Conversion Rate Optimization

The online health stores and their healthy conversion practices

The health and natural beauty products market is a fast emerging market and with the online environment offering such a great audience, what better place to sell health products?

According to a research run by Euromonitor, the global vitamin and supplement market is worth $68 billion. And because the beauty of online businesses is that they can ship internationally, online natural health stores and drugstores can easily claim their share of this pie in the future.

online health stores

Just like any for any other domain, health e-shops have their target audience. And there seems to be a lot of people who are searching to buy natural supplements, herbs and beauty products online. The question is how to make these people finalize a purchase once they arrived on the e-shop? What conversion practices to use?

We’ve analyzed a few of the top online sellers of health supplements, natural foods and beauty products, and a few conversion elements got our attention.

Website architecture

Online drugstores and natural products e-shops have a huge number of products. And one of the most difficult things a customer could do it would be to fight his way through all this products in order to find the one he was truly searching for. In a conventional drugstore, a customer faces hundreds of choices even when wanting something as simple as a headache remedy. And things are no different when it comes to online health stores.

When creating a website’s architecture, one must always have in mind the way people search on site and also how pages and information can be grouped in order to respond to search engine queries.

In health e-shops the characteristics of products dictate the organization. The health problems they address or their spectrum of activity can be the organization criterion.

Vitamineshoppe.com uses this model of page organization by health concern:

Thevitaminshoppe.com menu organization

Naturemade.com uses a very precise combination of filters that improves a lot the way visitors search products. Visitors can find the supplement best suited to their needs by inserting conditions like health need, dietary preferences, form and dosage.

Naturemade.com filters

Origins.com, a natural beauty products e-shop, has found a very creative and beautiful way to organize their products – an ingredient table. Though just an alternative to the main menu, the ingredient gallery they’ve created adds great value to the user experience. Moreover, ingredients and fragrances are an important factor for those who love natural beauty products.

Origins.com ingredient table

Copy style

With health e-shops things are clear: what users are really searching for is the benefits of the products and of course, the quality of the ingredients.

Swansonvitamins.com has a very good development of product copywriting. They first present 3 advantages of the product, then a more complex description. Only after that all the ingredients, and supplement facts are presented.

Mapi.com, the ayurvedic e-shop, also uses a benefit oriented copywriting, clearly separated by the pure facts of composition.

Mapi.com copy products

Why is copywriting so important when it comes to health products?  Because, these are relatively inexpensive products (for example, vitamin B complex costs from 3 to 30 dollars) that address, one of the most powerful existential fears: the fear of sickness and of death. So even if they are bought for a very specific problem (vitamin deficiency, fitness support, skin and hair beauty), their promise is much more profound: they contribute to health, beauty and a long life.

Because of all this, health products must be promoted carefully, by trying to emphasize their qualities and benefits, while trying to keep expectancies realistic.

Persuasive elements

When buying online, customers always look for clues that they have taken a good decision, that they can trust the e-shop and its products.

E-shops that sell natural products can transmit confidence through more established tactics:

Certifications and other trust marks: organic certificates, ISO certificates, safe shopping certificates, product and technology awards

mountainroseherbs.com certificates
Mountainroseherbs.com

choiceorganicteas.com certificates
Choiceorganicteas.com

conversion practices for health e-shops

Vapourbeauty.com

Customers reviews and social proofs are a good method to gather users opinions on products. Compared to advertising, customers reviews have a greater rate of trust. Customers search for what other users have to say, for their tips and tricks. They also tend to buy more and faster if other people did it before them.

Swansonvitamins.com has found an alternative to the classical star rating: the very nice and suggestive green leaf.

swansonvitamins.com_reviews_green_leaf

Bulkherbstore.com  equally has an interesting approach to social proofs and reviews. They are using a triad of text testimonials about the shop, text reviews and questions from visitors on each product page. The shop actually uses a blog system, and comments and questions really do seem to come.

conversion practices for health e-shops

Using testimonials in a health e-shop is highly recommended. Users who buy a health product surely want to know what other people who have used the product think about it, the effects and the results it had.  A great idea would be to use personalized testimonials or interactions.

Other advantages of testimonials and comments

  • Allowing people to post questions and comments is a way to have fresh user generated content.
  • They can be used as marketing material. Comments give a real insight into purchase motifs, the products people prefer and why, what can be improved etc.

Content

Health and beauty are great domains to write about. The healthy lifestyle and natural health are trendy topics and associated content can bring a lot of visitors.

As competition increases on the online health supplements market, content could be the marketing tool that makes a difference. On the online buying funnel, learning is a crucial step. And this is exactly the role that content could embrace on health e-shops. Supplement and natural products shops offer products that don’t need a prescription. Most of the users are choosing by themselves what suits best to their needs. And content could help them make a educated guess about what natural treatment they should follow.

Evitamins.com provides articles related to every category on the footer of each page. These can constitute a rapid access to more information about the product’s benefits, studies, and guides.
Naturemade.com has a great database of articles. They have also developed some very nice wellness tools: a snacker tracker and a sleep assessment quiz.

Promotions

If you want to capture your visitors attention more, to increase the average order value of the cart or to have more loyal customers, offer them frequent promotions, discounts. It’s up to you to choose the way your promotion will work. The important thing is to give something meaningful to clients.

For example, Puritan.com has a deal of the week for selected products. This is a great way to promote new products or seasonal products.

They also have a sweepstakes contest:

Puritan.com promotions on health stores sweeptakes

A lot of health supplements and personal care products are used for long term treatments. Drugstore.com has thought of this and offers an Auto-Reorder option that comes with a discount of 10%.

Drugstore.com_reorder

Swansonvitamins.com offers free shipping for a whole year if you sign-up for the newsletter. This is a clever way to make the circle of promotions go on and on.

Swansonvitamins.com pop-up e-mail club

Knowing the customers

„About half of Americans use dietary supplements. Supplement users tend to have somewhat better diets than other people, indicating that they are paying more attention to their nutritional habits generally. Supplement use is typically an integral part of an overall effort to adopt a healthier lifestyle.” This is the conclusion of The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

This means that the vistors of vitamin, mineral, and other dietary supplements e-shops are health conscious people. How can you answer to their shopping needs? By providing quality content, explanations and interesting facts about products. By contributing to health education and to the promotion of natural and organic ingredients.

These are just a few tips on promoting a health e-shop or online drugstore. This is still a growing market and there are so many things you could do to promote a e-shop.

If you have new ideas or examples, feel free to share them with us.

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