The beauty industry is a large, widely connected industry that supports a variety of products and services. As one of the world’s most profitable industries, the world of beauty also has its own specific guidelines and needs when it comes to manufacturing, storage, and fulfillment.
Beauty fulfillment is a complex environment that requires specialized organization, procedures, and management. The standards that beauty brands are held to for their manufacturing processes, makeup warehouses, and shipment protocols are crucial for the successful delivery of high-quality, undamaged products.
Today, we’ll explore the world of cosmetics, wellness, and hair care with a special focus on what makes the beauty fulfillment process unique.
Beauty Industry Growth So Far
Over the past several years – and especially since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – more of the beauty industry has become digitized. Gone are the days when nearly every cosmetic brand had a brick-and-mortar location and performed most of their marketing in places like magazines, television, and radio.
Today, the majority of beauty marketing is online. Social media has become a powerful tool for beauty brands. This is because it allows brands to connect with their buyers on a more personal level. Brands like Maybelline, Armani and Il Makiage have created technology to shade-match your foundation digitally through their sites.
On photo and video-based platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, beauty consumers can experience the aesthetics and effects of makeup, skincare, and haircare products in real-time. This ultimately helps consumers to make a more informed purchase.
The advent of these technologies has made the beauty industry even more lucrative and widespread than ever before, with many beauty brands doing business in a direct-to-consumer format (DTC).
With the brick-and-mortar middleman cut out, beauty brands keep more profit and consumers pay less. A whopping 52% of online beauty shoppers have purchased a product from a DTC beauty brand in the recent past.
As the beauty industry has grown, beauty fulfillment has expanded to meet consumer demand, embracing the new ways that consumers want to receive and interact with their beauty products. This includes; fast worldwide shipping, monthly subscription services, and other advancements that have affected the beauty supply chain in recent years.
Challenges of Beauty Order Fulfillment
Beauty fulfillment has a few unique challenges that other industries may not face. Cosmetics range from solids to liquids to powders to blends, causing different products to have different storage needs.
Makeup and hair care products can be stored in various materials, including plastic, glass, and aluminum, some of which are more breakable than others.
Unless you’re an avid beauty consumer, you may not know that cosmetics can expire. The shelf life of a beauty product usually falls between 3 and 5 years unopened. However, the ingredients used for the product can make a huge difference in the expected expiration date.
This is especially important to keep in mind for brands that use all-natural products with no preservatives or chemicals.
Safety Hazards and Proper Handling
In order to manage the handling needs for various cosmetic products, it’s important to have distinct protocols in place; this can refer to how long products can be stored within makeup warehouses and how they should move during intake.
These procedures will ensure that items remain in perfect condition before shipping. In addition, they will also keep your warehouse personnel safe from any allergens they may come into contact with.
Fragile products like cosmetics are vulnerable during the shipping process, no matter what kind of vehicle is used for transportation. It’s crucial that your shipping containers are kept at the appropriate temperature for the items they’re carrying, too. Additionally, breakable materials should be wrapped or fitted into custom packaging to avoid damage.
While your brand’s shipping methods should include climate-controlled solutions, staying on top of your warehouse temperatures is equally important. Products of a certain consistency can melt in hot temperatures and can be costly to replace.
Determine how to control the climate of your warehouse should be based on the ingredients in your products, as well as how they interact with the environment and in accordance with your current storage protocols.
Partnering with a 3PL for Beauty Fulfillment Solutions
Managing the ins and outs of beauty fulfillment today can be difficult. This is especially true when a limited management team is attempting to stay on top of every link of the supply chain.
This is why we recommend partnering with a third-party logistics company, or 3PL, to revolutionize your supply chain.
Order and Inventory Management
With preorders, backorders, out-of-stock items, quarantined stock, perishable products, and more, managing your inventory and orders can be a complex business.
A 3PL will be able to streamline your inventory storage and outgoing order processes to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, preventing errors that could cost your company money and potentially lose a customer’s business.
Kitting and Assembly
Correctly packaging kits requires accuracy in several steps of the supply chain, which in turn also requires a great deal of management expertise. A 3PL can provide this expertise and intimate knowledge of the industry’s leading kitting and assembly methods.
Custom Printing and Packaging
For DTC brands, in particular, the packaging is one of the main ways that a customer interacts with a brand. That’s why designing perfectly branded packaging is crucial, a step that a high-quality 3PL can handle with ease.
In today’s connected world, beauty brands need to provide fast shipping if they want to maintain a competitive edge. You can take the steps to make faster shipping a reality for your brand with a 3PL’s project management expertise.
Redefine Your Beauty Fulfillment Standards with 3PL Management
As the beauty industry is rapidly changing, cosmetic brands have to update their procedures to keep up with the demand continuously. The best way to stay on top of the ever-expanding industry is to keep your fulfillment standards high and your supply chain management streamlined with the help of a third-party logistics company.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today to request a free quote on 3PL service for your beauty brand.