In 2022, experts predicted a 2% substantial growth in the health and beauty industries over the following five years. Nearly half of that growth was expected to come from eCommerce, which has grown the majority of health and beauty businesses in the last few years.
Numerous brands have begun their journey as local businesses and have gradually expanded to sell their products globally with the help of a fulfillment partner. Finding the right fulfillment company that can offer a suitable solution for the health and beauty industry is crucial.
Health and Beauty Industry Statistics 2024
According to Global Data, the health and beauty industry would make the market the fastest-expanding sector in the UK.
- UK health and beauty spending is expected to increase by 8.8% by 2024, amounting to an additional £2.0 billion.
- Skincare will likely continue to outpace overall industry growth, with spending expected to expand by 12.8% over the next five years as demand for clean beauty options fuels growth.
- Last year, 37.2% of UK health and beauty buyers made their purchases online, making it the fastest-growing channel.
If you’re a business owner trying to capitalise on the expanding health and beauty trend, you’ll most likely be looking for high-quality storage and fulfilment services. In every business, extra attention is needed when it comes to storing, picking, packing, and shipping these products to customers who have made purchases online or through other channels. This approach will not only safeguard the integrity of products but also contribute to the overall efficiency and reputation of the business.
The fulfillment process typically includes the following:
1. Receiving and Inspecting Health and Beauty Products
This stage involves accepting and inspecting incoming products in the fulfillment centre. Upon arrival, the inventory is inspected, logged into the system, and allocated a designated storage location.
2. Managing Health and Beauty Inventory
After receiving, inventory management focuses on maintaining accurate records of stock levels. This includes real-time tracking of product quantities, monitoring expiry dates (if applicable), and strategically organising items within the storage facility for easy retrieval.
3. Efficient Order Processing
The order processing stage begins when a customer places an order. This involves retrieving the requested items from the inventory, confirming the order details, and preparing the order for packing. Order processing aims to streamline the steps leading to successful product shipment.
4. Careful Product Packing
Once the order is processed, the items are carefully picked from the inventory and packed for shipping. Attention is given to protective packaging to ensure the products reach the customer in optimal condition. This stage may also include the inclusion of any promotional materials or documentation.
5. Ensuring Swift and Timely Delivery
The final stage involves the shipping and delivery of the packed products to the customer. This can include coordinating with courier services, generating shipping labels, and ensuring timely dispatch. The goal is to provide a smooth and reliable delivery experience, meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
Challenges in Fulfillment of Health and Beauty-Related Products
When selecting a fulfillment partner, health and beauty companies must consider numerous factors. High SKU counts, expiration date management, technology integration, and quality control compliance are just a few of the challenges. Knowing the challenges of health and beauty fulfillment and how a 3PL provider like I-Fulfilment can help ease those challenges will enable the brand to have a more efficient and reliable supply chain.
High SKU Complexity
Maintaining the fulfillment of health and beauty products can be challenging due to the large number of products available, sensitive expiration dates, and the need to store delicate products properly.
Beauty products usually come in various shades and finishes, making it necessary to have many stock-keeping units (SKUs). To maintain the quality of the products, it is crucial to manage inventory carefully, including sequencing with first in, first out (FIFO) and first expired, first out (FEFO) methods.
Additionally, seasonal product bundles or holiday gift sets may require specific SKUs for a limited time, which can add to the complexity of inventory management. Furthermore, factoring in expiration dates when storing and picking products is crucial to avoid writing off unsellable stock.
An FDA-registered warehouse is a storage location, food facility, or fulfillment center registered with the FDA. Brands that sell highly regulated goods directly to consumers — especially packaged food products, vitamins and dietary supplements, beverages, medical products, and cosmetics — must use an FDA-certified warehouse.
For businesses dealing with products regulated by the FDA but not requiring explicit approval, I-Fulfilment serves as a suitable third-party logistics (3PL) provider. This means that while certain products may not need direct FDA approval, they still fall under FDA regulations, and using a certified warehouse ensures compliance with the necessary standards for storage, handling, and distribution.
Storing and shipping health, wellness, and beauty products is a major challenge for many businesses. These products are sensitive to humidity changes and extreme temperatures and require careful handling to maintain their quality and effectiveness.
Staying on top of quality control for health and beauty products is important. At I-Fulfilment, we take great pride in holding ISO 27001 certifications, a standard that lays out the criteria for a robust Quality Management System (QMS), and our strong commitment to maintaining the highest levels of quality in our services. Additionally, our software, BladePRO, is designed to monitor products with the closest expiration lot date.
Packaging and User Experience
Health and beauty products often need to be packaged in specialised materials to ensure their safety, such as airtight containers or leakproof bags. Additionally, products may require additional protection to make sure they arrive undamaged, such as cushioning or layers of cardboard. However, these can add extra costs and time to the fulfillment process.
In addition, people pay more attention to the “unboxing experience.”
It is a significant promotional opportunity, necessitating specific and brand-centric packaging options. With the packaging varying from product to product, fulfillment processes need to be created and optimised. I-Fulfilment partnership with Penny Black enables us to offer our clients personalised inserts for each order. Penny Black is a platform that allows you to boost customer lifetime value by providing fully tailored and on-brand experiences from the minute clients open their eCommerce packages. This can be achieved by creating personalised marketing inserts for each customer.
What Should You Look for in a Fulfillment Partner?
Selecting the right fulfillment partner is crucial for health and beauty brands, as it significantly impacts the efficiency and reliability of their operations. Here are the factors to consider when evaluating potential third-party logistics (3PL) providers:
Robust Inventory Management System
A dependable fulfillment partner should have a robust inventory management system. This system helps track and manage stock levels, ensuring that products are readily available for fulfilment. Real-time visibility into inventory levels and automated processes contribute to better order accuracy and timely replenishment, preventing stockouts or overstock situations.
Strategic Location and Powerful Technology Solutions
The geographical location of the fulfillment centre is critical for efficient and cost-effective distribution. A strategically located facility can reduce shipping times and costs. Moreover, advanced technology solutions, such as order management systems and tracking capabilities, enhance overall operational efficiency. These technologies enable better communication, order processing, and real-time monitoring of shipments.
Kitting as a Service, with Customisation Abilities
Kitting services, where products are bundled or packaged together, can be crucial for health and beauty brands with diverse product offerings. A reliable 3PL should offer kitting as a service, allowing for customised bundling and packaging operations. This flexibility is especially important for brands with seasonal promotions, gift sets, or special marketing campaigns.
Emphasis on Sustainability with Supporting Technology and Packaging
In an era of increasing environmental consciousness, partnering with a 3PL that values sustainability is essential. Look for a fulfillment partner with eco-friendly practices, such as energy-efficient facilities and recycling initiatives. Additionally, the ability to provide sustainable packaging options aligns with the values of environmentally conscious customers and can enhance the brand’s image.
Why is I-Fulfilment the Top Choice for Health and Beauty Fulfillment?
I-Fulfilment offers specialised services for the beauty and health markets. Our dedicated team understands the unique sensitivity of these products, ensuring each item is handled with the utmost care throughout the entire fulfillment process.
Here’s how partnering with us covers your specific needs:
Our facilities are equipped to handle items sensitive to environmental conditions, including temperature, light, and humidity.
Custom Packaging Requirement
We understand the importance of specific, high-quality packaging to enhance your brand image. Our services ensure your products are delivered in packaging that reflects the quality your brand deserves.
I-Fulfilment is well-versed in regulatory requirements for ingredients and labelling. Rest assured, your products will be handled and shipped in full compliance with industry standards.
Fragility and Perishability
Specialised services are in place to handle delicate items with the care they require. Our inventory management prevents products from expiring, ensuring freshness upon delivery.
Order Accuracy and Quality Control
Rigorous quality control measures are implemented to meet customer expectations. Your customers will receive precisely what they ordered, in perfect condition.
Branding and Presentation
We recognise the significance of brand consistency. I-Fulfilment ensures your bespoke needs are met when it comes to packing and delivering your products.
Our adaptable services can seamlessly adjust to seasonal fluctuations, ensuring optimal efficiency during peak times and cost-effectiveness during slower periods.
Bespoke Repacking Services
Offering custom repacking services allows you to deliver special gift boxes at specific times of the year, enhancing your customer experience.
In the health and beauty sector, where skincare, cosmetics, and wellness products often rely on organic materials and have specific shelf-life considerations, our batch tracking system is meticulously integrated into our fulfillment processes to provide unparalleled transparency and traceability for every product that passes through our facilities.
Our robust systems efficiently handle returns, conducting proper inspection, processing, and restocking to minimise disruptions and maintain customer satisfaction.
With our comprehensive infrastructure, advanced technology, and continuous support, we can help you boost your ecommerce business and stay ahead of the competition. Partnering with us means:
- Save on fulfilment costs
- Improve your conversion rate
- Store, ship, and grow internationally
Experience industry-leading expertise and customised services for your brand’s success. Contact us and elevate your fulfillment strategy today for enhanced efficiency and customer satisfaction.
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