People wanting to be and feel healthy isn’t anything new, but with all that’s happened over the last year with COVID-19, consumers have an increased focus on health and wellness. A recent survey estimates the global wellness market at more than $1.5 trillion with an annual growth of 5-10%. Quite the healthy outlook if you ask me.
These statistics aren’t surprising; it’s encouraging to know that consumers are putting a focus on their health. Even more encouraging, this enhanced focus increases the likelihood that consumers will spend more discretionary income to achieve healthier lifestyles. That last sentence is very important and let me explain why.
Feeling Good is Driving Customers to Live Better
Traditionally, consumers would leverage their private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid to help supplement the costs of health products – a very reactive approach to health and wellness. For example, you hurt your knee playing basketball, which means you now require surgery and a knee brace to help recover post-surgery.
So, what’s changed? Well, what changed is that consumers are taking a proactive approach to health. More consumers are taking control of their health and are looking at ways to live healthier lifestyles, as at least 77% intend to make more attempts to stay healthy in the future.
This proactive mindset means consumers will actively search for products that could prevent them from a disease or injury, like a knee injury, rather than treating the issue after it’s developed. An event like COVID-19 is eye-opening, leading consumers to seek out solutions in all forms, from healthy food recipes and workout videos to wellness products and services to purchase to support a healthier lifestyle. If you’re a business in the health and wellness industry, you need to be there to meet and exceed the expectations of these customers through digital commerce-led experiences. To do this, you need to understand where you currently sit within the supply chain.
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Are you an e-Retailer with a commerce site? How has consumer behavior changed or shifted? What new products or services are customers looking for that you may or may not offer today? Focus on what your customer expectations are and how they might be proactively looking to consume new content or products that might be outside your current offering, then find ways to incorporate these into future purchasing experiences to elevate your brand with your customer experience.
If you’re in the business of health and wellness product distribution, what trends are you seeing around net-new customers coming to shop on your ecommerce site? For example, if you’re a medical product distributor serving the physical therapy market, then your traditional customers might be physical therapy clinics. But, your data and analytics may show a new trend of physical therapy product e-retailers hitting your site and looking to set up accounts with your business. To accommodate this, you should create new content and services that would appeal to this market and find ways that these new e-retailers can connect to your enterprise resource planning system (ERP) and order management system (OMS) systems to leverage your distribution network and dropship products to customers. Building in new ecommerce features that allow you to segment and personalize content based upon the businesses that authenticate on your site will provide the appropriate content to the appropriate persona and create additional value and brand loyalty.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, manufacturers in this space have it the worst. As you sit at the top of the supply chain, having a pulse on what consumers are interested in and which new and emerging trends are surfacing is critical to stay ahead of the competition. You must ask yourself the daunting question, “Do we go direct and risk channel conflict?” This requires serious consideration and contemplation as it’s a decision that will have a significant business impact.
Diving into the data and analytics around your current commerce site (if you have one) and focusing on how people are finding your site and what they are searching for can help you make this decision. Are you seeing many consumers searching one of your popular brands and trying to purchase? This could be a use case to go direct. But before doing so, I recommend looking within your channel to see if there are ways to support both distribution and retail partners to drive traffic to your products through their businesses.
Continue Creating Healthy Perspectives
There’s a lot more to unpack besides what’s I’ve already mentioned, but the big takeaway is that consumers have and will continue to make proactive decisions around their health and wellness that will translate digitally. Regardless of where you sit in the supply chain, as long as new customer personas and demographics are browsing your site for information that supports a healthy lifestyle, it will affect your business. For more questions on how you can excel in the ecommerce healthcare field, download our healthcare guide, Digital Solutions to Navigate Healthcare Commerce in 2021, and contact our commerce experts today.