The fragrances industry is quite a specific business, concerning the production and distribution of extremely delicate items. It is for this reason that, in today's post, we will suggest how to properly take care of fulfilment in your fragrances ecommerce store.
What do you know about the fragrance and perfume industry?
What is your first thought when you think about perfume - is it a nice feeling? Mostly we think of these items as luxurious and expensive products, purchased occasionally. Sometimes they remind us of specific events or people close to us, and at other times relate to fearlessness and joy.
Not everyone knows that the fragrance industry is not only about perfumes and eau de toilettes, but also the creation of a wide range of other goods such as home fragrances, candles, cleaning products, detergents, and food. In this industry, a huge part of the business requires R&D departments whose job is to find and match scents for different items.
As we can read in the article "Customer and Market Segmentation in Fragrances and Perfumes" prepared by 440 Industries (an online learning platform),
the total market can be divided into three categories by type: perfumes, deodorants, and others. Despite the discrepancies caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected that the size of this market will be around $43.6 bn in 2026, up from an $42.1 bn in 2020. The projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for this segment is 3.4%.
Like many other sectors, the perfume industry sees potential in online sales and places increased focus on this business area.
Trends and opportunities for perfume ecommerce stores
It may seem that the perfume industry is a difficult sector when it comes to innovative developments and trends, especially in the area of online sales. Customers are used to choosing fragrances in brick-and-mortar shops with free access to testers. However, there are new opportunities to break this pattern that have already been recognised by clients.
This solution has already gained a circle of devoted fans across the entire cosmetics industry. Paying a monthly subscription to receive a drugstore parcel with samples of cosmetics, perfumes, and other beauty products has been a hit in recent years. Nowadays, fragrance companies appreciate the advantages of this solution because they can offer their customers a closer look at products, similar to the experience in drugstores. If a scent delights, there is a high probability that the client will purchase the full product.
This is another example of how technology is being used to overcome the limitations of mobility and closed shops. Since consultation with shop assistants is often a key aspect for shoppers, fragrance stores decided to bring this into the virtual world. Depending on the preferences of the business itself and the choices of their clients, consultations can take place one-on-one or in small groups (2-3 clients at the same time). Thanks to this concept, companies can keep their buyers interested in products, inform them about news, and invite them to purchase subscription boxes.
Visualisation of a scent
The big perfume companies are also constantly looking for modern solutions. One of these is a tool that acts as a perfume database. By scanning the QR code on a bottle or package, a potential customer can find out everything about a fragrance before they even smell it. This idea is also about a reinterpretation of the shopping experience in traditional shops. The project is currently being tested in the UK and Asia.
Now, customer expectations are quite similar regardless of the sector. They want above all to identify with the brands whose products they choose, which is why they like to support companies that clearly state their beliefs on crucial topics. Environmental issues and the proper treatment of animals are extremely important, for example.
In the case of perfumes, ingredients of animal origin used in their manufacture are of special importance. Although increasingly more fragrances can be obtained through combinations of other substances, it is not always possible to entirely remove all animal-derived components. As such, it is still quite difficult to find a vegan perfume. We can foresee that the number of people interested in eco- and animal-friendly perfumes will only continue to grow in time.
Best storage methods for fragrances & perfumes
During storage, it is important to keep in mind a few key points:
- Since perfumes, cologne, and deodorants are flammable products, the warehouse where they are stored should be equipped with adequate safety devices such as a fire alarm and a water supply system to extinguish flames;
- Storage of flammable products should be carried out according to the standards of the applicable legislation;
- The warehouse should ensure the correct storage temperature;
- The storage area should be dry, with controlled humidity measurement;
- The products should be individually packaged and not exposed to UV light.
How to choose the right type of packaging?
When dealing with glass bottles - as is the case with perfumes, eau de toilettes, and eau de colognes - it is most important to ensure that they are adequately protected during transport. The first stage is the pre-packaging, which is usually a paper carton. If the products sold in your ecommerce store do not have such packing materials, it is worth buying them.
An essential aspect of perfume packaging is choosing the right filling. For environmental reasons, biodegradable or recyclable materials are worth considering. Every product should be tightly wrapped in several layers of padding or bubble wrap to protect them from damage by shocks or bumps. As a precaution, absorbent material can also be placed in the package.
Size of box
The size of the parcel box should be slightly larger than the product as prepared previously in order to minimise the possibility of damaging the goods. Waterproof containers can be useful, but they are mainly for large shipments.
At the beginning of the article, we mentioned that perfumes are mainly treated as luxury goods. Most clients who wait for such shipments expect a pleasant experience. That's why it makes sense to ensure that the packaging is tailored to your brand. It's worth putting some effort into choosing or designing a box that stands out from the competition and will be remembered by shoppers.
There may be complications at this stage. As already mentioned, perfumes and colognes are qualified as dangerous products - due to their high alcohol content, they are described as flammable liquids. Because of this, depending on the country in question's specific regulations, shipments containing such products are usually treated with special precaution.
It is a fact that some individual carriers will not accept deliveries of parcels containing perfumes at all. If you choose to send these items by yourself, make sure that you have prepared everything you need to know: about the law, goods declaration, shipment labelling, and sometimes the necessary documentation you should provide. The shipping rules are the same for all, and the sender will be fully responsible for their completion.
International shipments certainly require more effort. Express shipments, which are sent by air freight, are out of the question. For fragrances this is considered too dangerous, therefore the most popular transport methods are road or rail transportation.
Very often, international shipments containing perfumes are subject to special requirements, e.g. the amount of liquids in one parcel cannot exceed 500-600 ml. There are also additional charges for shipping dangerous goods, and sometimes duty is payable as well. As a result, shipping costs tend to be higher than for other products.
In this situation, you should consider working with logistics operators who have the knowledge and experience to successfully carry out such deliveries, either shipped domestically or worldwide.
Returns policies for perfume: how to manage it?
Here, a lot depends on you and what kind of return policy you want to establish.
Many drugstores and perfume shops allow the return of opened perfumes. What is relevant is that they often include a few additional restrictions in their terms and conditions, such as return with a receipt and the original packaging. They also specify that the perfume may be tested with 1-2 sprays but should not be used more than that. The refund period usually varies from 14 days to even 3 months.
The rarest extremes are either brands that accept returns even after a product has been used a lot or those that only allow only sealed perfumes to be returned, so the range of possibilities in this area is quite large. It is sensible to take an open approach to clients here, because - despite one’s best efforts - choosing a favourite scent on the internet can turn out to be a mistake.
If you choose a fulfilment service, managing returns will certainly be easier and more cost-effective than without one. Firstly, customers will be able to send products directly to the warehouse. Secondly, if the contract is properly structured, the same carrier will be able to receive returns from customers and know how to handle such delicate shipments. This is a popular solution among online perfume shops.
How to manage fulfilment for the perfumes industry?
The availability of products and their internationality make excellent order fulfilment services that focus on customer satisfaction one of the most important aspects for standing out from the crowd in this sector.
Do you feel that some of the recommendations we have outlined would be a problem for you? Need help planning the fulfilment strategy for your business? We are here to help.
We aim to provide the best possible experience for your customers throughout the entire order fulfilment process. We will not only help you to find the best solutions, but also to optimise specific phases and choose the right partners.
With us you will release your potential:
- a single contract gives you a professional service for the entire logistics process;
- if you want to start selling internationally, you will get access to the intelligent Fulfilment Network;
- we provide support and expert advice from the beginning of our cooperation;
- technical assistance for the implementation and integration of our solutions.
How does this benefit your business?
- save time and creativity for what you specialise in;
- opens a new path of expansion for your ecommerce business;
- achieve a competitive advantage and grow.
What problems can we eliminate? No more:
- issues with poor order processing;
- unclear offers;
- searching for the right logistics operator;
- reliance on big, corporate players only.
Don’t wait, let us do the fulfilment for you.