E-commerce cosmetics: be the best in cosmetics storage!

E-commerce cosmetics: be the best in cosmetics storage!

Julie Ribeiro

Julie Ribeiro

August 4, 2020

1. Online sales and storage of cosmetics: more difficult than other products?

Today, nearly 8 out of 10 young people change their consumption habits based on the advice of influencers, especially when it comes to cosmetics. Among all marketing channels, this one remains the most effective and easy to exploit in the beauty field!

However, if you want to develop your presence on the cosmetics market, there are many constraints related to storage. Between the sensitive content of the products, their perishable nature or their luxurious ingredients, here are a few tips for the ideal storage of the beauty products you sell!

2. Storagea weak point in the cosmetics sector 

The storage of perfumes and cosmetics involves various constraints which stem from the nature of the products. It is therefore important to choose THE right storage technique adapted to your cosmetic product.

The different storage techniques

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There are different ways to store your cosmetics depending on the available quantity of your products. Adopting a storage technique according to your cosmetic products is one of the keys to the success of an e-commerce and can lead to many savings!

You can simply store your cosmetics on pallets. The idea is to place your stocks of products in the warehouse of your choice and stack them in a particular order. Pallet storage is perfectly suited to large quantities of product, as the aisles are organized to accommodate a maximum number of pallets. Only this storage method is mainly used for B2B trade. 

In a more flexible way, you can also store your cosmetic products by following the principles of picking. This technique is ideal if you receive a large number of orders on a daily basis. In the same way as palletization, it allows you to store your cosmetics in a warehouse but makes them more immediately accessible. 

In addition, you can combine the picking method with shelving. This technique is based on the principle that your products are always accessible for completing orders. For example, if one of your customers orders red nail polish and face cream, your order clerk will simply walkthrough the warehouse to retrieve the ordered products.  

In order to save time, increase productivity and limit losses, some warehouses specialize in picking cosmetic products and implementing frequent checks. Liquid or gas leaks, temperature, exposure to sunlight... By storing your cosmetics in specialized warehouses, you greatly minimize the risk of loss.

Bigblue tips: Before signing a contract, it is important to find out about each warehouse or partner you would like to work with. Some warehouses and logisticians are better able to take care of your products. Choose a partner who listens to you and who is suited to your products!

Packaging and storage constraints

The storage method does not necessarily depend on your choice, but also very much on the nature of the products. Some cosmetics require a particular storage method which may be more expensive or complicated to set up. 

For example, the storage of luxury cosmetics or expensive products does not involve the same constraints as low-end cosmetics.For example, if you sell a premium face cream made of caviar, its unit price will be much higher. However, a high unit price is likely to lead to theft. In such cases, it is safer to store your high-quality cream in a secure area of the warehouse to reduce the risk of them being stolen. Whether it is specialized warehouses or rooms locked with a code, there is a whole range of solutions for storing luxury cosmetics!

That said, storage differences do not only depend on the value of the goods, but also on their nature. Indeed, some cosmetic products (such as soaps and shampoos) may sometimes require storage under special circumstances, to maintain their cosmetic stability and not to deteriorate. Some warehouses specialize in special storage and have numerous tests and bins to control the preservation of your products.

Bigblue tips: It is important to pay attention to the storage conditions of your products. Make sure that your warehouse or storage space keeps your cosmetics in their original packaging, in a dry place away from sunlight and moisture. Cosmetics shelf-life is relatively long, but poor storage conditions can shorten it significantly. Do not risk damaging your products! 

3. Inventory management: a puzzle for a cosmetics brand 

In addition to storage techniques and their implementation, the maintenance and monitoring of stocks must also to be taken into account. And the management of cosmetics stocks is not always a simple matter!

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The basic principle: First in First Out 

The FIFO method (or FIFO: First in First Out) limits the risk of storing out-of-date products. The first products in will be the first to be taken out: stock management is based on a perfect rotation! That way, there will be no loss of product due to lack of sales.  New goods enter your warehouse through a different area than your unloading area to avoid any mix-ups. 

The FIFO inventory management method is the most widely used method for cosmetic products. Indeed, these items are considered perishable as they lose s their quality over time. For example, the red nail polish that you sell will lose some of its superb quality after more than 3years of conservation. It may become dull, difficult to remove or simply dry.

Bigblue tips: When setting up your stock management system, make sure you work with a logistician and/or a warehouse that is equipped to handle the FIFO method. A lot of equipment such as dynamic racks or dynamic racks allow you to rotate stocks with a reduced margin of error!

IT management software, B-A.BA in logistics for a cosmetics company

The FIFO method is supposed to save you money by limiting product losses. But only if it is properly implemented and managed! If you take care of your own stock management, you can install a powerful management software in your warehouse.

This is an ERP (or PGI: Progiciel de Gestion Intégré),which allows you to keep an eye on the evolution of your stocks on a daily basis. As an e-commerce business, it is preferable to choose a high-performanceERP, rather than relying on a complex excel document on which changes must be made manually. For example, if you sell a batch of 10 red nail polishes to a store, the employee in charge of the order will not need to note the release of the goods: the ERP does it automatically. Automation means safety!

Bigblue tips: The choice of ERP is entirely up to you: there is a whole range of ERP systems to suit the size and structure of your company. Some of them are even free of charge, and can be implemented at the broader internal level of your e-commerce, giving you access to all your supplier contracts, all orders, stock reports... In short, a complete look at your logistics, on your tablet or smartphone!

Cosmetics sales and batch management

In the cosmetics industry, products are managed in batches. In other words, instead of having 50 individual cans of varnish, you have 5 batches of 10 cans. As cosmetic products are perishable, this allows for quick traceability and identification. 

This is why it is advisable to assign the same SKU(Stock Management Unit) to an entire batch of products from the same production cycle. This is a code assigned to identify and find different products in your warehouse

The particularity of cosmetic products is that they have 2 SKUs: the first one corresponding to the product itself (nature, color, size, etc.) and the second one to its batch (date, production cycle, etc.). Incase of a recall linked to a production problem, it is possible to easily identify the products. Let's imagine that batch n°12 of our red varnish is not the right shade. It is possible to find the batch thanks to its SKU without having to scan all the items in the "red varnish" category.

Bigblue tips: If you are well established on the cosmetics market, we advise you to find a tailor-made solution for your stock management. Whether it's the installation of SKUs or dynamic shelving, you should find the right compromise, adapted to your e-commerce so you don't get lost in the batches, stock entries and exits!

4. Product storage: cornerstone for successful entry into the world of cosmetics

Cosmetic products are demanding in terms of storage.They require a special method of storage and strict storage conditions. Many constraints that do not exist in the storage of other products, such as dry products!

Each category of products sold online have particularities that vary according to their nature or their quantity. No matter what you choose to sell on your e-commerce site, it is important to take your time to set up your storage policy. Also, take some time to select a logistician who listens to you and who knows how to adapt his actions according to your needs and your products. 

The storage stage in the logistics chain that should not be neglected, especially when you sell cosmetic products. So, think about entrusting this management to a logistics professional!

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