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UK Skincare brand 5kind reduces operating costs by 12% by using MCF

Image of 3 5kind extra strong hemp cream black jars on white towels with a white background
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Finding a single 3PL to manage operations across the globe

The beauty and personal care industry is surging in popularity, with revenue expected to total US$579.20 billion in 2023 and a 3.53% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecasted over the next five years. Across the wide range of self-care products in this market, many consumers are leaning toward those made with natural or organic ingredients. In fact, over 65% of consumers are looking for environmentally-friendly brands, and 55% are open to paying more for sustainable products. With this recent trend gaining momentum, Guy Burt, the founder of 5kind, saw an opportunity.

Burt was seeking a lotion to use after exercising that wasn’t full of chemicals, like parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, or petrolatum. When he couldn’t find a product that fit his needs, he established 5kind.

Devoted to quality and using natural ingredients, 5kind is a skincare brand focused on providing massage-based products like gels and creams that have soothing and moisturizing effects. The company’s most popular product is the Hemp Active Gel, a natural massage gel.

This small business – which manufactures its products in Europe – started off selling on Amazon.com. After its initial success, Burt and his team decided that they not only wanted to increase their portfolio of products, but also expand to new online sales channels and countries.

As the company grew, Burt and the 5kind team worked with multiple third-party logistics (3PL) providers to run the business’ logistics operations, like inventory management, order fulfillment, and shipping. But partnering with several 3PLs and managing various stock pools across Europe was complex, and the company started to encounter issues with its 3PL providers missing orders.

Burt soon realized he needed to simplify his business operations by partnering with a single 3PL that could scale with 5kind and also offer:

  • Fast click to delivery speeds for customers: 5kind needed a 3PL with a fulfillment network that spanned Europe and the US to ensure fast order fulfillment times and minimize Customs delays.
  • Optimized inventory management: As 5kind expanded across geographies, coordinating inventory levels became a major pain point for Burt’s business. He needed help consolidating inventory to make forecasting and order management easier.
  • Multi-channel fulfillment capabilities: 5kind was seeking a 3PL with the infrastructure and personnel to handle order fulfillment for its existing sales channels, and the ability to scale if they decided to expand to new channels in the future.

“We wanted to build up our presence across Europe, but we really didn’t want to overcomplicate our supply chain. We needed a 3PL provider that could relieve us of the burden of managing intricate operations, reduce the risk of our supply chain failing during peak season, and make our lives easier. We knew switching 3PLs would impact how we run our business, so it was a big decision,” explained Burt.

Stay up to date with new Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment features, best practices, and more.

Enabling inventory consolidation, automated fulfillment

Burt discovered Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF), a 3PL that provides fast, reliable order fulfillment for off-Amazon channels. MCF offers a multitude of benefits, such as an easy setup, for Amazon sellers like him. In fact, Amazon sellers in the US who use both MCF and FBA for order fulfillment have been able to increase their Amazon.com sales revenue by 38% on average, while Amazon sellers in the UK have been able to increase their Amazon.co.uk sales revenue by 29% on average.

Burt knew MCF was the right 3PL for his business because it provides:

  • Fast, reliable delivery performance: MCF consistently delights customers with a >97% on-time delivery rate in the US and a “click-to-door speed” of 1.9 days globally – over 50% faster than other retailers.
  • A connected, global network: Ecommerce businesses are able to leverage the world’s largest fulfillment network, including more than 200 fulfillment centers, by using MCF.
  • A single inventory pool: Amazon sellers can utilize their Amazon inventory to fulfill orders placed on Amazon.com (with FBA) and off-Amazon channels (with MCF).
  • State-of-the-art ecommerce integrations: With 100+ integrations to choose from, MCF empowers merchants to automate their order fulfillment process.

“Our previous 3PL was very unreliable, which was frustrating for both us and our customers. And the last thing we wanted to do was let down our customers, who are the backbone of our business. However, now that we’ve started using MCF, we won’t go back. It’s a world of a difference, and our business is better off for it,” said Burt.

5kind uses an integration with ecommerce solution provider, WebBee, to seamlessly connect MCF with its back-end system on Shopify, where the company not only hosts its brand website, but also feeds in orders placed on other channels. Now, when an order is placed on any of 5kind’s online sales channels, it is routed to MCF for fulfillment. Integrating with MCF also ensures tracking information is automatically sent from MCF to Shopify, to keep customers informed of their delivery status. With an average of 700 orders a month, Burt no longer needs to manually submit orders and can focus on other aspects of his business, like product development and marketing.

Burt said, “All of our orders, no matter where they’re placed, feed into our back-end system on Shopify. Connecting MCF to Shopify with WebBee was simple, enabling all of our order fulfillment to be completely automated. We don’t have to worry about managing multiple apps and trying to get them all to communicate. Our workflow is now incredibly easy and streamlined.”

Image of 2 5kind facial line smoothing mask packets laying on a white background

Accelerating global expansion with reduced operating costs
We would absolutely recommend MCF to any growing business, especially in the beauty and personal care space. MCF is consistent, even during peak periods, which is a priority for us and our customers. The ease with which we operate now has allowed us to grow substantially. We really can’t thank MCF enough for our business’ success, and look forward to continue using MCF as our 3PL of choice.
Guy Burt Founder of 5kind

With the help of MCF, 5kind has transformed itself into a truly global company, selling its skincare products across 9 countries and 5 different online sales channels. From using MCF since 2020, Burt has realized significant improvements, including:

  • More efficient operations: Inventory management was made easy for 5kind with MCF since the company could consolidate its stock into a single pool. 5kind simply sends its inventory to Amazon and the products are automatically distributed across the Amazon fulfillment network with Pan-European FBA.
  • Improved customer experience: With MCF, 5kind is able to delight customers with an average click-to-delivery speed of 1.06 business days and a 99.85% on-time delivery rate.
  • Significant cost savings: With MCF, 5kind has been able to reduce operating costs by 12% by avoiding cross-border fees and the operational costs associated with managing multiple stock locations.

Burt aims to continue offering top-quality natural personal care products across Europe and the US, with plans to launch new products in the future. As 5Kind embarks on this next phase of its growth, MCF will be there to support the skincare company every step of the way.

“We would absolutely recommend MCF to any growing business, especially in the beauty and personal care space. MCF is consistent, even during peak periods, which is a priority for us and our customers. The ease with which we operate now has allowed us to grow substantially. We really can’t thank MCF enough for our business’ success, and look forward to continue using MCF as our 3PL of choice.”

Tags:  Case Study, Amazon sellers, Ecommerce, Small & Medium Businesses, WebBee, Multi-Channel Fulfillment
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