E-commerce has transformed every major retail industry, including the health and wellness sector. Indeed, it’s easier than ever for people to get health and wellness products, such as medicine, health guides, training programs, and more, entirely online.
Yet the benefits brought by online health and wellness retail are also counterbalanced by potential challenges and risks. Today, let’s take a look at how brands like yours can succeed in the e-commerce health and wellness industry.
How Has E-commerce Affected the Health and Wellness Retail Industry?
It’s indisputable that online health and wellness shopping is more popular and profitable than ever. As an example, the personal-care retail e-commerce sector saw record profits of $35.1 million in 2021 alone. That’s because e-commerce has affected the health and wellness retail industry in several key, beneficial ways.
Customers Access a Wider Range of Products
Eommerce shoppers now have access to a much wider range of health and wellness products than ever before. No longer are they limited to what is sold at the pharmacy down the street.
Now, customers can purchase wellness pills, tablets, exercise programs, painkillers, and much more online in staggering numbers and with much more variety. This is good for those who follow the advice of their doctors and for those experimenting with new wellness treatments.
In any case, giving customers more choice and flexibility in terms of what they purchase and put in their bodies is excellent. E-commerce health and wellness retail brands that take advantage of the unprecedented flexibility of the worldwide economy are well poised to earn significant profits in the near future.
Customers Get Health and Wellness Products Quickly
On top of that, customers can get the ordered wellness and health products they purchase faster and, in many cases, cheaply. Free or low-cost shipping is now the industry standard, partially because e-commerce brands need to compete with Amazon.
That might cause logistics problems for businesses, but for end-users and consumers, it’s a major benefit of the online health and wellness retail industry. In some cases, like when ordering life-saving medications such as insulin, it’s also an important benefit when time is of the essence.
Some Products Are More Affordable
Then there’s the fact that many health and wellness products are now more affordable than they were before. This is partially due to the fact that supply chains are highly cost-effective for worldwide markets, including when shipping health and wellness-related goods to customers around the country or around the globe.
In addition, the rise of new, flexible payment options such as buy now, pay over time programs where customers can pay for medical expenses they may not be able to afford outright, has also contributed to the overall profitability of the online health and wellness industry. All in all, medicinal and health products are now more affordable than ever, and that’s unequivocally a good thing.
New Challenges in Health and Wellness Due to E-commerce
While e-commerce health and wellness shopping has many advantages, retailers have also encountered significant challenges that may impact their bottom lines and customer loyalty.
Counterfeit Product Risk
Health and wellness online retailers need to be careful not to stock their stores with counterfeit products. Not only is this dangerous and potentially illegal, but it can also reduce loyalty among one’s target audience members.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell whether a health and wellness product is a true counterfeit or is legitimate without purchasing and trying it oneself. This adds an additional logistic hurdle that health e-commerce brands need to cover.
In many cases, they hire medical professionals or other appraisers to guarantee the validity of the health and wellness products they sell. But that adds more costs and time to the overall sales process.
Reduced Trust in Online Health Retailers
Furthermore, many e-commerce shoppers simply don’t trust online health retailers in general. All it takes is a single bad experience for a customer to swear off ordering health and wellness products forever, instead sticking to what they can hold in their hands and purchase in person.
This is a huge marketing challenge that successful e-commerce brands have to overcome sooner or later. They can do this in a variety of ways, some of which are listed below. But they also have to maintain good reputations for the duration of their operational lifespans; just one problem or scandal could cause a brand’s customer base to scatter.
How to Maximize E-commerce Success in the Health and Wellness Industry
If your brand currently operates in the health and wellness industry, you need to know how to maximize the success of your e-commerce store. Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can do just that.
Prioritize Trust Among Your Audience
As an e-commerce health and wellness brand, you must build up trust among your audience base. Your core customers need to trust your brand above all else, and you can do that by:
- Filling your blog with white papers and research papers regarding your claims or products.
- Partnering with health brands, including large hospitals and individual healthcare providers, when possible.
- Committing yourself to customer satisfaction. For example, you might accept returns from customers if they aren’t satisfied, even if that causes you to lose out on money in the short term.
Leverage Lots of Social Proof
By the same token, try to use social proof to build up audience trust over time. Social proof includes any positive reviews or testimonials that your customers might post online about your brand.
As your e-commerce health and wellness retail business grows, post that social proof on your landing page, on product pages, and on all social media platforms. With something as important as health and wellness products, lots of customers won’t try a new brand or a new product unless there’s plenty of social proof indicating that your business is trustworthy and safe.
Make an Effective, Easy to Use Website
Lastly, consider making your online store highly intuitive and easy to use. Navigable, accessible online stores are much more likely to drive purchases compared to stores that can’t be navigated through on mobile devices or that are confusing to look through, for example.
To that end, consider using an online e-commerce store builder like CS-Cart. The right online store builder can help you get your digital storefront up and running in no time. Make sure your store enables prospective customers to look through your health and wellness products quickly and easily, as well as sort through your different products by need or product type.
At the end of the day, any e-commerce brand in the health and wellness sector can succeed. But your business will be more likely to build and maintain a loyal audience base for years to come if you keep the above tips in mind.
Yan Anderson is the Head of Content Marketing at CS-Cart with over 10 years of experience in the eCommerce industry. He's passionate about explaining complicated things in simple terms. Yan has expertise in building, running and growing eCommerce marketplaces. He loves to educate people about best practices, new technologies, and trends in the global eCommerce industry.