With our home and work lives having been radically transformed over the last twelve months, it’s changed the way we interact with every brand. One of the industries that has seen the greatest transformation has been the health & wellness sector. From fitness classes going online for us to take part in our living rooms, to brands pivoting to D2C eCommerce, most of the changes in the industry appear to be here to stay.
One of the biggest areas of development has been health & wellness products redirecting their attention to grow their D2C strategies. We had already seen a general trend toward the growth in D2C propositions in this market segment, but the impact of Covid-19 has accelerated this movement. Not only are we seeing new brands entering the market focusing on their D2C proposition from the outset, but established brands who previously relied heavily on bricks and mortar pivoting their strategy to mitigate the impact of retail closures.
One of the key areas for brands in both of these segments is driving digital engagement with consumers. That can range from how they can replicate the interaction that customers may have ordinarily had in-store, through to education around product usage or establishing repeat purchase cycles. Our experience with clients, both pre-pandemic and as businesses have navigated the additional challenges in the past twelve months, has seen brands integrate digital storytelling and leverage third party Apps to integrate with their Shopify stores to extend customer experiences, education and engagement.
During the height of the pandemic, we worked with MWELL, in partnership with Kellogg’s to launch an engaging and educational site for their new microbiome powder – a super simple, plant-powered blend to feed your gut. With a custom quiz integrated into the user journey, powered by Typeform, and digital storytelling packed with scientific know how and amazing recipes, consumers are able to find their perfect product match, be inspired how to easily integrate the product into their lives, and best of all order direct to their door. The digital infrastructure needed to replicate the experience that a customer would have when purchasing in-store to inform them about the product benefits, help them select the right product tailored to their needs and establish an enduring relationship with the product and brand, to ensure an effective D2C strategy was executed for the new product launch.
Subscription based models have been experiencing a period of growth prior to the pandemic but since customers have been restricted to online purchasing, the convenience of this model has been even further enhanced. The appeal of subscription to brands is obvious in establishing CLV and steadier revenue streams, but the benefit to the consumer of D2C subscription models for frequent use products has been enhanced by supply chain and retail restrictions providing peace of mind of easy access to products for the past year that is likely to continue into the post pandemic context now that consumers are used to this models. One of the brands that we have worked with on their subscription focused model is Pure For Men. We launched a new store for Pure For Men on Shopify Plus to help them bring good health and good times to their LGBTQ+ audience. Given their role as leaders in the conversation around sexual wellness, we loved the opportunity to expand their storytelling abilities, and always key was communicating the central brand message of self care that doesn’t exclude anyone. Period.
The curation of a content hierarchy has also proved critical for brands being able to replicate a product education experience for their D2C propositions. Digital storytelling was a key objective of the project that we undertook with Fullgreen to launch their website on Shopify to bring their range of nutritious, 100% plant based products D2C. The recipe and blog sections of the site were designed to help educate potential customers about their shelf stable product range and how the brand is making plant-based eating easy – from their cauliflower rice that started it all, to the world’s first plant-based breakfast. The brand objective of making plant-based eating easy and ensuring consumers can get their daily dose of nutrients to nourish their bodies and minds was an imperative message that needed to be highlighted through the digital proposition.
The breadth of the changes in consumer behaviour that have been accelerated by the pandemic and customers desire to purchase directly from brands will have lasting effects on what a successful D2C strategy will look like in the health and wellness space. Brands need to consider the full life-cycle of the customer when implementing their strategies but also the breadth of this consumer base beyond smaller, typically urban, younger and digitally savvy consumers.