May 31, 2021
The health and beauty industry requires considerations of image, not only of products and branding, but of packaging and perception as well. The considerations you make for health and beauty are no different, their process and deciding factors will look different from other eCommerce fulfillment ventures.
However, the challenges that are unique to the health and beauty industry are what make it an exciting eCommerce niche. Health and beauty fulfillment is distinguished from your average, run-of-the-mill fulfillment because a branded, scalable and convenient solution is key. Let’s explore these considerations you should make before your first sale is final.
Custom Product Packaging
If you’re an Apple user, do you remember the first time you opened an iPhone box, fresh from the Apple store? It was an experience all its own. Apple is well known for its meticulous eye for detail, all the way down to its packaging. If we take this branded packaging to the next step in fulfillment – kitting – we’ll see why a custom fulfillment solution is key. Many ecommerce packaging requires custom packaging beyond the box. You can read more about packaging on our blog post All About That Box. Package inserts like samples, stickers, small gifts or promotional pieces sets your products apart.
Health and beauty eCommerce has a need for unique, consistent branding. The more distinct your packaging, the more impactful and memorable your brand will become. Consider packaging, branding, and even high-end add-ons like gift wrap when considering the capabilities of your fulfillment options. Don’t expect all fulfillment providers to have these capabilities; if it’s something you’re considering, ensure the provider you choose can actually accommodate you.
Planning for Scalability
Beauty products are typically popular year-round. Yet, they follow a seasonal rhythm that you should be considering when you choose a fulfillment provider. Have you picked a fulfillment center that can responsively scale to the sudden increase in business around the holidays? This is a question you should be asking. Not only whether they can accommodate your increase in orders, but can they accommodate the space and workforce required to deliver orders in a timely, efficient manner?
Efficient Packaging and Shipping
When you are shipping products on a medium or large scale, every ounce adds up. You should create packaging that is streamlined for shipment, costing you as little as possible to send out from your warehouse.
We've all received a small item from an online store at our doors only to be surprised to find that it's been placed inside a massive shipping box. Occasionally, small items require larger boxes in order to fit a standard shipping size, but when every dollar matters to you and your eCommerce business, you want the assurance that ever option is considered and leads to the best fit for your business and bottom line. With that said, find a fulfillment provider that knows the value of a “just-right” box, and won’t stick you with an overblown bill due to an inefficient shipping process.
Convenient Shipping Facilities
Location, location, location. When choosing a fulfillment provider, you want someone that is centrally located to your customers. Don’t pick a center that is inconveniently positioned to your greatest geographic demographic. Saving an extra day of shipping can give your customers a great impression of your store and win you a higher rate of customer retention. Convenience, speed, and credibility all go hand-in-hand. Selecting a fulfillment center with easy access to shipping routes is the first step in a smooth fulfillment process.
Furthermore, is the facility you've chosen climate controlled? It's worth it to investigate this feature. After all, you're in the game of selling cosmetics, which are affected by temperature, whether that temperature is too low or too high.
Inventory Control Priority
It's not enough to stock your product. You need to work with a fulfillment processing center that has a clear priority schedule for your product, or at the very least can collaborate with you on one. Some centers are more hands-on than others. However, when you are working with perishable goods, a priority scale needs to be devised to ensure that the most at-risk product is moved first.
While first come, first served is straightforward, it's often not a practical way of shipping your products. A provider that is receptive to your needs and attempts to understand your product will ensure you do not waste your money on expired goods. All of this is even more important if you're shipping organic beauty products, which tend to have a much shorter shelf life. Regardless, you want to establish a shipping priority to ensure products won’t expire while awaiting shipment due to poor planning.
Not All Providers Are the Same
If the name of your game is health and beauty, then you already understand the potential of a niche industry. However, with a niche industry comes unique requirements that not everyone can accommodate or even appreciate. Do your due diligence when choosing a fulfillment center and you’ll be well on your way to success in health and beauty eCommerce.
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