3pl Logistics: Growing your Health & Beauty Business

As a 3pl logistics company, we know the importance of running a competent business with lots of moving parts. Deciding to go into business is a big decision. Knowing which industry to get into is also a big decision. How do you know where to focus your attention so that you get the best results? Well, one good tactic to focus on is demand.

Where there is demand, there is opportunity. You have made a wise choice for those who have gone into the industry of health and beauty products or at least are considering it. We want to help explain the ever-growing importance of this industry as well as how 3pl logistics will help to assist in this area of expanding your operations with ease.


Table of contents

1) Demand for health and beauty products in 2021

2) 3pl Logistics and Smart fulfilment provide business leverage in other areas

3) Brand control and custom packaging with 3pl logistics

4) The importance of organic and cruelty-free products

5) Health and Beauty Product Bundling



Over the last year, the health and beauty industry has seen explosive growth. One study has concluded that the UK health and beauty sector will reach £39.4 billion this year. This is an increase from £27 billion in 2020. Globally the market is predicted to reach a jaw-dropping £716 billion by 2025. The fastest-growing segment for health and beauty products is the online retail market, accounting for over half the total sales.

A Vouchercloud study has shown that the UK health and beauty market is one of the largest globally, just behind the Ukraine and Sweden. It’s important to note that even though the UK eCommerce market saw a reduction in sales from 2020 to 2021 by 6.1 %, it is still the third-largest eCommerce market in the world, just below the US and China.

Brick and Mortar VS Online Selling of Health & Beauty Products

Now with the more relaxed pandemic freedoms, more customers are flocking to traditional bricks and mortar stores. Trying on products before you buy is always a great incentive for consumers. However, because the online market is still so popular, many large companies have both a physical store and an eCommerce presence. In fact, eight of the largest online retailers also have a high street presence.

3pl warehouse, pick and pack warehouse, 3pl logistics

With high demand can also bring high competition, so online retailers need to be as efficient and transparent as possible with their products. For traditional walk-in stores, having the extra inventory on hand to ship and send your products to your loyal customer base will keep you competitive with other exclusive online brands, allowing you to leverage both sales channels.



Smart fulfilment refers to the technological practice and process of storing, managing, and sending products to your customers. 3pl logistics services allow businesses the freedom to focus on other areas of their business by leveraging our services.

In 2021 great health and beauty products are everywhere. We have the option to buy the identical product from various providers. So, why do some companies dominate and stand out from the others? Why do certain companies lead in this industry?

There are many reasons for this, but a significant reason is that these companies pay attention to more than simply offering great products. They also focus on branding, marketing, and personal service for better reach and a well-rounded 360-customer approach. Customer service is still a very critical element in a saturated post-modern online market.


Almost 90% of buyers are willing to pay more for improved customer experience


Another vital area of the business worth mentioning is fast delivery.

Quick delivery is a critical component of smart fulfilment it’s a result of optimal picking, packing, and final mile delivery. 1 to 2-day delivery provides a better D2C business relationship, encouraging future sales.

Companies that outsource to third-party logistics will have a leg up on the competition so that they can focus on all the other important areas of customer satisfaction. As you grow and scale your business and deal with recurring orders online, you will learn that automation is your best friend. Outsourcing to a 3pl will save you both money and time.


3PL logistics: Next-day delivery

If you read our article “The importance of next day delivery,” you will see that quick delivery is the new customer expectation. It is no longer a simple convenience, but I believe compulsory for businesses in 2021.


“49% of shoppers say that next-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online”


As a growing business, the ability to send more and more parcels gets more challenging as sales increase. Failing to meet the demand of delivery within 48 hours will quickly sink your business.


95% of customers tell others about a bad experience, and 87% share good experiences.


When you fail to despatch products in 1 – 2 days, you risk losing customers to another company that offers it. Next day delivery is a must.


Brand Control and Custom Packaging with 3PL Logistics

Outsourcing your health and beauty products to a 3pl provider is a wise decision. Before doing so, it may cause hesitancy to relinquish control.

You may have compared pricing with different companies, looked at warehouse locations, or feared losing brand control.

When you’ve invested so much time and energy into your business, you don’t want it to go to waste, right? Being hesitant is a normal reaction, but you don’t have to worry about that with 3pl logistics. Companies like Selazar take the time to handle your final product presentation and brand packaging with great care and meticulous attention to detail.

Brand packaging matters because customers associate with more than just the products. They also associate with values and pleasing aesthetics of the packaging. The most successful companies understand this.


“30% of businesses report an increase in revenue after improving product packaging”


With the right fulfilment partner, you don’t have to worry about these issues. You can remain steadfast with your brand control. You will always have complete brand control with every detail of your fulfilment process, generating and keeping loyal customers as always.


“43% of people spend more money on brands they’re loyal to”


One of the best health and beauty brands in the UK that fulfil with Selazar is Upcircle. You can see an example of their custom packaging below.



product bundling, upcircle products, order fulfilment, ecommerce fulfilment, brands that use a 3pl, third party logistics services, growing health and beauty industry 2021, uk health and beauty product shipping, 3pl warehouse, 3pl servicesUnfortunately, the evidence has shown that animal testing in the Health & beauty industry is staggering. Approximately 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer and die every year from animal testing in cosmetics alone. One company that is doing something about this is Cruelty-Free International. They gather signatures every day from regular consumers to prevent these cruel practices. They’ve collected millions of signatures from all over the world.


“A survey of over 15,000 women who buy beauty products concluded that 43% would stop using a beauty product that tested on animals.”


Why does this matter?

Well, it matters when working with similar value-centred, socially conscious companies. Growing your brand should also include a 3pl that knows the importance of responsible business practices. That’s why Selazar practices eco-friendly packaging and sustainability.

Eco-friendly packaging

Also known as “sustainable packaging” or “green packaging,” this Earth-friendly fulfilment alternative decreases our carbon footprint. The types of eco packaging supplies associated with green packaging are renewable materials that are safe and sustainable. This includes plastic-free materials, corrugated cardboard, and gummed tape.

“75% of Millennials are willing to pay more for an environmentally sustainable product, compared to 63% of Gen Z, 64% of Gen X, and 57% of Boomers”



Selling health and beauty products comes with all sorts of miscellaneous items like cremes, foundations, brushes, and more. Product bundling or kitting involves picking and packing multiple items and pre-packing them for dispatch Accurate projections are vital with the old-school way.

However in the new-school way, when customers place an order online through your website, our innovative packaging algorithm notifies the distribution warehouse to gather multiple items into a single order. Keeping your stock dynamic – like you!

So, if a customer likes the deal you’ve virtually created, we’ll grab the components and create the bundle at pick time. Making a real bundle to your unboxing specifications. Simple. Convenient. Effective.



The health and beauty industries are only going to get better it seems. Make sure you have the right service to help you grow steadily and easily. Automation and tech-first smart fulfilment operations are key to managing your products and brand. Let us know how we can help grow your health and beauty brand with 3pl logistics.

What is a 3pl and how do 3pl services help?

Definition -Scope of 3pls

A third-party logistics provider or 3pl is an external provider of eCommerce fulfilment services. The service provided can vary depending on the type of 3pl you’re working with. In most cases they handle warehousing, picking and packing, and connect with a courier for shipping. Couriers are also technically 3pl’s but tend to specialize in the physical movement of parcels from one location to another.  

Where did this type of service originate? 

3pl services arose in the 1970s and ’80s but were spin-offs from military logistics networks used in the mail order catalogue business, niche to say the least. It wasn’t until the rise of the internet and subsequently online shopping in the mid to late ’90s that brought about the data-driven intelligent systems we see today. 

Brick & Mortar offers an opportunity for customer experience not possible online. Smart business owners understand customer satisfaction leads to repeat business and strive for innovative ways to achieve positive reactions from customers. With the current state of affairs and the e-commerce boom underway here is an outline of one way you can improve your customer satisfaction – Using the right 3pl. 

Table of contents:

1. Definition – the scope of 3pl services
2. How third-party logistics work
3. The pros and cons of a 3pl
4. Critical decision – finding the right 3pl partner
5. Critical decision – When to use a 3pl
6. The innovation of 3pl services


How Third-Party Logistics Work

Now, as a business owner, you understand the terminology and what they entail at the highest level. Let’s dive a bit deeper and build a clear picture of the logistical operations a 3pl provides. 

 Some work from paper and others work from QR codes but essentially the components any fulfilment operation will need to handle are: 

  • Receiving 
  • Storing
  • Picking 
  • Packing
  • Shipping
  • Returns



Receiving is just that, the receipt of inventory into the warehouse. Your orders can’t be fulfilled without the product to do so. Most 3pl services will have some process or form to do this. Each form is unique, but they will all need certain types of information to handle your inventory correctly. Product SKU’s, box dimensions and weights, the total number of items, expected arrival date, fulfilment shipping begins to date. How this is handled is down to each company and they’re warehouse. 

Remember, during receiving large volumes of products are in motion. Moving items once could take hours, moving them multiple times could take days!

It is extremely important to understand your warehouse intake process as mistakes here can incur series fees. Especially in a time when the tracking and tracing of items are of critical importance to world health, you need to be on top of your game. 

We all want fast service, your customers and you included, getting the right labels on the right boxes can save you hundreds, potentially thousands of pounds. Don’t let your inventory be quarantined and your supply chain distributed over avoidable errors. For more info on avoiding hidden intake fee’s check out our article here.

Remember your service provider is your partner – speak to them when tricky situations present themselves, create an action plan to resolve the issue – ACTION THE PLAN! 



Storing your products safely and in an easy to process way comes next. There are many different systems and practice’s used, but the aim of the game here is to make the most popular items easily found and easily replenished. Hiding your #1 seller in an attic for safekeeping might sound like a good idea but the practicality of climbing your loft ladder every time it sells is a lot worse. 

How your products are stored depends entirely on the products themselves. From a legal perspective, we have the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 for guidance in the UK. Common sense dictates that smaller lighter items be placed higher and conversely heavier items closer to the floor. 

Some warehouses are fully insured or bonded, some have refrigeration or heat rooms. The diversity of warehouse setups matches the variety of products sold online. More specialised solutions will have higher costs. If you’re starting a new product line, consider how it will be stored and handled and the associated costs before launching it. A good 3pl partner will be able to give you some insight during your planning phase.  

The most important thing to understand is: Will this 3pl have the capacity for me now and into the future? Don’t partner with people who will hold you back later. Gear up for growth. 



Picking is the act of collecting products from storage locations and delivering them to a packing station. Lots of 3pl services use barcode scanners to digitally track inventory as it moves through the warehouse, however, we’ve found this to be limiting and slow. QR codes are the next evolution of this technology, holding a significant amount more information combined with a faster read time makes for an overall more efficient pick process. 

Some warehouses break up their space by a vendor, or by zones or by frequency of items picked. Selazar, being the innovators we are, has digitally mapped our entire warehouse. This allows our system to generate pick routes for staff, creating an extremely accurate and fast-passed warehouse. Not only that but we know exactly where every item is as they move through the multiple scan points in our operation.

Sounds simple but if miss-handled can lead to costly returns, slow order processing and unsatisfied customers. Not the headaches an expanding business need. Partner with the UK’s most accurate fulfilment service provider – US! 🙂 



Once delivered by the pick team to the pack station, customers’ orders are ready to be packaged up and prepared for shipping. Here is where additional inserts for customers can be included. As a savvy eCommerce operator, you’ve been wrestling with creating an amazing unboxing experience for your customers, this is where you need to drill down with your provider and see if they can handle your perfect package. Not only can the handle it but can they handle it at scale and full speed. 

There are many ways to pack orders depending on the materials available, the price point of your product, how fragile it is and its final destination. Some vendors see the value in ECO-packaging, others need their products delivered in exquisitely made branded boxes. Whatever your requirements are make sure they can be achieved. More importantly than that, find out what it takes to modify them at a later date! Ecomm is all about iteration and optimisation, don’t be hamstrung by outdated operations.

There is a practice of optimizing your shipments based on dimensional weight. Dimensional Weight (DIM) is the calculations carriers use to figure out the cost of each parcel shipped. Our partner Yodel has built this calculator which you can use to get an estimate of your shipping weights.

At Selazar, we work with clients to reduce their DIM and cut costs all along the supply chain. We’ve reduced shipping costs by a further 12% for clients by optimising their packaging size. We are happy to share our big picture expertise with our clients.  For more information about packaging and the true value of inserts, click here.



The last leg of order fulfilment is the shipping process. Third-party logistics providers typically purchase and print shipping labels for you. Some compare prices from all available carriers while others have pre-established partnerships and negotiated discounted rates on your behalf. 

Shipping comes down to delivery speed offered by your store in combination with the selection of the consumer. As eCommerce has developed and grown over the year’s customers are expecting high-speed accurate delivery. Some carriers are offering, in limited circumstances, next hour delivery alongside same day, 24hour and 48-hour services. The major drawback form online shopping is the delay from purchase to the receipt and the desire for instant gratification has driven the rise of these high-speed services. 52% of UK shoppers say that Next-Day delivery is the fast service they prefer. 



While most wouldn’t consider returns to be part of the order fulfilment process, we know this just isn’t true anymore. 30% of all eCommerce purchases are returned in comparison to less than 10% of brick and mortar purchases. As a result, returns can pose a major headache for online retailers. Not all 3pl’s can handle returns and even fewer can handle the complete process of prepping and reinjecting your inventory ready for re-sale. Make sure you understand exactly how your 3pl will handle returns, what are their limitations? This is especially important for fashion retailers as even higher than 30% of returns are common. 


The Pro’s and Con’s of Fulfilment Services

Reliable and hassle-free. Once set up your logistics headaches are no more. Let trained professionals deal with it. The right provider can save you money and give you the ability to enter new markets easily. Monitor your sales data in interesting ways and leverage industry-wide information to provide actionable insights. Other benefits include accurate inventory control and high-quality unboxing experience for your customers.

If you’re not at a scale sufficient enough to use a 3pl and you are, then wasted capital is a major concern. Having a bad 3pl provider can lead to headaches beyond control. Delivery windows are an important part of the online shopping experience and if you’re 3pl can’t handle your orders your customers and your business suffers. There also needs to be a high level of trust between you, the business owner and the 3pl service provider. Inventory is expensive and you have to trust in your third-party logistics provider to securely store that investment for you.

Critical Decision – Finding the Right Partner

With so many options and setups available choosing the right partner is the hardest part of any 3pl journey. You need to make sure the provider can handle your needs in the manner you wish. This takes communication and time. For a deeper dive into how to find the right partner for you check out – Finding the Right Fulfilment Partner


Critical Decision – When to use 3pl services

When considering if a 3pl is the right move for your business there are some important questions you should ask yourself. 

Are you fulfilling 20+ orders per day? 

Volume is a blessing and a curse. Obviously the more you are selling the better it is for your business. On the other hand, the more you sell the more you must fulfil, this can become overbearingly time-consuming and result in a negative effect in other areas of your business. If you don’t have time to run new campaigns, enter new markets and handle customer service requests your business will plateau and potentially decline. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by not outsourcing at the right time. 

Do you have space to continually store your inventory, is it cost-effective? 

It’s all about the numbers, here again, volume, that sweet cruel mistress. No one wants to jump over box’s to make a cup of tea in the morning, even less so if those boxes aren’t yours. Home storage, while cheap isn’t great. Liability and accident insurance may not cover the cost of your inventory should the worst happen. On the other hand, if you’re using a warehouse or office space to store product, how much is it costing you? Do you have the benefits of fulfilment to go along with that storage cost? Is it fully insured and secure? After investing hard found capital in inventory, improper storage could be the unravelling of your business. Protect your investment and ensure it’s stored safely and securely. 

Does your growth plan incorporate the increased demand put on your current fulfilment solution? 

As you grow and sales increase are you going to be;

1. Keeping enough stock on hand in your current storage solution? 

2. Process orders quickly enough and at your high standard to keep customer expectations and experience the best they can be? If you are personally picking and packing 20 orders a day, how long does it take? What happens when you’re doing 40, 60 or 100? At Selazar after talking with our amazing clients we’ve calculated approximately 5 hours saved each week.  5 hours a week,  what would you do with an extra 5 hours? Get some much-needed sleep? Get that new product online? Diversify into a new market? Get your globalization action plan implemented? Have a date night with a significant other? 

Things you need to know before choosing a 3pl

Intimate product knowledge is essential for effective operations. The specific details of products can have far-reaching implications. From where and how the product is stored through to which carriers can deliver your products all depends on the product specifications themselves. From a price point, the DIM mentioned above is an essential piece of information that will give an accurate picture of the costs associated. For operations, understanding your desired unboxing experience and how your products are shipped from suppliers let’s good partners find cost-effective solutions that work for you. 

The number of SKU’s and order volumes is also important figures for consideration. Providing this information upfront will encourage potential partners to act quickly and secure your business, potentially with more favourable conditions than otherwise offered. 

No matter which partner you choose, your products are still subject to the laws of the land. In the UK all carriers must adhere to Safety Data Sheet (SDS) formerly MSDS for shipping chemicals. At first, you might not think this applies to you but most cosmetics, alcohol/liquids and electronics (batteries) are covered by these regulations. For more in-depth information check out the HSE chemical classification guide here.

Author note* Have you ever wondered why batteries were not included with your Christmas present? This is why.

What service do you need to meet customer expectations? Good 3pl’s will have multiple service types and speeds available. The pricing for which will depend on the speed of service and shipping destination. If you want accurate pricing quotes, know what you want before engaging a potential partner. 

The more prepared you are for onboarding the smoother it will be. Smooth is fast and fast saves money! 

 The Innovation of 3pl

The amazing transformation of logistics into next hour delivery systems and we haven’t even got drones working yet (Read Author Observation, below if you want to know how drones are helping save lives through innovative logistics). The possibilities are endless and for the next-level customer experience, you need next-level customer service in addition to your products. Fulfilment is a factor in customer satisfaction. Ensure good results by using the right 3pl.

If you’re interested in more about how Selazar is the dynamic partner you’re looking for click here and choose how to contact us – email, phone or chat your choice.