Online Retailers and the Supply Chain

Moreover, the advent of the digital marketplace has had a profound impact on the ways in which beauty supply channels operate. E.l.f. Cosmetics, a company that initially flourished online, understands this maxim perhaps better than any other cosmetic company.

The brand, which was founded in 2004, began solely as an online retailer; products could thus be shipped directly from the warehouse to the consumer, effectively bypassing the retailer. Thus, the distance between manufacturer and consumer was dramatically narrowed, so products could be delivered to consumers with remarkable speed. Since then, the brand has been adopted by many brick-and-mortar retailers. Pursuing a multiple-channel distribution strategy has thus helped to make E.l.f. one of the fastest growing beauty companies in the United States.

What the Future Holds

As awareness around environmental issues increases, the landscape of supply channels has become increasingly eco-conscious. Companies like L’Oreal have pledged to actively reduce their environmental impact by selecting local suppliers and using a single production company in each geographical region. Additionally, the company has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), and encourages its suppliers to measure and reduce their CO² emissions. As awareness grows surrounding the role that beauty and cosmetics companies occupy, the future of beauty supply chains could radically change for the greener.


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