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The beauty of securing great 3PL services


The UK cosmetics industry is already worth more than £13bn (source: Statista) and is growing fast.

There has been an explosion of e-commerce challenger brands, from Fenty to Glossier, presenting the fresh face of a dynamic industry and disrupting the old guard. Online sales are propelling cosmetics to new heights and now account for 8.5% of global revenues (source: Global Data).

Then there’s the power base of influencer marketing built on social media sites including YouTube and Instagram. Think James Charles, Tanya Burr, Inthefrow and Lookingforlewys.

But the internet isn’t the only trend driving innovation. Diversity and inclusion have become the watchwords for cosmetics brands. Last year alone, there were more than 7 million posts with the hashtag #bodypositive, according to Inside Beauty magazine.

The movement is stretching Dove’s feted “Campaign for Real Beauty”, a celebration of real female beauty, to include all body types and ethnicities. Fashion and beauty brand Missguided launched “In Your Skin” in 2018, a campaign aimed at exploring – and exploding – the myths of perfect skin. Executions feature six women with different skin types from burns to albinism.

And it’s not just women who are in the spotlight for beauty brands. Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s Razors are just two of the rising brands that are changing the face of male grooming. They are examples of the booming subscription economy, which enables customers to sign up for regular deliveries of their favourite beauty products. Birchbox is another.

Old and new cosmetics brands alike are harnessing new marketing opportunities created by the internet. But while the shop window is shiny, how can cosmetics brands ensure they apply gloss to their customer experience?

The back end might not be as glamorous as the glitzy cosmetics campaigns we see on TV and social media; you’re unlikely to find influencers packing brands into gifting kits in a warehouse. But these are the crucial jobs that need to be done to ensure beauty brands deliver on their promises.

There are so many facets to handling and fulfilment; they need serious consideration, not just lip service. With many years’ experience working for some of the biggest global cosmetics brands, we are well versed in online order support, e-commerce fulfilment and associated customer services.

The socially conscious shopper also wants to know that the brands they buy from have a clean conscience. Ethical sourcing and a clean supply chain are critical to brand reputation. We understand how to work with large and complex supply chains on behalf of cosmetics brands and contribute to their social value programmes, we do so for a leading global beauty business. Through digital batch control, we can handle audit trails and regulatory management to ensure adherence to European industry regulations and standards.

Brands have day-to-day demands, of course, and we can handle those, too. Our manual operations mean we are able to scale services to suit seasonal needs. Christmas, Black Friday and Mother’s Day are all key sales periods. Gifting, kitting, coffrets and other bespoke requirements all rely on expert management to ensure people aren’t left disappointed. After all, the beauty of great fulfilment is that satisfied customers will come back for more.

Suzanne Kay : 15 March 2019

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