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Subscription Box Fulfillment: A Beauty Box Case Study

Subscription boxes are a booming business. The global subscription box market reached a value of $18.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow by 20.1% during 2021 and through 2026.

When a monthly subscription box business known for well-curated beauty products and providing a personalized customer experience experienced a surge in subscribers, they found themselves overwhelmed as their in-house fulfillment processes simply couldn’t keep up.

The rapidly growing beauty box business turned to the e-commerce fulfillment experts at GLF for help creating a solution for inventory management, kitting and assembly, and shipping.

After learning their business goals, challenges and existing processes, the GLF team created a customized order fulfillment solution that allowed the subscription box to stay focused on what they do best: curating subscription boxes their members crave and providing a flawless experience for their subscribers.

Here’s how.

GLF_EcommerceFulfillment

Real-Time Inventory Reporting

Who loves inventory management? Ok, that one person over there. But for most of our subscription box customers, it’s a major pain point.

Precisely managing inventory was business-critical to this customer as there is little-to-no room for error in the highly-competitive beauty box business. Additionally, this customer wanted complete visibility of their inventory, including real-time data and historical reporting for forecasting demand and benchmarking success.

The GLF team learned their existing processes for inventory management and immediately got to work on creating a seamless integration between their storefront and GLF’s inventory management software. This seamless integration enabled them with full oversight of their inventory operations and allowed them to identify manufacturing turn times and use projected and historical volume to determine ideal inventory levels for their products. Further, the integration was set up and running within 48 hours, well in advance of the customer’s inventory arriving at the GLF warehouse, avoiding any disruptions or delays to their order supply chain.

Kitting and Assembly

An efficient kitting and assembly process ensures that subscription boxes get out the door quickly and accurately–especially when dealing with a high volume of orders.

Kitting is the assembly of two or more different items into one offering, like shampoo and conditioner, and assigning them a single SKU. Assembly is the process of arranging the individual items in the kit.

A well-orchestrated kitting and assembly process can save substantial amounts of time and resources.

Since it was extremely important to this customer that their surge in demand didn’t also result in a surge in errors, they relied on GLF’s 20 years of experience in subscription box fulfillment to create a custom solution for kitting and assembly of their subscription boxes that ensured order accuracy and consistent delivery times.

Pre-kitting and pre-assembling strategies will make fulfilling peak season demand hassle-free. For example, kitting and assembling items ahead of time, rather than one by one as orders come in, streamlines the entire fulfillment process.

Personalized Experiences

Providing a personalized experience is a differentiator these days. It's expected, especially among beauty box subscribers, who are looking for products and information relevant to their unique beauty needs.

  • 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
  • 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing.
  • 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

Given their stellar reputation for providing a personalized experience to their customers, it was critical to find a fulfillment partner that understood the importance of personalizing the customer journey. This beauty box business leveraged the capabilities of GLF’s marketing fulfillment division to add targeted, high-quality print marketing materials to each box, including:

  • Ingredient lists and product information.
  • Application tips for cosmetics.
  • Instruction guides for bath and body products.
  • Discounts and special offers for future purchases.

Additionally, GLF’s marketing fulfillment division worked hand-in-hand with the customer’s marketing team to develop and implement a custom direct mail campaign as part of their integrated marketing strategy. Leveraging variable data printing technology, they mailed personalized postcards thanking them for their business and providing them with a unique, personalized QR code to receive a seasonal offer based on the preferences they provided when they signed up. They were also able to provide feedback on their most recent subscription box.

Efficient and Cost-Effective Shipping Solutions

Since a subscription box contains items of different sizes and weights, which can vary month-to-month, managing shipping costs was a challenge for this business. They were frustrated by unplanned spikes in delivery costs when boxes weighed more or less month-over-month, and were looking for guidance to avoid these unexpected costs.

With 20 years of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF has long-established relationships with domestic carriers. As such, GLF provided guidance on the most efficient and reliable shipping solutions for their business and customer base. Additionally, GLF’s global logistics division simplified the challenges they were having with international shipments by developing a customized solution for international orders that was fast and cost-effective.

Grow Your Subscription Box Business with GLF E-Commerce Fulfillment

With decades of experience in e-commerce fulfillment, GLF takes pride in offering transparent pricing, unmatched reliability and personalized services. Our team takes the time upfront to learn your business and work with you as a proactive partner to create personalized solutions that sync with your processes.

If you're looking for a partner to grow your subscription box business, contact our team of fulfillment experts today.

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