The global e-commerce market for fashion accessories is predicted to reach more than $180 billion worldwide in the next few years and is expected to grow annually at 14% until 2028.
In fact, the fashion accessories segment is one of the biggest, particularly when it comes to e-commerce or online selling.
Looking at these numbers, we can see that fashion accessories will require logistics solutions specific to this industry.
Logistics for fashion accessories may generally not be that much different from other products. However, there are certain nuances and unique characteristics that should be considered when we talk about logistics for fashion accessories.
Logistics is often defined as the process of managing how resources are acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination (which is the customer). It also involves the management of multiple distributors and suppliers.
As a budding fashion accessory store, you might need to know some of the best practices when it comes to logistics. It is also worth noting that the technology for logistics is also continually evolving, which online fashion stores must also take note of.
In this piece, we will look at the top 10 logistics tips for fashion accessories stores that online companies—whether an individual seller or a seasoned online store—can use to allow the online business to thrive.
We have to note that some of the tips we will discuss are often intertwined and might overlap.
Logistics is such an important and complicated facet of online selling, but we will try to simplify some of the tips. We will also try to simplify business concepts as they relate to logistics.
Top 10 Logistics Tips
1. Know your products
The online fashion accessory industry covers a very wide range of products—from sunglasses, scarves, watches, jewelry, etc. Thus, you need to spend a bit of effort to focus on which products you are going to push in the market. Knowing your products will then allow you to know the logistical requirements for your online store.
For instance, if you are into jewelry and watches, you might need to focus on a logistics partner that can provide protection for your products. Will you need special packaging? Do you have conditions and/or restrictions when it comes to your products? These are just a few questions that you will need to answer when it comes to logistics for your fashion accessories virtual store.
From a logistics point of view, you can then determine logistical information such as the size of the product packages, the weight of the product, storage requirements, and warehouse conditions. Knowing which of your products are more in demand will also be important, when it comes to logistics.
Your mode of payment (still part of logistics) would also have to be customized to protect your customer and your online store as well.
You might also want to keep track of trends and what’s “hot” in the market. This can be tricky, as some trends may only last for a few months.
2. Personalize and know your customers
Customers are a picky bunch and can be sometimes difficult to please. And when we talk about customers, you can also throw in some personalized services to improve customer experience and satisfaction.
For many online businesses, personalization has been key to success. Personalization may mean your online store can provide unique services to a particular set of customers, or individualized service to individual customers. The goal is to improve the shopping experience by making your customers feel special and valued.
However, there is a caveat: there should be a healthy balance between personalization and privacy. Be wary of sending or showing customers products that they previously bought or showed interest to. Spamming is a major turn-off and should be avoided.
Logistics comes in because personalization may mean you also would want to know your customers—including their preferences, etc.—so that you can use the right product packaging, etc.
3. Consider outsourcing
Outsourcing logistics for fashion accessories might also be a viable option for your online storefront. There are concrete benefits from outsourcing, particularly when it comes to efficiency. Outsourced logistics can take care of the packaging.
However, you might need to spend a bit of time shopping around for logistics companies that can offer specialized services depending on your needs.
If we can go back to watches, for example, you would want a logistics partner that has a proven track record of handling and managing fragile or sensitive products. Packaging should be aligned with the products when it comes to protection.
Outsourcing logistics for fashion accessories might also be a bit tricky, as you are now allowing a third party to have some creative control of your product packaging, so doing your research becomes even more important.
4. Look for a 3PL partner
Related to the previous item, you might also need to spend some effort looking for a third-party logistics (3PL) company.
Although most—if not all—online sellers can no longer do without a logistics partner, having a 3PL partner that can provide services specific to an online fashion accessories store will pay off.
There are some specific factors that you might want to look into when selecting your 3PL.
You might need to look for a 3PL that can offer reasonable pricing if cost is a concern. You might go with a 3PL with “flexible” pricing. This can be pretty helpful, particularly if you are just starting out on your online business. Just to be safe, you might want to look for a 3PL partner with a proven industry track record.
Doing market research can be tedious, but the savings—and profits–in the long run might be worth it.
Budgeting is also a major factor, as you need to conduct a simple cost-benefit analysis when it comes to partnering with a 3PL.
5. Study and plan for sale seasons
Whether you’re a new online seller or a seasoned e-commerce whiz, sale seasons will always be an important part of your business strategy.
When it comes to logistics for fashion accessories, sale seasons are even more important, and you can expect more customers to splurge. The challenge then is how to take advantage of sale seasons and how to effectively make use of logistics to your advantage.
First, all the major sale seasons—from Christmas, Valentine’s, Black Friday, etc.—will mean a potential windfall and huge volumes of orders.
Planning for logistics for your fashion accessories e-commerce store may mean preparing for the orders, studying which products will have huge demand, and preparing your logistics strategy including packaging, shipping, etc.
Of course, sale season may also mean you need to craft promotions such as discounts, to attract even more customers. Bottomline is, your 3PL partner should be able to accommodate your needs, particularly in a busy sale season to maximize your profits.
6. Consider the resale market
Here are a few fun facts: The resale market is steadily rising, with the global secondhand market expected to reach a massive $350 billion in 2027. Another industry report said this segment grew at a rate of 24% last year.
Resale for fashion and accessories is also expected to grow. Many of the largest fashion companies often refer to “resale” as a “circular” business model. No matter the term, even small online store startups can take advantage of this.
In fact, many individual sellers often focus only on “preloved” items that they often sell online or through “live” social media channels. Logistics for fashion accessories in the resale space may mean having to store your inventory and having an eye for discount sales, upselling, buy-and-sell strategies, etc.
7. Focus on planning
Planning for logistics for fashion accessories might be an overarching strategy that is absolutely necessary for your online business.
Let’s try to simplify planning to include a few ideas and some tried-and-tested strategies.
First, planning may mean forecasting and projection, particularly for the fashion accessories you are pushing for. During the peak season for instance, you will need to plan for items that you project to be in demand.
For example, watches may be in demand during Christmas. Thus, you might need to stock up on your inventory. You might need to conduct an audit of your inventory and replenish your online shelves.
Some online companies do this months before the actual sale season. One reason for this is some companies, your suppliers might not be able to fulfill your orders because of the spike in demand. Planning early thus has value, when it comes to sales or peak seasons.
Also, you can factor in that logistics—freight, deliveries, etc— might also spike, so having the right preparations will surely pay off.
8. Focus on a shipping strategy
One of the biggest issues when it comes to logistics for fashion accessories—or for e-commerce in general—is shipping.
Shipping covers so many variables, but the goal is the same: reduce delays and cut shipping costs.
As an online seller, perhaps you can focus on making sure your 3PL covers the basics. Your 3PL partner should have the necessary resources—trucking, warehousing, distribution network, etc—to avoid or minimize delays.
Online sellers often encounter shipping concerns during peak seasons when the demand rises to levels that can be unpredictable. Thus, your logistics strategy should include planning on how to cope with surges or sudden increases in volume, etc.
9. Look at logistics technologies
Choosing your 3PL partner may also mean spending a bit of time looking at the technologies currently used for logistics. Of course, 3PLs will be more than happy to tell you about the technologies they are using, however, it is still might be worth it if you do your own research.
Automation, real-time tracking, online management, etc. may now be staples of 3PLs but there are still new technologies that you might want to look into.
One technology that you might want to check out is artificial intelligence (AI). This technology has been in use for many years, but it is only fairly recently that logistics companies have been using it rather extensively.
If you’re an online fashion accessories store, perhaps it would be worth it to find out your 3PL partner’s future plans for technology, which, in turn, might have an impact on your own online business.
From a marketing standpoint, many companies are now looking at the metaverse and augmented reality or AR. How will these technologies affect your business? Can you take advantage of these emerging platforms? As of the moment, perhaps it is best to wait and see before you take the plunge.
10. Focus on sustainability
Although this tip might fall under business strategies, being sustainable can also be a worthy part of your logistics plan for your fashion accessories online store.
What do we mean by “sustainability?” To simplify, this concept means using eco-friendly and sustainable products. When it comes to logistics, your 3PL partner should be able to provide sustainable options when it comes to product packaging, etc.
Sustainability is also a worthy business proposition, according to an industry analysis. A report said more than 40% of customers all across the globe often opt to buy eco-friendly and sustainable products. Interestingly, the same report said many online shoppers in Vietnam, India, and the Philippines prefer sustainable products more often.
Sustainability, nowadays, is no longer a fad. There is real money to be made. Aside from profits, you can also do your own thing when it comes to saving the environment.
Logistics for fashion accessories—like any other e-commerce or online business segment—can be challenging. There is a lot to consider including customer preferences, products, personalization, technologies, trends, etc.
Selecting a worthy 3PL partner is a major component of your logistics strategy, but it is just one of the considerations that you need to carefully look into.
But the bottom line is the fashion accessories industry is customer-centric, thus, your logistics strategy or needs should be able to zoom in on what will make your customers happy and satisfied.