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Starting an online skincare store is a great market to launch into for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, but it can be a challenge to beat the competition. Not only will you have to compete with more established health, beauty, and wellness brands, but you’ll also need a fulfilment and logistics plan in place so you can scale your business and meet customer expectations.
Many fast-growing skincare brands partner with a tech-enabled third-party logistics (3PL) like ShipBob. When you partner with ShipBob, you’ll gain the fulfilment infrastructure, technology, and support you need to compete with other ecommerce businesses.
What is skincare fulfilment?
Skincare fulfilment is the process of storing ecommerce inventory in a safe and FDA-certified warehouse for online orders to be picked, packed, and shipped safely to customers. This includes products such as acne treatments, lotions, cosmetics, and skincare creams. Skincare products can sometimes be more complex to store and ship than other types of items due to fragile packaging and temperature-sensitive ingredients.
How ShipBob grows skincare ecommerce sales
ShipBob can help you optimise your supply chain by taking order fulfilment off your plate . That way, you can focus more on customer relationships, support, and acquisition and less time on fulfilment tasks. ShipBob takes care of all the order filling tasks for you while simplifying the inventory management process.
With ShipBob’s built-in inventory management software, you can easily view inventory levels and set reorder points across fulfilment centre locations all from one dashboard, which makes inventory control much easier.
Challenges of skincare fulfilment
Managing all stages of the skincare fulfilment process, from receiving inventory to shipping orders, isn’t easy. Depending on the type of product you sell, you might have to consider extra care in inventory storage.
Challenges of shipping skincare products
Some skincare products also come in fragile packaging, and shipping fragile items requires extra care. Although ShipBob has processes in place to reduce risk in shipping fragile items, some issues can arise while orders are in transit that are outside of our control. When shipping damages occur, we file claims on behalf of the merchant at no additional cost. We also help you choose the fulfilment centre(s) in which to store your inventory that are closest to your end consumers to help reduce the distance travelled and time in transit.
Challenges of shipping skincare products internationally
It becomes even more challenging if you want to launch into new markets worldwide. With international shipping, you have to deal with additional rules and regulations depending on the country you’re shipping to, as well as customs and import duties. ShipBob offers international fulfilment with warehouse locations across the globe. That way, you can reduce shipping costs and last-mile delivery times for international customers.
ShipBob’s skincare fulfilment process
ShipBob takes care of the entire retail fulfilment process for you. Here is an overview of how ShipBob’s skincare fulfilment process works.
During this stage, a supplier, manufacturer, or ecommerce brand ships the required products to our warehouse, where our team will receive the shipment(s). The term ‘receiving’ refers to the acceptance of incoming inventory to be stored before it’s sold. During this step, a ShipBob fulfilment expert will make sure that all the items that were sent have arrived and are in good condition. From there, we store the inventory safely until items are ready to be picked.
Once an order is placed on your store, the picking process begins. We locate the item(s) so the entire order can be packed in the next step. Our proprietary warehouse management system (WMS) automatically assigns similar orders with inventory in the same area of the warehouse to the same picker to reduce the number of steps required to pick orders for a more efficient workflow.
A picking list is automatically generated, which includes the items ordered, quantity, and where each product is located in the fulfilment centre. Each unit that’s picked is scanned from the inventory container so inventory counts are updated in real-time, providing up-to-date stock levels for merchants.
Once items are picked, the next step is to securely pack orders and add the shipping label. ShipBob offers standard packing materials: brown boxes, plain bubble mailers and poly bags, packing tape, and dunnage, and are included at no extra cost. We choose the best packing materials for each order to both protect your products and achieve the lowest practical dimensional weight. We also allow our clients to use custom packing materials to put their brand front and centre.
By outsourcing fulfilment to ShipBob, you can take advantage of our negotiated shipping rates with major shipping carriers. Our carrier partners pick up packages from our fulfilment centres daily, which are sorted by each shipping service. From there, shipping carriers take care of the shipping, most often by truck or air shipping.
How ShipBob has helped skincare brands
ShipBob has vast experience in partnering with fast-growing skincare brands. Here are some examples of skincare companies that we have helped grow over the years.
MDacne – a personalised acne treatment
MDacne is on a mission to help clear up skin in an easier, faster, and more pleasant way than ever before. MDacne is a tech-focused company, which means they needed a fulfilment partner that’s technology was agile enough to integrate with their tech stack. With ShipBob’s Developer API, they are able to build custom logic in order to ship personalised products with lots of variations in the kits.
“Because ShipBob has a lot of people to handle our orders and additional warehouses we can expand into, we can scale up with ease as we continue to grow quickly. If we ran our own warehouse, it would be much harder to hire people and we’d inevitably outgrow the space.”
Oded Harth, CEO & Co-Founder of MDacne
Hero Cosmetics – an innovative acne care brand
Hero is on a mission to revolutionize acne care. The skin care brand offers products that target breakouts during different stages in the acne lifecycle. For Hero, getting their products in the hands of consumers is of the upmost importance. That’s why they distributed their inventory throughout ShipBob’s U.S. fulfilment centres to achieve fast shipping.
“Our products were almost always sent via USPS since they’re small and lightweight. USPS offers the most affordable shipping option but the transit time can be brutal. The thing with acne care is that when you need it, you need it now. It’s important that our products are accessible.
Right from the jump, we opted to get our products into three ShipBob fulfilment centres across the US instead of one. This way, we would be able to decrease shipping times for more customers in different regions of the country.
In the end, I want speed. I want customers to compare our delivery time to Amazon.”
Dwight Lee, Co-founder and COO at Hero Cosmetics
Baja Bae – a vegan and cruelty-free lotion brand
Baja Bae is an Australian-based natural caramel lotion brand and the first of its kind. The vegan, cruelty-free lotion accelerates the tanning process, nourishes and hydrates skin, combats cellulite and scarring, and more. With ShipBob, they are able to track the entire ecommerce fulfilment process through our dashboard, which helps to simplify their inventory management process and create a seamless customer experience from start to finish.
“ShipBob offered us the best solution and was tailored toward our needs as an early startup business on its way to growing. We can ship to customers all over the world.”
Tamarin Oblowitz, Co-founder of Baja Bae
Touchland – stylish and natural hand sanitiser
Touchland is a fast-growing brand that upgraded the hand sanitizing experience to a whole new level. The brand launched in 2018 and grew quickly after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and then grew even faster after the COVID-19 pandemic hit (they sold out the first week of the pandemic and 34,000 customers on the waitlist). They partnered with ShipBob to help get orders to customers faster by using our distributed fulfilment network.
“ShipBob has been a great ally as they have fulfilment centres all over the US, facilitating a 2-3 day delivery time for any customer in the US.”
Andrea Lisbona, Founder & CEO of Touchland
Getting started with ShipBob is easy
Ready to get started with a tech-enabled and international 3PL that has the fulfilment infrastructure to move your business forward? Fill out the form below to request pricing and more information on how ShipBob works.