Skin Care Products Order Fulfilment: Ship Safely and Quickly


Skin Care Products Order Fulfilment: Ship Safely and Quickly

With the rising number of makeup and skincare brands that are making rounds in the global market, we had to tackle this question at some point or other. Considering the consistently growing demand for skin care products from consumers who are only more informed and specific, brands are leveraging their online presence and marketplace to capitalise on it.

But as an online skincare brand, you can either leverage this opportunity to build a strong base of loyal customers who would shop frequently from you, or make them feel like your store may not be the right choice for their purchases.

The difference between these two scenarios is the quality of the logistics and fulfilment process that you have in place.

If you have an up-and-coming skincare and makeup brand, your online store may get everything right, and yet fall short if you do not have your logistical processes in check. This is especially important when you are shipping skincare products internationally.

This is the reason you need to know everything about skin care products order fulfilment and everything that goes into it. This guide will talk about just that and more aspects related to skincare order fulfilment.

What is Skin Care Products Order Fulfilment?

Skin care products order fulfilment is the highly specific process of storing skincare products in a warehouse while they are waiting to be picked, packed and shipped to customers. In fact, the overall order fulfilment process will include all of these steps and trace the journey from the point where a specific product is stored, all the way till it is delivered.

Made of a combination of different kinds of ingredients that may have different reactions to various temperatures, skincare products shipping is quite different compared to other products. Some of these products can even have fragile product packaging so it is important to have a definitive process for shipping and logistics.

Skin care products order fulfilment is basically a standard process followed by eCommerce companies to ensure that their customers receive the products they order as intended without any kind of damage or alteration in the product formula caused by temperature or humidity.

Understanding the Skincare Fulfilment Process

Most logistic companies that cater to a wide array of industries or even specifically the skincare and cosmetic industry follow a standard set of steps as a part of their skincare fulfilment process. 

Let us quickly look at what are these steps and what these steps include:

Step #1: Receiving the Products

As a skincare or cosmetic business, you can either store products in your own warehouse, or associate with logistic companies who will provide space in their warehouse, and help you with all the processes that will take place therein. 

As a growing company, you will more likely choose to tie up with a 3PL service provider or logistics company, that you will send your products to store. The first step in the process of skincare products order fulfilment is that of the warehouse receiving and storing products from your company. Basically, it is the processing of storing some of the existing inventory in the warehouse before it is waiting to be sold.

For this process to be effective for your company, you need to ensure that the warehouse has the right quality, maintenance, and temperature control settings so that your products remain stored in their ideal condition.

Step #2: Picking the Products

All the products that are received and stored in your warehouse are just waiting to be picked. The picking process is initiated when an order is placed in your store and sent to the warehouse to be collected. A picker or any other logistics personnel in the warehouse will go about picking the products that have been purchased as a part of an order, and prepare them for shipment.

It is a good idea for companies to ensure that they outsource their logistics and order fulfilment processes to 3PL service providers and logistics companies that have a good warehouse management system in place. This small bit of automation in the process will ensure that there are no errors in picking products and that your warehouse inventory also gets updated when a product is picked. 

More importantly, you will have timely information about any products that may be going out of stock or available in limited quantities so you can maintain a proper inventory level. To ensure that this process is carried out without a hitch, you can refer to the picking list generated by the system, which lists down the products, quantities, and the location of each product in the fulfilment centre, making it easier for the picker to collect the right products.

Step #3: Packing

Once the right products included in your order have been picked from the warehouse, they are ready to be packed. Packing is a crucial step in the process because it can make all the difference between satisfied customers and misplaced or lost orders.

The packing process involves packing the skincare products that you want to ship out securely and adding appropriate shipping labels to these packages. Depending on the kind of product and its packaging, you can choose from a variety of packing materials. So, if your product is contained in glass, plastic, or metal packaging can determine the packing materials that will need to be included in the process.

Apart from ensuring that the packing material you choose is right for safeguarding your products, you will also need to consider the lowest practical dimensional weight for your packed order. Even if these processes are carried out by a 3PL provider, you can have your custom branding and packaging appear front and centre on your packages.

Step #4: Shipping the Products

By outsourcing your skincare and cosmetics shipping to a third-party service provider or logistics company, you would be making it easier to manage multiple orders effectively at the same time. The better the skincare and beauty products fulfilment process, the better your chances of ensuring satisfaction among customers.

Most 3PL service providers have associations and partnerships with multiple courier companies, letting you pick the perfect one based on your budget and requirements. A lot of logistics companies also have partnered with courier companies that offer express shipping and deliveries, letting you add this additional service to your value offering.

You can also choose whether you want your skincare products shipping to be done by truck shipping, air shipping or any other means.

Optional Step: Kitting and Bundling

When it comes to skincare and cosmetic products, a common marketing and selling tactic deployed by online stores is bundling and kitting. By bundling multiple products related to each other, you can offer more benefits as a combined kit targeted to resolve a specific issue.

For instance, if your skincare brand sells face washes targeted at treating acne, bundling that product with an anti-acne serum, and cleansing mask can elevate the product offering. When you sell this bundle, customers will be able to see the merit in buying a comprehensive solution to their issue.

If you offer such kits and bundles, your 3PL service provider will be doing the assembling and bundling as a part of the packing process. Ensure to check whether the service provider you choose offers this service.

4 Things to Consider While Shipping Skincare or Cosmetic Products

Now that you know the steps involved in the process of shipping skincare or cosmetic products, here are some of the most important things to consider. These are points that you should keep in mind while shipping your skincare or cosmetic products so that they reach your customers as intended without any damage.

1. High Volume

When managing the skincare and cosmetics fulfilment process for your products, you will need to consider the volume. This is a crucial factor in determining the right 3PL provider, and the budget you set aside for it. Certain beauty and skincare products may experience intense demand as a result of specific marketing or promotional campaigns.

This is actually much more a pro than a challenge, however, it highlights a highly specific requirement.

If your skincare products come in small or fragile packaging and need to be stored in temperature-controlled and tailored stores or environments, you will need a 3PL service provider that offers those kinds of facilities. In addition to these factors, you also need personnel who are respectful, precise and professional in handling your products.

2. Temperature Handling

As we have discussed multiple times over the course of the blog so far, many products require you to store them in temperature-controlled environments and handle them carefully. This includes cosmetics that are highly sensitive ingredients and formulations requiring to be stored and handled a certain way.

All this means that the warehouse that you choose needs to be able to facilitate transport vehicles and facilities that can control temperature and humidity levels. You may also need some additional certificates for advanced skincare and cosmetic products that need to be handled and distributed while meeting certain standards.

3. Licenses

Since we are talking about the kind of certificates that might be required for handling and distributing certain kinds of skincare and cosmetic products. In addition to that, governments and governing bodies also require warehouses to possess certain licences and special certifications to be able to accept skincare or cosmetic products.
These licences and certificates basically establish that the warehouses are not only capable of storing the skincare products safely but also have staff and personnel who are trained to handle such products carefully and meticulously within the facility.

4. Appropriate Packaging

Once you have given enough thought to the volume, temperature and licences associated with managing the skincare fulfilment process effectively. With your products requiring so much specific handling and management, you will need to pay attention to the packaging as well. 

While some products that are not that fragile can be packed in paper bag packaging, some delicate bottles or vials may warrant the use of a cardboard box and bubble wrapping. What’s more, you may also need to add or remove specific kinds of packaging materials based on the kind of bottles and boxes your brand uses for your skincare products.

Opportunities and Challenges Associated with Skincare Order Fulfilment

The beauty industry is currently booming, and it is a great time to be associated with order fulfilment for skincare or cosmetic products. There are plenty of opportunities and challenges associated with skin care products order fulfilment that you must consider at this point.


Customers Embrace Online Shopping

For the longest time, skincare and beauty products were only predominantly sold in stores, because customers wanted to try the products before purchasing them. There is still a major customer segment that still believes in making transactions this way, but lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way they think.

Customers are more open to shopping online for all kinds of products including skincare and beauty products. This means higher demand for online skincare stores and marketplaces and more opportunities for 3PL providers associated with these online stores.

Personalisation of Products and Packaging

If you have been tracking the recent developments in the skincare and beauty industry, you might have come across these companies that let customers take a survey about their hair or skin, and suggest products accordingly. This means customised formulations tailored to their specific hair and skin needs, increasing customer satisfaction significantly. 

The packaging for such products is also highly customised and will be edited for every order. This is a great opportunity for 3PL service providers and logistic companies to expand their service offerings and quality.


Apart from these opportunities, there are also a couple of challenges that you would need to consider in the process.

Safety Hazards and Handling

To ensure that your skincare and beauty products are handled well, you need to have several protocols in place. You also need to know exactly how long certain products can be stored in warehouses, and under what conditions.

These protocols and facilities combined with a good skincare fulfilment process will ensure that all the items remain in perfect condition. Skincare products are also at risk of getting contaminated easily, so you would need to ensure that the warehouse you choose has mechanisms to keep allergens out and away from your products.

Climate Controlled Warehousing

We have talked about the importance of temperature control quite a bit in the context of skincare fulfilment. We want to emphasise the fact that you would need to stay on top of your warehouse temperatures, and at the same time include climate control in your shipping methods.

The ingredients included in your product will determine how you can control the warehouse temperature, and how the climate and environment will interact with the products and storage areas in the facility.

Best Practices for Carrying Out Skincare Fulfilment

Now that we have discussed all there is to know about skin care fulfilment for skincare and beauty products, and all that the process can entail, we are sure you are eager to get started. Regardless of the extent to which you want to be involved in the process, and how you want to personalise it, there are certain best practices that you should follow.

Implement the FIFO Method

FIFO (First In First Out) method is a common strategy used in manufacturing and logistic facilities for making the entire supply chain more efficient. With the help of this strategy, you would be ensuring that the products that reach the warehouse first, are also the first ones to be picked, packed and shipped out.

The benefit of implementing this strategy is pretty apparent — none of your products will be stored beyond their best-before dates, and you can minimise the wastage of products and overstocking.

It is a good practice to check whether the warehouse that you have selected to carry out your beauty and skin care product order fulfilment follows this strategy or not. If not, ask about the specific ways they prevent overstocking, and waste of products while maintaining inventory levels at maximum efficiency.

Leverage Cross Docking and Transloading

As your online skincare store grows, you will be dealing with a lot of orders and a growing amount of outbound products consistently getting loaded into your warehouses. All this is great, but as you grow, you also want to increase the efficiency with which you fulfil your orders.

With that in mind, you should check whether your skincare order fulfilment centre offers you the option of cross-docking and transloading. The process of cross-docking involves dividing large inbound shipments into smaller units at the warehouse so that they can be loaded into outbound trucks going into distribution right away.

Similarly, the process of transloading involves taking inbound shipments and loading them into outbound freight going for final delivery. The benefits of using these two strategies are quite simple — they will save you a lot of time, eliminate part of your warehouse fees, and consolidate your freight. Considering the limited shelf life of skincare and beauty products, they are perfectly suitable for cross-docking and transloading, with the additional benefit of lower storage costs.

Pick Strategic Locations for Warehouses

It is no coincidence that location or place is one of the most crucial factors determining the sales and operational effectiveness of any company. Unless your product or service is completely intangible and can be completely dealt with digitally, you will need to put some thought into the locations you choose for operations.

In the case of choosing warehouses, you ideally want to go for a more strategic approach and choose locations that are closer to the ones your target customers are more likely to be from. Additionally, you will also need to consider the shipping costs from your warehouse to where your customers are predominantly located.

Utilise Reverse Logistics

Storing your skincare and cosmetic products while you wait for orders and ship them out is all fine, but what about the ones that remain on the shelves forever?

As an online store owner, the one thing that you will need to come to terms with is that not every product of yours will be a bestseller and sell out as fast as they are stocked.

The process of returning the leftover inventory (unsold or expired products) to the online store so that they can be disposed of effectively requires a reverse logistics process. Sounds simple enough, right? Except, this reverse logistics process can pose a lot of challenges if you do not have a plan in place.

Ship Out Skincare Products Like a Pro

As you may have understood by now, there is a lot to consider and do when it comes to fulfilling orders of skincare products. As an online skincare store, you may be busy dealing with the day-to-day operations and want to outsource the fulfilment and logistics part of the process to other companies who have expertise in the process.

If you are looking for a trusted 3PL service provider that your skincare brand can partner with, PACK & SEND is here to help you with your order fulfilment needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Start Selling Skincare Products?

Selling skincare products might seem like a highly specific undertaking, but once you have the formulations and the science part figured out, the rest of the process can be quite simple. Choose the right, scalable CMS that you can use to build your online store, and build an elegant and user-friendly website. 

Upload your product catalogue onto the website by creating individual product pages, and start promoting your brand online to get new customers. Remember to build a resilient supply chain process with a focus on logistics to ensure customer satisfaction.

Do I Need a Licence to Sell Skincare Products Online?

No, as such you do not need a licence to sell skincare products online. You can formulate products at home or an industrial facility depending on the kind of ingredients you are working with. 

But some regulatory authorities might require you to acquire a licence to sell skincare products, especially if you are selling ones with chemical formulations. Depending on the geographical locations you are targeting with your online store, you may need to apply for different licences and/or certifications.

In Australia, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regulates the supply and use of chemicals that are used in skincare or cosmetic products. Additionally, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regulates product safety and labelling standards for skincare products.

Is it safe to ship skincare products?

Yes, as long as you take appropriate measures to ensure its safety and condition. Depending on the ingredients that you have included in your skincare products, they will need to be handled carefully. You will need to take care that the products with glass packaging are handled like fragile goods. Moreover, you will also need to have temperature and climate controls in the warehouses that store your products to be able to ensure that they are shipped in the right condition.

How Do You Pack Skincare Products for Shipping?

It depends. If your skincare products are liquids and come in glass bottles, you may need to choose packing materials that will ensure that they reach the customer in good condition. This might warrant the use of bubble wrap or cardboard boxes. 

On the other hand, if any of your products are in the form of tubes and have leakage-proof packaging, you may even opt for packing materials that are used for regular courier services such as paper envelopes or bags.

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