Published on: 22nd June 2020, Reading Time: 6 mins.
Despite the recent increase in eCommerce sales, not much has changed on the logistics front for Cosmetics. Beauty and Cosmetics products, however, place certain requirements towards logistics operations – especially when delivered to multiple end-destinations of private households there are several things to consider when it comes to Cosmetics fulfillment. Here’s the breakdown of our logistics guide:
- Introduction: Logistics operations in the Beauty and Cosmetics industry
- The Big Three: Logistics challenges of the Beauty & Cosmetics Industry
- 01: Logistics Requirements of the Cosmetics industry
- 02: Qualified warehousing to keep Cosmetics product quality
- 03: Transport-secure shipping and fast deliveries
- Conclusion: Find the right 3PL for your Cosmetics & Beauty products
Logistics Operations in the
Beauty & Cosmetics Industry
The consumption of Cosmetics and Beauty products in Germany, in the UK and Europe increasingly follows the trend of using natural and sustainable substances without chemical additives. Particularly fair trade Beauty products for the personal care of body and hair, and organic cosmetic products, such as vegan lipstick and other make-up items are highly demanded.
In fact, according to a study, 57% of millennials inform themselves about substances used in self-care products; 46% said they prefer using organic Cosmetics (M. Hohmann, 2019). Resulting from this, the organic Cosmetics industry showed a revenue growth of 9.4% in 2019 reaching the highest revenue growth in the past few years. The classical Cosmetics industry revealed negative revenue growth of -0.6%.
| How do I master the expectations of
my eCommerce, B2B and
Retail customers? |
Beauty startups and modern merchants serving these consumer markets experience more and more interested and knowledgeable customers. The strengths of these Cosmetics companies and brands often lie within customer-oriented product development and modern marketing.
However, when it comes to logistics operations and product distribution processes of Cosmetics & Beauty products, there’s often still room for improvement – especially for eCommerce fulfillment.
We’ve addressed major obstacles when working with Cosmetics brands through our Logistics-as-a-Service solution. Regarding the operational processes of distributing Cosmetics and Beauty products, we see several factors that need to be considered when it comes to logistics. This requires professional and experienced logistics providers, who are able to follow certain requirements. For example, many Cosmetics and Beauty products need to be air-conditioned sufficiently in order to maintain the appropriate texture of the products.
Particularly natural serums and creams without preservatives should be treated like fresh goods. They should preferably be purchased if their use is foreseeable in the near future. Other products, such as perfume and nail polish, will last longer if stored under relatively cold and dark conditions. Control and safety precautions are also an essential part of a qualified logistics provider’s field of activity. Consequently, strict internal quality control standards are important. But there’s more to it:
| The unpacking experience also plays a major role in the Cosmetics and Beauty industry. Logistics service providers must ensure that customer expectations are met through fast and safe delivery. Plus, it’s important to meet the cosmetic brand’s specifications for the actual unpacking experience. This starts with a quality-assuring product storage and extends through the entire fulfillment and delivery process. For example: Customers who are particularly interested in organic cosmetic products would also expect sustainable packaging. If the Cosmetics brand does not have the right packaging materials, this could also fall into the hands of the logistics service provider | – explains Johannes Tress.
At everstox, Johannes is responsible for the Logistics Partner Network and implementing Logistics Operations for our merchants. Johannes previously founded and bootstrapped space-y, a startup for modern workspaces and is a former BCG consultant.
Co-Founder and MD
Beauty and Cosmetics companies place high and specific logistics demands on their order processing and order fulfillment inside the warehouse and towards the respective fulfillment provider. Fast delivery times are crucial. Often the sale of Cosmetics products is associated with free and fast return handling in case the 100% satisfaction guarantee is not fulfilled. Furthermore, strict consumer protection and hygiene standards, and product certification (such as IFS HPC, EFfCI GMP, or ISO22716) are also noticeable in the logistics process.
In the case of special cosmetic products such as eye creams, face mists, or products with a high concentration of vitamin C, the cooling chain should be maintained during the packaging and transport process. This often makes it difficult for Cosmetics companies to find a qualified third-party logistics (3PL) provider and thus to scale their business activities within new distribution channels.
The Logistics Challenges for the Cosmetics & Beauty industry
There are three main logistics challenges in regards to finding the best Cosmetics fulfillment provider.
01: Cosmetics Industry:
Fluctuating Demand, Competitive Supply
The first challenge involves the fact that the Cosmetics and Beauty industry is very dynamic. New products with attractive marketing can replace established products within a few weeks. Resulting from this are difficulties for Cosmetics companies to control demand and supply and to react flexibly to market fluctuations. Cosmetics suppliers in the German and European market often cannot achieve this flexibility due to the traditional 3PL provider’s logistics offer for warehousing and fulfillment. For example, long-term contracts for contract logistics and complex IT integrations hinder merchants to react dynamically to market developments. Hence, with time- and cost-intensive logistics structures in place, Cosmetics companies cannot flexibly adjust the strategy of the existing logistics and distribution network.
It is equally important for eCommerce companies and retailers to have data transparency to optimally plan product sales. Data transparency specifically implies the insight into – and the due diligence – of historical inventory and order data management – what does this have to do with logistics? Simply put: seasonal, cyclical, and trending demand patterns can be forecasted based on inventory turnover in the respective warehouse and the number of fulfillment orders placed. This makes it possible to better monitor the purchasing behavior of customers. It also makes it possible to plan inventory more optimally by forecasting demand. As a result, supply bottlenecks can be avoided and quick delivery to the customer is ensured.
A permanent assurance of stock levels, supply chains, and the possibility of quick re-ordering in case of unexpected demand spikes from customers, is very important. Consequently, this must also be included in the question of “How do I master eCommerce and retail logistics for my Cosmetics and Beauty products?”.
02: Search for Qualified Cosmetics Warehousing Logistics
The second challenge entails the right warehousing logistics and storage of cosmetic products. Particularly in the case of cooled products, the correct temperature is essential; either ambient (15-20°) or refrigerated (1-4°).
Furthermore, logistics requirements during the packaging process and packaging materials for products, such as IFS HPC certified personal care products, must be taken into consideration. It could happen that cosmetic companies lose the hard-won validity of a certificate due to incorrect storage or use of non-qualified packaging materials – for example during an inspection by the TN Cert Auditor (TÜV Nord Certification). This would not only endanger the company’s existence but could also be avoided in advance by finding a qualified 3PL logistics partner for Cosmetics and Beauty products.
03: The Right Shipment for Cosmetics & Beauty Products
The third challenge comprises the high customer demands for short delivery times of consumer goods sold online. In Germany, the UK, or other European markets there is an increasing expectation for online purchases to be delivered with the Amazon status-quo of same-day and next-day delivery. This holds equally true for Beauty products and Cosmetics. Many online shoppers expect delivery within 24 hours without a major additional charge. In addition, customers attach great importance to “green” transport and delivery of the parcel. The emphasis here is on the emission-friendly transport of the goods. After all, 3PL providers cannot avoid long transport routes – especially if the parcel shipment from the warehouse to the customer has to cover a distance of more than 500 kilometres. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through flexible warehousing logistics – that is – by including strategic warehouse locations in the Cosmetics brand’s distribution network. This leads to drastically shortened last-mile delivery and thus reduced CO2-emissions during transportation.
Furthermore, customers of organic Cosmetics products are paying more attention to the actual package delivery during the unpacking experience. Regarding the unpacking experience, customers focus increasingly on the quality and sustainability of cardboard boxes, insulation material, and marketing flyers. These already give the first indication of the product inside.
Conclusion: Find best 3PLs
for Cosmetics & Beauty Logistics
Our Logistics-as-a-Service platform connects merchants with qualified logistics providers, in order to facilitate the search process for finding the best logistics for Beauty products and Cosmetics. The optimal logistics requires providers with strong references in the Beauty and Cosmetics area. A qualified logistics provider should be flexible, able to meet fast delivery times and act in accordance with the hygiene requirements of the Cosmetics industry.
Particularly regarding reliable API integration, the technology used is of high importance in the operative logistics processes. Due to strict hygiene regulations, there is a high need for tracking and visibility.
Furthermore, inventory planning plays an important role in the future demand for cosmetic products coming from the respective distribution channel. Forecasting tools and simplified inventory management should be part of daily planning and operational processes.
In order to master all these obstacles involved with logistics operations, together with qualified third-party logistics providers and the state-of-the-art cloud technology from everstox, merchants are enabled to operate with cost-efficient warehousing and fulfillment. In case you’re in search for finding the best 3PLs for your Beauty & Cosmetics products for your distribution logistics in Germany, England and across Europe, simply contact our team to find you the right partner.
In case you would like to inform yourself on other topics related to logistics, you can check our articles on:
- Guide: How to find the best logistics for food products in Germany?
- Logistics Insights: What to consider when you are handling bulky freight?
- Guide: Logistics Costs for Warehousing, Fulfillment and Shipping
Max and the marketing team at everstox take care of researching, evaluating and writing all logistics insights that we gather from our day-to-day operations. If you have any questions on our thought-led articles, guide’s or any other blog-related topic, feel free to get in touch with our team.
Head of Marketing