Supplement and vitamin purchases online are booming. Especially since the pandemic, sales online of supplements associated with wellness and the immune system such as vitamin C have been soaring. In this competitive market, being seen as a trustworthy brand is crucial to building a community that will keep coming back for more.
As a supplements merchant, you will know that customers often have different purchasing habits when it comes to supplements compared to other e-commerce products. There is a high rate of re-purchase, sometimes even every month or on a subscription service. This means that managing your inventory is a top priority – to make sure that your products are always there when your community needs them.
The right third-party logistics (3PL) partner should understand that supplements might be temperature sensitive, can expire, and might be prone to different purchasing habits. They should understand therefore that you need comprehensive stock data and forecasting. But what exactly can you expect from the right provider?
What you will learn in this blog post:
- How to keep on top of your inventory with live data and forecasts
- How the right data can help you spot trends and create bundles
- Building trust to keep your customer coming back for more: making sure your stock ships undamaged and in your personalized packaging
- Why choose Hive as your fulfillment partner for food supplements
How to keep on top of your stock with live data and forecasts
The best brands thrive through community and retention: building a customer base that comes back for more every month. Supplements are often re-ordered when your customer’s personal supply is running low, so they need your products quickly. Making sure your stock is always available will prevent consumers from looking to competitors for similar products.
Live, comprehensive data is needed to keep an eye on your stock levels and expiry dates. In the Hive App, you always have access to live data on your SKUs. Our app is connected to your shop to give you real-time access to your inventory levels. You will also receive alerts when you need to reorder, as well as access to stock forecasting so that you can more accurately predict how much you should reorder and when.
Having more accurate forecasting will also make sure your products do not expire on the shelf. Although they are not perishable goods, most supplements have an expiry time of one to two years, so it is important to have an overview of when your stock was produced and sold. In addition to this, the temperature has an effect on how long your products stay good for, with higher temperatures meaning shorter expiration times. In Hive’s BIO-certified fulfillment centers, we fulfill a range of food supplements that need ambient temperatures and strive to make sure your products do not expire on the shelf.
How the right data can help you spot trends and create bundles
But real-time data is not only crucial for proper inventory management, it can also help scale your business by detecting trends. Having access to such extensive data can also help you to spot patterns and trends in your community’s purchasing habits. This can help you to tailor your marketing as well as your stock levels.
Keeping an eye on trends could also help you to recognize seasonal fluctuations and optimize when you restock accordingly. For example, do your sales for vitamin D rise in the winter? Or perhaps certain supplements peak around important events for your community such as a marathon? Using this data well can help you improve your seasonal restocking, as well as spot which products are often ordered together.
If you notice certain products being commonly ordered together, you could also consider creating a bundle. This can improve customer experience by allowing them to buy everything they need in a single bundle, or could increase your order value if you add something new to a bundle with commonly paired products.
Setting up bundles in the Hive app is easy. You can create a new SKU on Shopify for your bundle which we can import into our platform. From there, you can just select all the relevant SKUs according to your bundle preferences.
Being on top of your data means you can be responsive to your community’s needs in such a dynamic market.
Building trust to keep your customer coming back for more: making sure your stock ships undamaged and in your personalized packaging
But just being in stock is not enough to build a long-term relationship with your community. Customer retention is crucial in the supplements industry and this comes with building a relationship of trust and reliability. At Hive, we want to make sure your supplements brand is recognized as such. We can do this in several ways, here are a few:
Quality check upon inventory arrival
When your stock arrives at our fulfillment center from your supplier, we will carefully check it to ensure there is no damage to your products. If something does not look right, our Customer Experience team (CX) will send you photos and discuss what to do next. We make sure you are always in control of the decision of what to do with damaged products from the supplier.
Additionally, if there are any recurring problems with damage during delivery, we can be quickly responsive to any changes in packaging needs or advise you on best practices.
Amaze your customers with personalized packaging
You can choose your own custom packaging which is a fit for your brand’s needs, or alternatively use some of our Hive brown boxes. We can also include a flier in the order and customize this depending on factors such as country of purchase. Or you could even add a flier as an SKU attached to a bundle, to provide more detailed information about the specific bundle and its health benefits.
Keep your customers in the loop with our end customer app
In our end-customer app, your customers can check up on their orders and track them, as well as change their address. This transparent communication helps your customer feel in control of their order and provides a seamless experience, keeping them in the loop from when they click buy, to their parcel arriving at their door.
Why choose Hive as your fulfillment partner for food supplements?
In summary: Hive is an experienced 3PL provider for supplements, here to make sure your brand is always seen as trustworthy and reliable. The live data in our merchant app will make sure you always have a comprehensive overview of your inventory, and allow you to make accurate stock forecasts.
We are keeping our eyes on the incredible growth of the food supplements industry. We want to see you grow, too.