Pretty Skin 4 LessDoubling Annual Sales with Multiple Distribution Centers

Company Overview

Pretty Skin 4 Less started in 2001 when Nate Hult and his wife, Meredith, partnered with a laser skin care treatment center to provide patients with top brand names in the skin care industry. During a slow business period, Pretty Skin 4 Less needed to get rid of certain products before they expired and decided to sell some of its inventory on eBay. The products sold quickly, and Pretty Skin 4 Less realized that eBay was a good market for skin care products. By November 2003, Pretty Skin 4 Less began focusing most of its time on its online business.

The Situation

Pretty Skin 4 Less’ strategy was to expand on marketplaces to generate more e-commerce sales. Having grown its cosmetic line, the company began using three distribution centers — in Utah, Chicago and Arizona — to lower the turnaround time for shipping. However, without an efficient e-commerce system in place that could help with inventory management, overselling became an issue. Additionally, tracking inventory at the three distribution centers was a hassle, which led to issues with updating product listings on eBay.

“Keeping up with all the moving parts was complex, and we were manually making changes to inventory and prices on eBay,” said Hult. “Overselling was a problem, and it also caused us to undersell. If we were listing a product on eBay, we wouldn’t sell it on our website because of the risk of overselling and running out of inventory. We lacked a methodical approach.”

Pretty Skin 4 Less started using an e-commerce solution provider to help organize its online selling process, but the relationship wasn’t sustainable. “The provider we used met our needs for the first couple of years, but then we outgrew them,” said Hult. “They weren’t helping us meet new requirements on marketplaces as they were changing. They didn’t have the infrastructure we needed.”

The Solution

After parting ways with its previous provider, Pretty Skin 4 Less started using ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces to help restructure its online business and expand its product exposure. ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces provided Pretty Skin 4 Less with a one-touch interface system so the company could monitor inventory, evaluate its performance on marketplaces and make educated business decisions based on data.

“ChannelAdvisor gave us a systematic approach to e-commerce and provided us with the metrics we needed to make educated business decisions,” said Hult. “They helped us forecast how many products to purchase and list on marketplaces.”

Pretty Skin 4 Less started using ChannelAdvisor’s Multiple Distribution Centers (MDC) feature to accurately track its product quantity at each fulfillment center. The MDC feature prevented Pretty Skin 4 Less from overselling by tracking stock levels at each distribution center, and ensured that the company could route orders to the correct warehouse. Based on configurations that Pretty Skin 4 Less has set for fulfillment, the MDC feature automatically assigns and prioritizes distribution centers to new orders.

“It’s been much easier to monitor our product quantity at each fulfillment center,” said Hult. “If I want to know my inventory levels at a certain warehouse, I can run a report. I can prioritize orders based on proximity.”

With ChannelAdvisor, Pretty Skin 4 Less was able to broaden its scope beyond eBay and sell on additional marketplaces such as Amazon, Newegg, Rakuten.com Shopping and Sears. Additionally, ChannelAdvisor’s integration with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has provided Pretty Skin 4 Less with another location to store inventory.

“Now, eBay is a small percentage of our business, and Amazon is one of our biggest revenue drivers,” said Hult. “Using FBA has been a huge benefit for us as well. If we receive an order for a product that isn’t in stock at the buyer’s closest distribution center, we can ship the product using an Amazon fulfillment center.”

The Results

“Since using ChannelAdvisor, we’ve more than doubled our annual sales, and our average order volume per day has nearly quadrupled,” said Hult. Because of the ChannelAdvisor MDC feature and the automation of product listings on marketplaces, Pretty Skin 4 Less has been able to scale its business and accelerate its shipping process without hiring any additional employees.

“Even though we’ve grown substantially, we haven’t added to our headcount,” said Hult. “Before ChannelAdvisor, all we knew was eBay. We had no idea what the rest of the landscape looked like. By using ChannelAdvisor, we can focus on what we know best, which is sourcing new skin care products and creating promotions for products.”

After seeing success on ChannelAdvisor Marketplaces, Pretty Skin 4 Less started using ChannelAdvisor Digital Marketing to help drive traffic to its website through comparison shopping engines (CSEs). ChannelAdvisor’s Flex Feed technology translates Pretty Skin 4 Less’ product feed across various digital marketing channels, allowing the company to explore additional feed-based destinations.

“Using a one-touch system for Digital Marketing is incredible because I don’t have to manually upload our feed to multiple online advertising channels,” said Hult. “Previously, I had to create an algorithm to see if our Google Ads were making money, which took a lot of time. ChannelAdvisor condenses all that information into one view so I can go in and see how much I want to spend on each keyword.”

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