properly handling a range of products. Additionally, talk to your 3PL and share the special type of storage, handling and care needed for your products. This type of communication is essential for reducing accidents that may result in irreplaceable inventory damage or loss.
Temperature also plays a major factor in how to properly store some health and beauty products. Many items, such as lipstick, makeup and skincare products, must be stored at specific temperatures to avoid spoiling. Communication is key here, as well. At Dotcom, we actively monitor the temperature in our Edison, New Jersey facility. This allows us to work with our health and beauty clients to pre-emptively solve any issues that may arise due to a change in the warehouse environment. Depending on the scenario, we can transfer items to different locations or proactively solve issues pertaining to potentially unsellable product.
Optimize Inventory Management
As eCommerce professionals know, holding onto slow-moving inventory can cause unnecessary storage costs and hurts cash flow. Health and beauty e-tailers face another unique problem — expiration dates. While some items may become less effective, others can cause serious harm to consumers. Dead stock cosmetic items hurt ROI, and if they are sold accidentally, the consequences could cause irreparable damage to your brand.
One step to avoid these ugly situations is to enact proper inventory management procedures. Implementing first-in-first-out strategies into your fulfillment process will clear out older items while they can still be sold. When analyzing SKU velocity to determine ideal storage locations, you should also monitor expiration dates and factor them into your decisions.
A proper fulfillment provider that can provide real-time inventory visibility may also be able to provide detailed information on how many SKUs are in storage and for how long. Even if your health and beauty products have relatively long shelf lives, you should establish a deadline for selling certain shipment dates. Pursuing strategies that help liquidate or sell older items is important and can help prevent any incidents that could risk customer safety and tarnish brand reputation.
Create An Efficient, Unique Kitting Process
A common — and beneficial — tactic in eCommerce is creating a unique premier packout or “unboxing experience.” This serves as a way to extend a pleasurable brand experience into consumers’ homes and influence repeat purchases, helping to increase the lifetime value of a customer.
Packouts also play a role in creating brand advocates through leveraging the unboxing community. Health and beauty products, particularly cosmetics, are especially prominent with unboxers on YouTube and Instagram. In addition to reviewing the products, these virtual celebrities record themselves opening the packaging, showcasing its design to their followers.
Creating a more aesthetically pleasing experience makes it more shareworthy and engaging. Including samples and promotional discount codes can also influence your customers to buy additional products with their next orders by exposing them to items while they are still captured with emotion. Our tip sheet provides more insight on how to perfect the unboxing experience to help increase the number of customers who can serve as brand advocates.
When designing your unboxing experience, make sure to include adequate product protection. This means all items should be secured in place and shielded from potential damage. Customers who receive a package with a broken bottle of perfume are certainly less apt to become repeat buyers. Also, you don’t want to lose money by sending out replacement product due to damage on initial shipment.
The Bottom Line: Select A 3PL That Understands The Health And Beauty Business
If you’re in the health or beauty space, working with a 3PL that has experience working with emerging health and beauty brands is key. They will have the skillset, technology stack and commitment to addressing the unique challenges associated with fulfilling products and orders within this industry. Selecting this type of partner will give you more time to focus on other areas of your operations, such as designing new products that have premium prices and are desired by your customers.
If you’d like to learn how Dotcom Distribution can add the necessary excitement and trust to your company while creating new growth opportunities, contact us or schedule a tour.
Client Spotlight: Bliss
Started in 1996, Bliss revolutionized the spa and skincare product industry with its ingeniously unique lines. While those items speak for themselves, Bliss also utilizes ideal fulfillment practices to keep customers satisfied.
We’ve been helping Bliss deliver its beautiful, spa-infused blue boxes since 2006. The sheer excitement customers feel when opening their package epitomizes the brand’s core values. For a company that prides itself on helping reach outer beauty through inner happiness, every step of the interaction must bring customers joy. By ensuring that the products delivered are of utmost quality, minimizing mistakes and damages, Bliss makes sure to create positive brand experiences with every purchase. So, not only are the packages beautiful, but the moisturizers, cleansers and scrubs stay protected throughout the fulfillment process.