PostNord/Direct Link has published a report on E-commerce in which we can learn about a growing proportion of consumers annually who shop for beauty and cosmetics online. E-commerce and beauty products is a perfect match in Scandinavia.
The industry has developed strongly in terms of the way to expose and market their offer visually online. In addition, most of the products bought online are light in weight and volume and can often be delivered directly to the recipient’s mailbox.
The Nordic region’s leading cosmetics chain, Kicks, aims to reach customers through all channels. The physical store works together with the online store, iPad and mobile app to make the buying process go as smoothly as possible.
Omni-channel is all about creating a seamless purchasing experience as consumers move between physical stores, online stores and mobile apps. Kicks has approx. 250 stores in Sweden, Norway and Finland, and paved the way for successful omni-channel collaboration prior to the cosmetics chain’s launch of its online store four years ago.
“When we launched the website, we had already thought about what we wanted. A vision was in place of how we wanted things to be going forward, and that’s really important,” says Jenny Vesterlund, director of Business Omichannel Logistics at Kicks.
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How Kicks works with Omni-channel
The common vision made it possible to bring along the whole organization. “It is very important to bring the physical stores along with you too. We have around a thousand salespeople; that’s quite a lot of people.”
At all the physical Kicks stores in Sweden and Norway, an iPad is used both to display reviews and ratings of products online and to order items on the internet if the store has run out.
“Then the customer can pay at the checkout and decide for themselves whether they want to have the item sent to their home or pick it up from one of our stores,” says Jenny Vesterlund.
Mobile phones play an important role
The mobile channel is important too. Kicks’ mobile app includes a scanning function. For example, if you run out of shower gel, you can scan the bar-code on your empty bottle, log into the app and smoothly complete your purchase.
“You have the option of saving your bank card details so you don’t need to enter any card numbers. Then you go through checkout in three clicks and you can have your shower gel in your hand the next day.”
Arne Andersson, e-commerce expert at PostNord, believes that the driving force behind Omni-channel is the consumer’s exacting demands when it comes to comfort and accessibility.
“The buying experience at Kicks is an example of this. It is streamlined, and, as a customer, I can choose whether I want to collect something from a store, a pick-up point or have it delivered to my mail box.”
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What challenges are connected to starting to use Omni-channel?
“Often it’s the warehousing issue. Should you have a separate e-commerce warehouse or a hybrid warehouse combined with your ordinary central warehouse? This is very closely connected to business systems and how these are linked to the stock system, the ordering system and the checkout system in the stores. The checkout system is important because it often functions like a hub when it comes to managing this flexibility of choice,” says Arne Andersson.
E-commerce and Beauty Products – A Perfect Match in Scandinavia – Facts
How Kicks’ channels work together
Physical stores: Approx. 250 stores in Sweden, Norway and Finland
Online stores: In Sweden and Norway.
Mobile app: Kicks has a mobile app that allows the consumer to scan the barcode on an empty product’s packaging and then easily order a new product.
iPad: In every physical store in Sweden and Norway there is at least one iPad on which it is possible to view a product’s ingredients, ratings and reviews, as well as order it online if the store has run out.
Delivery options: PostNord manages flows to e-commerce customers in Sweden. “Consumers can decide for themselves whether they want to collect their package from one of Kicks’ physical stores, from a PostNord pick-up point or have it sent to their home address.”
What may be sent?
If you send contents that are not permitted, the mail item may be stopped by PostNord or customs if it is being sent outside the EU. Here you will find examples of what you are and are not permitted to send.
If you send contents that are not permitted, the mail item may be stopped by PostNord or customs if it is being sent outside the EU.
You are not permitted to send items or substances classed as dangerous goods. With certain services, what is known as a limited amount of dangerous goods may be sent. Shipments sent by air may be subject to particular limitations.
The sender is responsible for ensuring that it is permitted to send the contents of a shipment.
What are dangerous goods?
Here are a few examples of content that you are not permitted to send.
Cold and heat
Goods that need cold storage so as not to shorten their shelf life. Exceptions: Goods packed in dry ice as per IATA’s packing instructions.
Dead or living animals
Read more about general exceptions and dead animals to be sent to SVA – the Swedish National Veterinary Institute and the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
General exceptions: Bees, leeches, silkworms, fruit flies of the Drosophilidae family, and parasites and destroyers of insect pests being sent between officially recognized institutions.
Exceptions – PostNord Parcel: Dead animals to be sent to SVA – the Swedish National Veterinary Institute and the Swedish Museum of Natural History. They should be packed as per the instructions on the respective website and sent using the PostNord Parcel. If approved packaging is not sent as per the instructions, the parcel is returned to the sender.
Valuables include gold, silver, gemstones, coins, notes and securities.
Weapons and weapon components, and copies of these
Exception – Värde: Weapons and weapon components sent within Sweden using the Värde service.
Narcotics and drugs
You are not permitted to send items or substances classed as dangerous goods. With certain services, what is known as a limited amount of dangerous goods may be sent. You can get more information on dangerous goods from MSB – Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.
Examples of contents classed as dangerous goods:
blasting caps for toy guns
Compressed, condensed gases
Fire extinguishers that contain gases under pressure
Aerosol products/spray cans
Spontaneously combustible substances and substances that emit gas on contact with water, e.g. matches
Material that becomes dangerous when wet
Oxidizing agents and organic peroxides
Substances easily ignited by oxygen
Hair and textile dyes
Some bleaching agents/powders
Some glues and binders
Poisons, medicines and toxins, including drugs
Toxic and infectious substances
Category A infectious substances, UN 2814 and UN 2900
Exceptions: UN 3373 Biological substances Category B may be sent provided they are packed in accordance with ICAO-TI and IATA-DGR packing instruction PI 650.
Medical samples or research samples that contain radioactive substances
Corrosive cleaning fluids
Corrosive rust prevention and removal agents
Instruments containing mercury or battery fluids
Miscellaneous hazardous materials
Materials that have soporific, harmful, toxic or other properties and that can cause major discomfort if they leak
Materials that are strongly magnetic
Mail items that contain batteries
Exceptions – International mail: Max. 2 lithium batteries or 4 lithium cells may be sent in international mail, and they must then be installed in the equipment and packed as per PI 967 or PI 970, section II in the ICAO regulations.
Please note that the following countries do not accept lithium batteries or lithium cells: China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Laos, Madagascar.
E-commerce and Beauty Products – A Perfect Match in Scandinavia, adapted from PostNord’s website.