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Let’s face it, the entire eCommerce landscape has been on a transformative journey in the last decade (#GlowUp) - and nowhere is this more evident than in the health, lifestyle, and supplements sector. The digital age, coupled with evolving consumer preferences and behaviours, has reshaped how these products are marketed and sold. No longer are we worried about ordering supplements online, just in case we’re sent a batch of Tic Tacs instead.

So let’s take a big gulp of water, knock back our spirulina capsules, and dive into the latest trends in the health, lifestyle, and supplements sectors. We’ll explore consumer preferences, the impact of COVID-19, and offer actionable insights for retailers and eCommerce companies to help your business thrive. We feel better already.

Tough pill to swallow: Changing consumer preferences and purchasing behaviours

The rise of health consciousness
Health consciousness has evolved from a mere Instagram trend to a fundamental aspect of modern living. Consumers are prioritising their well-being, both mentally and physically, leading to a spike in demand for products that support a healthy lifestyle. From fitness to nutrition, sleep aids to appearance, we’re investing more in our wellness than ever before. 

This surge is reflected in the increased sales of dietary supplements, organic foods, fitness equipment, and health monitoring devices (and we don’t just mean your Apple Watch either). There’s now a wide range of health-centric products available, from multiple different brands, with multiple different price-points. For retailers, it’s more a case of keeping up with the shape of consumer demands, rather than staying in shape themselves.

Trust is a must
Instead of simply clicking on a dodgy-looking Facebook ad that promises virality and youth, storing your payment details on an equally dodgy-looking website, with all the security of the bouncer at your local nightclub after midnight, and receiving twenty suppositories the size of small submarines in the post, we now have options and reassurance. 

We demand transparency about product ingredients, sourcing, and manufacturing processes. And brands that clearly communicate their commitment to quality and transparency are winning consumer trust and loyalty. Providing detailed product information, certifications, and authentic customer reviews is essential to building this trust and keeping that all-important loyalty. 

Personalisation is key
Personalisation has become a critical differentiator in the health, lifestyle, and supplements market. We don’t want to feel like everyone else when it comes to our health - and rightly so - because we’re NOT like everyone else when it comes to health. 

Consumers want products tailored to their unique needs and preferences - in fact, it’s an expectation, rather than a want. This has led to the popularity of personalised supplement subscriptions, customised skincare routines, and individualised fitness plans. Leveraging data to offer personalised recommendations can significantly enhance customer engagement and conversion rates.

The shift to online shopping
The convenience of online shopping has fundamentally changed consumer behaviours - it’s no longer a trend, but, again, an expectation. Rather than visiting your local health store (which are few and far between) or nipping into a pharmacy with limited stock and options, we now have the world of health at our fingertips. And this has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing measures pushed more people to shop online, making a robust digital presence crucial for businesses. 

Retailers and eCommerce companies with seamless eCommerce operations have thrived, while those slow to adapt have faced challenges. Think of it as watching your friends run marathons every weekend, whilst you relax on the sofa, and the only marathon you’re completing is season three of Bridgerton (no judgement here).

Image of Womens Best product being packed in the warehouse

Top 3 health, lifestyle & supplements trends in 2024 - and beyond

1. Keep it personal

We crave being treated like individuals, and when it comes to our health, this has never been more important. We want the latest products, the very best ingredients, and the transparency that we know where they’re coming from. We want to be able to tell you how often we go to the toilet, what this means about our gut health, and the fact that we need a natural alternative to seven cups of coffee a day. We want you to get to know us (ALL of us) and cater to our every wellness whim. In fact, according to our latest Big Retail Growth Trends report, a third of respondents expressed their intention to invest more in targeted and bespoke promotions over the next year. Consumers don’t just want that personal product, but an overall personal experience.

2. Don’t neglect mental health

But we’re not just interested in our physical appearance anymore. We want suggestions to keep our brains healthy and happy too. We know that wellness starts from the mind - and we want to be proactive with how we address this. From natural mood enhancement to stress relief, the mental health well-being and supplement market is set to be a huge trend for 2024 - especially with so much to deal with in our modern lives.

3. Subscription services

With all of the above, we have a lot to remember and think about. Knowing when to order your next batch of cod liver oil or CBD gummies is just another errand to add to the list. Providing your customers with the opportunity to enrol in a subscription service not only offers them a better customer experience, but ensures you maintain a steady cash flow. 

Subscription services often make demand forecasting easier - a crucial aspect of the supply chain. By having a predictable and consistent order pattern, you can better plan for demand, avoiding the pitfalls of delivery delays during peak and busy periods. This proactive approach enables brands to offer a far superior service, ensuring timely deliveries and higher customer satisfaction. Not to be sniffed at.

Image of Soccer Supplements pallet in the warehouse
Image of Willpowers products arriving in the warehouse

How can retailers and eCommerce companies get in shape for these shifting trends and buying behaviours?

Working up a sweat with your eCommerce capabilities
For retailers, enhancing eCommerce capabilities is essential to meet growing online demand. This includes optimising websites for user experience, offering a variety of payment options, and ensuring fast and reliable delivery services. Investing in robust eCommerce platforms and seamless integrations can provide a competitive edge. 

Don’t just keep up with the pace – set the pace for your competitors. It’s not enough to simply have an online presence anymore, but seamlessly integrate across platforms and channels (basically like a triathlon. Or so we hear).

Take a look at our very own client, Nutrigums. They’re an example of how an online brand has diversified and leveraged partnerships with nationwide retailers to get a foot into bricks-and-mortar stores - including the likes of Aldi. It's a clever way to capitalise on a new audience, take advantage of impulse purchases, and grow the brand via a partnership with retail giants who already have a monumental brand recall. 

After their success on Dragon's Den, another fulfilmentcrowd client, Boanycl, now sells into independents, as well as wellness behemoth, Holland & Barrett. They’re taking in-store in their stride - but still recognising the benefits of a multichannel strategy.

Going for gold with tech and data
We know we keep harping on about it, but embracing technology and data analytics is key for staying competitive - which is why we’re so proud of the fulfilmentcrowd platform. It consolidates multiple channels and territories, presenting data holistically for optimum analysis. Advanced analytics can provide insights into consumer behaviours, inventory levels, and sales patterns, helping businesses make informed decisions. Implementing technologies such as AI-driven product recommendations, chatbots for customer service, and automated inventory management systems can enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

Use data to stay ahead of the curve – because knowing your customer inside and out is an uphill race (and it never has a finish line).

Prioritising customer experience
Delivering an exceptional customer experience is paramount in the competitive health and supplements market. This involves ensuring timely and accurate deliveries, offering multiple delivery options, and providing excellent customer service - from advice to bespoke health plans, we expect so much more than simply having access to multiple courier options. 

Implementing solutions, such as real-time order tracking, easy returns, and responsive customer support, enhances the overall shopping experience and builds customer loyalty. Make every customer interaction count – happy customers are healthy customers - and ultimately, individuals who want to maintain that wellness.

Our Delivery Assured capabilities automate what can be automated (e.g. delivery tracking and reporting of returns), freeing up customer service resources to focus on more complex problems and value-added tasks, rather than having customers go back and forth to tackle delivery issues with carriers.

Building fit and healthy supply chains
The pandemic didn’t just highlight the need for resilient supply chains - it practically blinded us with it. Retailers should focus on building robust and flexible supply chains that can withstand disruptions. 

Agility isn’t just for yoga fanatics, but for retailers too. This involves diversifying supplier bases, optimising inventory levels, and implementing contingency plans. Collaboration with logistics partners to enhance visibility and transparency across the supply chain is also critical. A resilient supply chain is like a good supplement – it keeps everything running smoothly and leaves you feeling agile. Or at least so we’ve heard.

Embracing sustainability
We all know that sustainability is a hot topic and not one that will be disappearing any time soon. Not only is it becoming increasingly important to consumers, but it’s the responsibility of retailers and eCommerce brands to reduce their impact on the environment - and not just offer it as lip service. This is especially important in the health and lifestyle sectors. 

Retailers can support sustainability goals by adopting eco-friendly practices, such as using renewable energy, optimising transportation routes to reduce carbon emissions, and implementing sustainable packaging solutions. Aligning with consumer demand for sustainability can strengthen brand reputation and attract environmentally-conscious customers. Green is the new gold – and sustainable practices can pay off in more ways than one.
Image of Soccer Supplements parcels in the warehouse

Ready, sweat, go!

The global eCommerce market for health, lifestyle, and supplements continues to evolve rapidly, driven by changing consumer preferences and still feeling the effects of the impact of COVID-19. These are trends that are fast becoming the norm - and adapting strategies to them is vital to remain competitive. Enhancing eCommerce capabilities, leveraging technology, prioritising customer experience, building resilient supply chains, and embracing sustainability are key actions needed to not only win, but stay in the race.

By understanding and leveraging these trends, you can navigate the complexities of the eCommerce landscape and capitalise on opportunities in the health, lifestyle, and supplements sector. As the market continues to grow (just like your sweet, sweet gains), those who remain agile and responsive to consumer needs will be best positioned for success. Stay fit and focused – your business’s health depends on it.

Take a look at our latest case study in the health, lifestyle, and supplements sector to see how fulfilmentcrowd can get you to that number one spot.

 

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