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Boosting eCommerce for Health, Wellness, and Fitness Brands

Ricardas Montvila, VP of Global Strategy @ Mapp
Boosting eCommerce for Health, Wellness, and Fitness Brands

Every year the Health, Wellness, and Fitness market is reaching its new “personal best.” In fact, McKinsey found that the market is worth an estimated $1.5 trillion, with a yearly growth trajectory of 5 to 10%. As consumers have an array of choices when it comes to finding products and services that fit their needs, for brands, it means one thing: fierce competition.

How can brands trying to get a slice of the (healthy) pie get themselves in the lead? To explore this, Forrester’s Principal Analyst Emily Pfeiffer and our client Lloyds Pharmacy’s William Connor joined us in a webinar – here’s what we had to say …

Health and wellness eCommerce trends in 2023

Customers are now willing to invest more in preventative health measures and live healthier lifestyles. Combine this with the high adoption of online shopping; these have been major influencers in the market’s boost. But as our guest speaker Emily Pfeiffer notes, eCommerce brands looking to gain the upper hand in the health and wellness sector need to think a little differently.

Fostering loyalty by managing expectations

It might not sound particularly mind-blowing but hear us out! Managing your customers’ expectations is a huge opportunity that many miss out on.

You know the phrase: surprise and delight!

According to Emily, customers aren’t looking for surprises. They simply want to be served in the way that they expect. Yet, brands often get carried away with gimmicks and ‘clever’ attempts to foster loyalty.

Brands should be doing exactly what they should be – providing a service or product to their customers in the best way possible. To meet these expectations, all it takes is to be clear and realistic with customers, by identifying and managing expectations.

In practice, for an online pharmacy, it might look like this:

  1. Set expectations: You advise a customer that their prescription will be ready for collection at 4pm.
  2. Manage expectations. There are delays with the packing of the prescription, so you advise the customer that it will be ready at 4.30 pm instead.
  3. Meet expectations. The prescription is ready to be collected at 4.30 pm, and the customer fulfills their needs.

Pretty simple, right? But companies often fail to live up to expectations. Research carried out by Forrester found that for 23% of UK consumers, pickup or curbside orders took longer than expected in 2022. Meanwhile, 38% sometimes or always had online orders canceled. This is huge, as this leads to high frustration and a loss of repeat business.

Incorporating agile practices to move quickly

The digital world moves pretty fast – and so should you! During the pandemic, many organizations found themselves at a digital disadvantage because they simply could not change the way they were working quickly enough.

Speed and agility are key. And sometimes, it’s better to get something out and improve it afterwards, rather than waiting until it’s perfect.

In fact, according to Emily, “perfect is the enemy of fast”.

Evolve your tech as you go

Being better than your competition may be your motivation. But you need to rethink who you’re actually comparing yourself to.

As Emily notes, many customers usually stick to one brand in this sector. A handful of examples that customers have one of are usually a gym, a bank, a pharmacy, and more. While very flattering, being “the chosen one” means providing the best experience of all. Your focus needs to be less on beating the competition and more on providing the best possible experience for customers by learning from all brands in other verticals.

A common blocker in providing great customer experiences is the lack of tech to support your marketing. According to Emily, digital businesses need their tech to be FIRE:

  • Flexible: Key to remaining agile, it’s about being able to quickly test new functions and establish customer data points.
  • Inexpensive: We’d all like things to be a little bit cheaper, but in this context, it’s important to weigh up ROI. It might be the case that new tech is more expensive initially, but in the long run, the payoff is worth it.
  • Rapid: Here, we mean moving as quickly as possible towards a more rapidly adjustable infrastructure.
  • Easy: And lastly, your tech should be easy and simple to use.

This outline involves improving your tech as you go or incrementally to help you set the foundations of a well-oiled marketing machine!

Leveraging digital channels as a health and wellness brand

34% of all health and personal care sales occur online, which is set to rise to 50%. Again, the market for health and wellness offers huge opportunities, but competition is tough. Alongside your tech, it’s why it pays to invest in data-backed strategies – to make marketing decisions you know will work.

Emily identified that the biggest opportunity may lay in customer lifetime value. When their needs are met, customers are loyal. Understanding this opens the potential for forward-thinking companies to adopt measures that appeal to returning customers, such as subscriptions, prompts to reorder when they are running low on a product, and scheduled home delivery.

Case study: Lloyds Pharmacy grew its revenue by 300% by focusing on digital experiences

Lloyds Pharmacy is one of the UK’s largest community pharmacy chains, with over 1,500 branches across the country. In the webinar, we were joined by ECRM Manager – William Connor, who told us how using customer insights to improve their digital experience led to a 300% growth in revenue.

In 2017, Lloyds Pharmacy turned its attention to digital channels. A few years later, it sought the help of Mapp and now uses Mapp Marketing Cloud, an insight-led customer platform, to power insight-led marketing. Here’s how they’re utilizing Mapp Intelligence in particular:

With Mapp’s support, the marketing team at Lloyds Pharmacy used their own data to uncover trends and make simple but effective decisions that have led to great results.

The main areas Lloyds Pharmacy has seen the best results with targeted customer segmentation, product replenishment cycles, and SMS cart abandonment messages.

Will tells us that using segmentation to analyze previous purchase data, among other metrics, has resulted in a 154% click-through rate increase and a 667% conversion rate increase. Not bad when you consider that it takes just a couple of weeks to integrate Mapp and provides a positive return on investment almost immediately!

Using Martech insights to drive conversions for health and wellness eCommerce brands

For both Emily and Will, providing great digital experiences for customers comes down to three things – convenience, trust and reliability. When these are achieved, they lead to the thing all brands are searching for: loyalty.

Convenience + trust + reliability = loyalty

Using a platform such as Mapp Marketing Cloud gives you the opportunity to make insight-led marketing decisions that improve convenience and reliability, leading to greater trust and, finally, brand loyalty. According to Will, Mapp Marketing Cloud allowed Lloyds Pharmacy to evolve to fit the needs of its customers. And because of its impact on revenue, it provides a solid ROI and is therefore an inexpensive option.

In fact, we commissioned a Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study on the ROI of Mapp Marketing Cloud. It found that the composite organization would see a 540% ROI from Mapp Marketing Cloud.

Mapp Marketing Cloud: Making Insight-Led Marketing Our Mission

Customer analytics and data management have the biggest impact on improving customer experience. Why? Because it allows you to understand your customers on a granular level and craft journeys and experiences according to that data, which often results in the following:

  • Faster growth than competitors
  • Remain at the front of customer’s minds
  • Data-driven predictions before a customer even enter your sales funnel

Mapp Marketing Cloud is a powerful insight-led customer experience platform that helps focus on what really matters: data-driven optimizations. With customer intelligence, marketing analytics, and AI-driven predictions, businesses can use multichannel customer insights to trigger personalized marketing activities from their fingertips.

We had a fantastic time chatting with Emily and Will in this webinar, and thank them for their time. If you’d like to find out more about the impact of Mapp Marketing Cloud, download our Forrester report here:


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