Blog > How Supplement Companies Have Dominated E-Commerce With 3 Simple Strategies

Look at those gains, bro. Over the last year, the dietary supplement industry has boasted bulging sales growth of 40%, outpacing overall e-commerce by 12%, and they swear it’s all-natural… 

The pandemic has certainly brought more awareness to immunity, and overall health and wellness; in fact, 77% of American adults consume dietary supplements, and the average American spends around $56 per month on dietary supplements. 

Of course, there are other ways to increase immunity and health, such as at-home workout products and healthy meal kits, but those haven’t grown at nearly the same rate as supplements. So that begs the question…

How have supplement companies dominated e-commerce?

After searching through the supplement industries’ gym bag of secrets, we found that the true secret to their success with the injection of three strategies: 

(Serving size: one scoop of each)

  1. The Subscription Model
  2. Bundles and Stacks
  3. Smart Fulfillment

Disclaimer: Ingestion of the following strategies will give you and your e-commerce business a sick pump.

Strategy 1: The Subscription Model

The Subscription Model, or “Subscribe & Save”, is where customers subscribe to weekly, monthly or seasonal purchases and receive discounts upwards of 15% off. Think content streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, recurring subscription box companies like BirchBox, and more recently, supplement and vitamin companies.

Companies that employ the subscription model offer recurring products or services, rather than the traditional, one-time transaction. Brands and businesses that have utilized this approach have reported better customer relationships, improved aggregate data, and more diversity in product offerings.

Turn Customers in Subscribers

Most large companies report that new customers only generate 15 to 25% percent of their revenues, which means that return customers generate the bulk of the revenue. Focusing on return customers and subscribers reduces acquisition costs of targeting new customers, while cultivating brand loyalty.

Gather More Fruitful Customer Data

As reported by Shopify, modeling and storing subscription data allows your company to better engage with your audience and create targeted content along the customer journey. 

In fact, many large brands develop separate marketing strategies for subscribers and non-subscribers, as well as strategies to convert non-subscribers to subscribers, including email campaigns and targeted discounts for subscription and account creation.

Sell the Same Product in Multiple Ways

The subscription model gives brands the creative freedom to understand how their customers would prefer to engage with their products and services. 

Beyond the price discount, supplement companies could offer subscribers access to free delivery, early bird offers, free trials or samples, gifts with purchase, and much more. As you learn from your subscribers, you are free to adjust your product offerings to better meet their needs! 

If you want to learn more about how to create a successful subscription model, check out our blog.

Strategy 2: Bundles

Bundles, or as they’re called in the dietary supplement industry — stacks. Supplement stacks are a bundled variety of supplements for one specific health goal; for example, popular supplement stacks are for the ketogenic diet, weight loss, muscle gain and more. 

Bundling products allows companies to cross-sell, provide a more convenient shopping experience, and give customers more flexibility.

Cross-Sell

Bundles are the perfect way for supplement companies to cross-sell products. By intelligently combining multiple products into one item, supplement companies bundle their popular and top-selling supplements with products that normally might not sell on their own (looking at you L-Carnitine). Also, if you have multiple flavors of a gut-drink for example, you can bundle together a variety pack!

Convenience

With just one click, customers can purchase all the supplements that they need. And if you are using the subscription model, their supplements will be auto-fulfilled based on their desired cadence!

Flexibility

Some supplement providers like G Fuel offer their customers the flexibility of building their own bundles — BYOB but healthy!

Strategy 3: Smart Fulfillment

Any supplement company can promise a lucrative subscription model with convenient and flexible bundling options; but in reality, these are extremely complicated to pull off without the right inventory management and order fulfillment process. 

In fact, most 3PLs and fulfillment providers simply don’t offer the customization and bundling options that supplement companies need. That’s why you need to supplement your business with the right fulfillment provider.

Convenient Bundling

Through traditional fulfillment methods, creating and shipping customized bundles, kits or bulk orders can be highly complex and downright costly. By offering a subscription service, your brand can sell a variety of items in a variety of ways, so brand owners must be able to group orders quickly and pick a lot of the same product at once, making the fulfillment process quick and simple.

That’s why ShipHero is dedicated to supporting our subscription-based and bundle supplement companies with our newest capability, BulkShip!

BulkShip is an intuitive interface to design preassembled bundles of products, such as a BodyBuilding Stack or a more flexible bundle that would get assembled at fulfillment – like the Build-Your-Own-Bundle option.

Safe Storage and Transport

Supplements must be stored in cool, dry areas, or they risk discoloration, odor, and deterioration. Make sure that your fulfillment provider can take the necessary precautions to protect your inventory in a safe, secure, and climate controlled environment, and take care during the transportation.

Reliable Shipping

Supplements and vitamins are taken regularly and on set cadences, so having a reliable shipping carrier with built-in resiliency is of the utmost importance. 

This year has shown that even the most popular carriers, FedEx, UPS and Amazon, are all subject to delays and unreliable shipping times. That’s why ShipHero has seen a huge surge of supplement companies looking to diversify their shipping methods, so that their customers and subscribers receive their supplements when they’re supposed to.