Beyond the box: mastering e-commerce fulfillment for beauty brands

Blog Post
With the rise of online shopping, purchasing beauty products has become quick and convenient. However, cosmetics are very personal and subjective products, easily influenced by trends. This uniqueness creates various logistical challenges, such as sudden spikes in orders, handling thousands of SKUs, and coping with high return rates. Let’s explore the distinctive challenges and solutions related to order fulfillment in the cosmetics industry.
doTERRA products Brightening Gel and Tightening Serum

In the vibrant world of cosmetics, where every product tells a story and every brand strives to attract an audience, fulfillment plays a key role in bringing the magic of beauty to customers’ doors. The personal nature of cosmetics and the trends driving the industry add an extra layer of complexity to the fulfillment process. At Radial, we understand the unique challenges faced by health and beauty brands and provide tailored solutions, ensuring brands can deliver their promises and provide an exceptional experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Challenges of fulfillment for health & beauty brands:

Vast range of SKUs

Challenge: Cosmetics often come in a wide range of colours, shades, and formulations, leading to a large number of SKUs. Fulfillment services must accurately pick and pack orders to ensure customers receive the beauty products they ordered, especially in cases of customized or personalized items.

Solution: Radial utilizes an advanced and user-friendly inventory management system equipped with features such as SKU optimization and real-time tracking. Tailored for cosmetics, we implement automated solutions like the Knapp A-frame system for doTERRA in our facility in Warsaw, Poland. Automated sorting and barcode scanning ensure accurate fulfillment of every order. Our approach includes regular stock checks and setting par levels to prevent overstocking or stockouts. Accurate order picking and packing, along with customization options for personalized cosmetic products, ensure that customers receive the exact items they ordered.

Volatility and seasonality

Challenge: The cosmetics industry experiences significant fluctuations in consumer demand due to seasonal trends, promotions and changing customer preferences which are strengthened by influencer marketing and viral social media trends.

Solution: Implementing agile supply chain practices, including a blend of automated solutions and manual fulfillment procedures, and data-driven order processing, enables swift adaptation to changes in demand, seasonal fluctuations, and emerging trends in the cosmetics industry. This approach ensures timely delivery to customers.

Knapp automation installed for Radial’s health & beauty customer in the warehouse in Poland

High rate of returns

Challenge: The surge in e-commerce has made buying cosmetics online convenient. However, the inability to test products in person often leads to returns. Cosmetics see higher return rates compared to other products due to issues like allergic reactions, wrong shades, or dissatisfaction with performance. Fulfillment services need efficient processes for handling returns and managing reverse logistics.

Solution: We prevent mistakes in the order-to-dispatch process, damages during transport, and delayed or failed deliveries. Radial develops efficient returns management processes that make customers happy while causing as little trouble as possible for the supply chain. This includes making return authorizations smooth, checking returned products, and restocking them efficiently.

Product bundling

Challenge: Cosmetics brands often offer bundled products or customizable sets, enabling customers to mix and match different items according to their preferences.

Solution: Crafting bundles efficiently requires streamlined inventory management with real-time tracking and forecasting to prevent stock issues. Our advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS) prioritizes accuracy and efficiency in picking activities. Additionally, our flexible packaging and assembly capabilities effectively accommodate customized orders.

Personalized packaging

Challenge: Visual impact is crucial for products and packaging to distinguish themselves in the competitive cosmetics industry. Personalized packaging is key to telling a brand’s story and bonding with customers.

Solution: Radial’s technology and expertise enable cosmetic brands to deliver a unique and highly personalized customer shopping experience. We’ve developed programs to pre-kit, bundle, kit-on-the-fly, and gift with purchases. Our wide range of value-added services for customized packaging, includes:

  • embossing,
  • engraving,
  • handwritten notes,
  • custom wrapping,
  • personalized samples.

Fragile and delicate products and packaging

Challenge: Cosmetic products often have delicate textures and packaging, which requires careful handling to prevent damage during storage and shipping. Especially makeup ranges, like shadow palettes, and items like skincare products in glass containers, are particularly fragile. Ensuring these products are picked and packed securely to withstand the rigours of shipping is essential.

Solution: Radial offers specialized product packaging services for fragile cosmetics. We utilize a combination of industry-leading materials and packaging techniques to ensure products reach customers in the best condition.

1.         Bubble wrap and padded envelopes

2.         Specially designed boxes

3.         Eco-friendly packaging options

4.         Customization capabilities

doTERRA products in glass containers

doTERRA essential oils in 15 ml glass bottles

Preserving product integrity

Challenge: Many cosmetics, such as serums, creams, and lipsticks, are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and environmental conditions, such as humidity. Maintaining optimal storage conditions throughout the fulfillment process is crucial to preserving product quality and integrity.

Solution: Radial’s specialized facilities are equipped with precise climate-controlled environments to maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels for storing cosmetics. Insulation in packaging helps safeguard product integrity. We cooperate with carriers providing temperature-controlled shipping and weather advisories, ensuring protection and preserving sensitive formulas.

Learn about cosmetics fulfillment