Here at PDS, we take pride in highlighting some of our incredible exhibitors. We know these companies have the potential to revolutionize pharmacies just like yours through their products and services. We’re excited to introduce Wellness Works. Read on for their sponsored blog post about the business of nutritional sales and selling vitamins.
For decades, independent pharmacists have held an advantage when it comes to selling vitamins and nutritional supplements. First, as part of their undergraduate studies, pharmacists are the best educated healthcare professional to address the basic biochemical concepts of vitamins and supplements. Second, pharmacists have held a position of trust with consumers for decades. While 65% of Americans do search online for basic health information, the knowledge of and trust in the pharmacist is used to validate the health information found online. Lastly, as healthcare professionals, pharmacists are in daily contact with consumers exhibiting various metabolic diseases. These are diseases that have been acquired over time for which pharmaceutical offerings may not be the only options.
Vitamins are More Than a Line of Bottles on a Pharmacy Shelf
Today, vitamin sales account for $100 billion in revenue worldwide, and the U.S. accounts for 36% of that figure. What trends have driven that number?
- First, there is an increased interest in better health through all demographics. Naturally, Baby Boomers would be expected to hold the greatest percentage of supplement sales, and they do at 36%. What may be surprising is that Generation X comprises 23% and Millennials 16%. All of this combines for a figure of 70-75% of Americans taking at least one supplement every day.
- There is the increase in preventative healthcare. Celebrity health experts are widespread on social media, online and through multiple communication channels. And supplements have been recognized as being essential to the preventative health process.
- Self-directed consumers no longer rely on physicians to advise them on their healthcare. Today, consumers search online for answers to their healthcare questions. This consumer self-direction is what is attributed for the increase in supplement sales across all demographics – Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials.
- Finally, brand recognition and brand support are becoming major influencers as consumers search for providers they can trust for their supplement inquiries and sales.
What do Pharmacists Need to do to be Successful in this NEW Business of Nutritional Sales?
- Offer a private label as an alternative to the national labels found everywhere. The exclusivity of a proprietary product line, based on quality and product knowledge, provides a valuable differentiator in this competitive area. Coupled with the trust consumers hold for pharmacists, a private label line generates return sales for pharmacist-recommended products.
- Ensure that you can be found online. Today, being found online is evidence that you exist. Pharmacists should be prepared to offer their private lines not only in their pharmacies, but through online e-commerce as well. In 2017, sales of nutritional supplements in brick and mortar locations increased 3%. However, sales of nutritional supplements in brick and mortar locations that also offered online sales of the same supplements increased by 20%. The trusted pharmacist who can offer professional quality supplements both in their pharmacy and online can parlay that situation into a position that even Amazon cannot overcome.
- Pharmacists need to utilize multi-channel marketing opportunities and support. By using a professional marketing program that provides consistent brand presence through social media, emails, website videos and other communication channels, the pharmacist creates an image of expertise and trust which carries through multiple demographics.
You don’t sell vitamins by just selling vitamins! By combining the pharmacist’s innate advantages with the strategic application of available technology and marketing, pharmacies can realize healthy nutritional revenue streams. Even in this competitive marketplace.
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