An Unexpected Boomtime Stimulated by the COVID-19 Pandemic
As physical stores closed during lockdown shoppers turned to online retailers as never before.
Health shops & gyms are closed, but people keep shopping
From the outbreak of the pandemic and throughout the crisis “lockdown” period, people are only now beginning to take stock and try to resume something like normal life again. We have seen unprecedented sales in health supplements. Online sales have spiked higher than ever before, with many companies reporting record sales during the crisis.
The big question now is; is it sustainable? What will the immediate and longer-term future hold for the industry and how do we best react to a consumer landscape that has changed, probably forever?
Immune support supplements benefit from record sales, but will it last?
As the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak became a global pandemic, online searches for immune support products went through the roof, recording eight times more internet searches for products such as multivitamins, vitamin C, omega oils and natural antioxidants. Many firms worked overtime to keep up with skyrocketing demand. Health and immune system support was overwhelmingly a “must have”. For millions of people, many of whom had not previously bought a supplement online (in some cases had never taken a supplement before), this became an urgent priority.
A cooling in demand seems unlikely. With a potential vaccine still some time away and social distancing certain to be a key feature of all our lives for many months (even years), people will not be relaxing their vigilance on healthy, wise options. It is forecast that the online buying habits formed will become permanent. The consumer mindset should remain robust regardless of a potential economic downturn. It is believed that many industries will suffer despite this; protecting and maintaining health will be valued above all else. People will continue, as a priority, to invest more money than ever before in their family’s health and wellbeing.
Despite their best efforts, many health and immune supplement companies were unable to meet the sudden spike in demand and went out of stock on some of their best-selling lines
Since the crisis began millions of social media posts have been created to capitalise on newly popular hashtags such as #homeworkout
The supplement companies that prosper after the crisis will be those that know how to build a loyal customer base online
How is the rest of the industry likely to fare?
Undoubtedly, it is a good time to promote immunity and “wellness” products online. With gyms in lockdown and that “beach body” less of a priority, holidays put on hold, retailers of sports nutrition (proteins, pre-workouts, BCAAs etc) and slimming products unsurprisingly have experienced a slump in sales.
Amongst the younger demographic who drive sales in this area, a break from the gym has not meant a break from training. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and others are now crammed with home workout tips and influencers reporting on how they are maintaining their quest for perfection, even in these difficult times. The crisis has inevitably led to even heavier social media use for people of all ages, especially younger individuals very conscious of their looks. It is on social media that they engage with the world of health and fitness daily. Additionally, much of their usual discretionary spending (nightclubs, cinemas, concerts) is off-limits for the foreseeable future and so they have more disposable income to spend on supplements.
Young people may be among the worst affected by the post-COVID recession, but brands that are social media savvy and know how to engage and build loyalty with young consumers can expect to benefit, as the less informed brands fall by the wayside in a more challenging market. The “body perfect” and holistic wellness trends fuelled by those same social media platforms have continued to grow. Therefore, it follows that their engagement with supplements that fit those identities will remain strong. Those brands that weather the pandemic storm wisely will put themselves in poll position for strong growth when the post pandemic economy begins to recover.
Contact our experienced team to find out more about successful online selling.
© Suppleform 2020
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