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CASE STUDY

Aromatan expands ecommerce business across multiple channels and countries with Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfilment

Essential oil bottles laid flat on a white surface displayed in rainbow order from red to purple with flower petals, herbs, and citrus above the bottles representing their scents
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The challenge: Driving ecommerce sales growth across numerous countries and channels

The global ecommerce industry is booming with revenue from online sales expected to hit US$6.3 trillion in 2023, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.4%.

To capitalise on the opportunities for growth in today’s worldwide ecommerce industry, many businesses have expanded the scope of their operations into different product lines, countries, and sales channels.

One such company is Aromatan, a fragrance manufacturer that was co-founded in 2015 in India by Taha Nabee, who comes from long line of perfumers stretching back five generations.

“When we established Aromatan, we had aspirations of becoming a global perfumery house, with multiple brands, that would really help people discover the beauty and power of scent, its applications in aromatherapy, and its ability to improve their everyday lives,” Nabee, who is now CEO of Aromatan, said.

To achieve this vision, Aromatan – which started selling only offline, primarily at tradeshows around the world – decided to pivot to an online selling strategy.

The company began selling on Amazon.com in the US in 2018, and later that year launched websites for its two brands: Aromafume and Dukhni.

Image of boxes with glass fragrances with smoke coming out of a gold challis with one of the fragrances burning

Buoyed by the boost in sales from this pivot to ecommerce, Aromatan decided to expand its business by:

  • Developing new products: Aromatan’s product portfolio – which totalled 100 products in 2018 – has grown to over 250 products including incense, essential oil diffusers and roll-ons, mists, and smudge sprays.
  • Entering new markets: Aromatan – which started selling online only in the US – soon expanded to the UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries.
  • Selling across multiple online channels: Besides Amazon and its own websites, Aromatan began selling across other channels including other ecommerce marketplaces and social media stores.

But managing a multi-channel ecommerce business with a growing product portfolio across numerous countries is challenging, especially when it comes to order fulfilment and inventory management – and so Aromatan made the decision to engage third-party logistics (3PL) providers to streamline its logistics operations.

“As Aromatan grew and expanded across different product lines, countries, and ecommerce channels, it became increasingly difficult to manage our inventory effectively. Inventory is cash, and we wanted to be able to turn it around fast and also deliver our products to customers as quickly as possible. To do this, we needed to be able to maintain inventory depth and in-time storage – and so we decided to work with 3PLs to help us with our inventory management as well as our fulfilment operations,” Nabee remarked.

Stay up to date with new Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfilment features, best practices, and more.

The solution: Outsourcing logistics to power multi-channel ecommerce operations

In 2018, as Aromatan’s online business on Amazon and other channels began to really take off, the fragrance manufacturer started to outsource its logistics operations to several 3PL providers, including Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), which handles fulfilment for orders placed on Amazon.

Around that time, Aromatan learned that Amazon offered another 3PL service, Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfilment (MCF), which provides fast, reliable fulfilment for orders placed on off-Amazon channels including brand websites, other ecommerce marketplaces, and social media stores.

“When we discovered MCF it was a real ‘aha moment’ as – up until that point – we didn’t realise that we could use Amazon’s fulfilment network to pick, pack, ship, and deliver our off-Amazon orders. Choosing to use MCF was an easy decision, as working with them enables us to realise so many efficiencies in terms of inventory and allows us to use Amazon’s best-in-class fulfilment services across all our sales channels and enjoy simple, predictable pricing for fulfilment and storage,” Nabee commented.

Aromatan decided to go with MCF as one of its 3PL providers for three main reasons:

  1. Inventory utilisation: Aromatan could tap into the same pool of inventory that it used for its Amazon orders (with FBA) for its off-Amazon orders (with MCF) as well.
  2. Delivery speed: With MCF, Aromatan could deliver orders from its Shopify-based websites and other channels in as fast as one day.
  3. Network robustness: Aromatan had confidence that MCF – which uses Amazon’s global fulfilment network – could be relied on to fulfil its off-Amazon orders on time to customers’ doorsteps all year round, including peak periods.

“Working with MCF gives your business the opportunity to optimise your inventory by using it for your Amazon and off-Amazon orders and also benefit from the speed and robustness of Amazon’s network,” Nabee added.

Near the end of 2018, Aromatan began using MCF (which is available in 10 different countries) to handle its orders from off-Amazon channels in the US and UK – the company’s two main markets.

Although Aromatan started off manually entering MCF orders on Seller Central, Nabee soon realised that – as the company’s order volume increased – his team needed an order management system to help them streamline the order fulfilment process. Aromatan implemented ShipStation (which can be seamlessly integrated with MCF) and this system enabled the team to effectively manage inventory and orders across all their ecommerce channels and automate the order fulfilment process.

Image of sage leaves, incense bricks, and various crystals arranged on a white background

The results: Becoming a digital-first, global, multi-channel fragrance brand
Taha Nabee - headshot
MCF has been instrumental in helping Aromatan transform into a digital-first, global, multi-channel fragrance brand. I would recommend MCF to any ecommerce business as it provides a great path to reach consumers around the world, through any channel.
Taha Nabee CEO of Aromatan

Aromatan has been using MCF since 2018 to handle fulfilment for its off-Amazon orders. During that time, the fragrance manufacturer has witnessed some profound transformations in its business:

  • Revenue from online sales – which was non-existent back before 2018 – now accounts for 85% of Aromatan’s total revenue (and this percentage continues to rise). And total revenue has skyrocketed, registering 84% year-on-year growth over the past five years.
  • Sales are now flowing in from multiple channels: Around 35% from Amazon, 35% from Aromatan’s websites, and 30% from other ecommerce marketplaces, social media stores, and offline and wholesale orders.
  • Aromatan has further established its business across numerous markets including the US and UK, which account for around 40% and 35% of its sales respectively.

“MCF has been instrumental in helping Aromatan transform into a digital-first, global, multi-channel fragrance brand. I would recommend MCF to any ecommerce business as it provides a great path to reach consumers around the world, through any channel,” Nabee stated.

With MCF, Aromatan has been able to achieve numerous business benefits including:

  • Inventory optimisation: By utilising the same pool of inventory for its MCF and FBA orders, Aromatan has been able to dramatically improve its inventory turnover and Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score (a metric that Amazon uses to measure how efficiently you use your inventory) to 864 (as of May 2023) and maintain an in-stock rate of 99%.
  • Improved delivery performance: With MCF, Aromatan can offer its customers around the world the Amazon fulfilment experience for their off-Amazon orders, with shipping speeds as fast as one day and on-time delivery rates greater than 97% in the US and 99% in the UK.

“MCF has allowed us to get more products to more customers in the off-Amazon world in a faster way. With MCF, we can easily expand our business across different countries and ecommerce channels. I have no doubt that MCF will continue to play a pivotal role in Aromatan’s growth, now and in the future,” Nabee concluded.


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