6 Things to Consider for Exceptional Health and Beauty Product Fulfillment

According to McKinsey, the global beauty product market, which includes skincare, fragrance, haircare, and makeup, is projected to reach $580 billion by 2027. The research suggests that wellness-inspired beauty products will gain market share, and consumers will continue to ask for transparency in ingredients and testing.

While some companies may remain online only, more will look to in-store opportunities for consumers to browse and explore new products. For many businesses, omnichannel fulfillment will be a supply chain necessity. Consumers may browse the cosmetic aisle but purchase online. They may purchase direct from the company website or through an eCommerce marketplace.

Finding a third-party logistics (3PL) provider with omnichannel experience can be difficult. Finding a 3PL company that supports unique health and beauty requirements can be even harder. Finding one with experience in omnichannel delivery and health and beauty logistics is rare.

Partnering with the right 3PL provider means looking for an organization with omnichannel fulfillment capabilities, special handling experience, and forecasting resources. They should have industry-specific experience in regulatory compliance and product safety, including temperature-controlled storage facilities and trained personnel. 

Health and beauty entrepreneur small business owner using a tablet checking inventory background

1. Omnichannel Fulfillment Capabilities

As companies grow, they expand their delivery channels. They may start with direct-to-customer (DTC) fulfillment from a website and then expand to selling on a third-party online marketplace. With increased success, they may sell wholesale to large brick-and-mortar stores. Each channel has unique requirements.

  • Shipping individual items to a consumer requires experience in handling small and possibly fragile packages.
  • Delivering products from an eCommerce site means having the technology to accept orders in real time for faster delivery.
  • Wholesale shipping needs 3PL providers that can pack and ship products in bulk. 

Finding a provider that can support all delivery channels is essential to maintaining real-time control of your beauty product inventory. Contacting multiple suppliers and then merging the data for a comprehensive view is not only time-consuming but often inaccurate.

2. Special Handling Experience

A brown-haired woman ensuring deliveries in a distribution warehouse, exemplifying careful handling and compliance in beauty product logistics

If you’re in the health and beauty industry, you know the special handling requirements. Some products must be stored in temperature-controlled facilities. Others must include OSHA-required data sheets as part of the packaging. Liquids such as perfumes or body wash must be packaged to prevent and contain leaks. Luxury beauty products often require special handling because of fragile or one-of-a-kind packaging. 

3PL companies need facilities to store cosmetics safely, package them correctly, and ensure they arrive undamaged. They also need safety measures in place for the secure handling of health and beauty products. When reporting is required, they should have the resources to deliver the needed information.

3. Regulatory Compliance and Health & Beauty Product Safety Expertise

Do you know that cosmetics may be considered hazardous materials, according to the US Department of Transportation?  Are you aware of the regulatory requirements for shipping hazardous materials?  If you don’t, your 3PL should. 

Unless you want to expend company resources following the USDOT’s regulations, you need a 3PL with specialized expertise to handle hazardous materials. They should be familiar with the exemptions that apply to individual shipments or bulk shipments in excess of 66 pounds. They should understand the packaging requirements to prevent spills or leaks. 3PLs with hazmat experience will ensure that proper labeling and paperwork are completed when necessary.

4. Forecasting Resources

Seasonal trends, promotional efforts, and social media influence consumer demand for health and beauty products. A positive review from an influencer can double demand overnight. Negative comments can lower sales, making accurate forecasting difficult.

Companies need 3PL providers with analytics capabilities to highlight consumer insights for better forecasting. Technology can help tie external factors, such as competitor promotions, to changes in demand. Predictive analytics can identify when seasonal changes begin and end, but analytics needs clean and reliable data to be effective.

Finding 3PLs with the latest technology helps ensure data quality. Not only can they deliver accurate data, but they can also conduct analytics for robust analysis. Based on historical information, companies can make data-driven decisions on supply and demand.

5. Sustainability Practices

Net zero waste go green SME using eco-friendly care sign with plastic-free symbol and packaging carton box wrapped in paper, highlighting sustainable practices in beauty product fulfillment

McKinsey’s research found that half of Gen Zers (those born between 1997 and 2012) research product ingredients and company practices before purchasing health and beauty products–a percentage that mirrors that of Millennials. They are concerned with sustainability and transparency and value companies that ensure a responsible supply chain.

Health and beauty products are not environmentally friendly. For example, 70% of products use palm oil, and many Southeast Asian areas are being cleared to support palm tree farms, endangering the ecosystems. To counter the negative impact, companies should look for 3PL providers that incorporate sustainability practices into their operations.

6. Performance Improvement Practices

Consumers expect fast delivery of beauty products that arrive in pristine condition. Meeting those expectations requires technology. It’s simply impossible for manual processes to deliver hundreds, if not thousands, of items in one or two days. 

Companies need 3PL solutions that use technology to manage warehouses, inventory, and transportation. They need access to information on what is in stock or running low in real-time. The industry needs to know where items are stored, where orders stand, and when items will be delivered if it wants to keep customers informed.

System integration improves supply chain performance.  A 3PL provider should integrate with online sites such as Amazon, Shopify, and BigCommerce for real-time order processing. 3PLs should demonstrate their willingness to integrate with systems to facilitate faster order processing and delivery.

Warehouse automation is another way 3PLs can improve performance. Investing in automation technology minimizes the impact of labor shortages during peak periods and ensures a more consistent workflow. Companies need 3PL partners that continually evaluate process performance and make recommendations for ongoing improvements.

Symbia Solutions

Symbia’s nationwide network ensures rapid product delivery. With locations in Denver, Reno, Chicago, Houston, and Kansas City, Symbia’s network includes temperature-controlled facilities with real-time integrations for omnichannel fulfillment.

Kitting logistics is a Symbia specialty. Our services include assembling product orders from individual items and placing them in unique packaging for one-of-a-kind customer experiences. With expertise in regulatory compliance and product safety, our team can help navigate the complexities of storing and shipping cosmetics.

Technology rests at the center of Symbia’s success. Whether it’s AI-driven fulfillment or RFID technology, Symbia leverages cutting-edge technology to continuously improve inventory and warehouse management, data analytics, and process performance.

Our commitment to sustainability ensures an eco-friendly provider for the health and beauty industry. We have a company-wide recycling program and use energy-efficient lighting in all facilities. We conduct an annual audit of environmental metrics and support reforestation projects.

If you’re looking for a partner with the critical logistics capabilities covered, contact us to discuss how we can create a customized logistics solution for your health and beauty business that will set you apart from the competition.