While it is not surprising that vitamins, like every other category of retail, is moving into the realm of Ecommerce, it may be less evident that this change in shopping behavior opens up tremendous advantages for the consumer in the emerging field of personalized vitamins. For a moment, consider the impact of the mass market on product innovation in vitamins. Vitamin manufacturers were limited to produce formulas that fit mass market retail. This meant they had to be easily recognizable on the shelves (e.g., multivitamins for ‘men,’ ‘women,’ ‘seniors’), have broad-based appeal, and fit within limited shelf space because shelf space is very expensive. In turn, nutritional products were designed for the lowest common denominator – the average health profile of the healthy individual and dosed in accordance with the Recommended Daily Allowances (“RDA”) scale. Moreover, a retail market is a one-way transaction – products are selected by the consumer, not calibrated for the consumer. Those bottles on the shelf do not listen to the person shopping for them. The label does not change based on the individual characteristics of the shopper. Finally, once purchased, those bottles do nothing to educate the shopper on what they are actually taking (What is magnesium and what is it doing for me?) or follow up with the consumer if they fail to stay adherent in their daily routine, or need some encouragement to keep going.
Personalized vitamins, on the other hand, possess the capacity to tailor to the consumer far beyond conventional mass market definitions. These services actually listen on the front end to the consumer need through digital survey assessments that capture data markers on diet, fitness, demographics, health status, and medications among other attributes. This data-based profile is used to craft an individualized formula that is more targeted than a generic multivitamin in terms of composition and dosing. A custom-fit vitamin is more likely to have an impact on individual deficiencies because it is going beyond the average diet and RDA scale to find the places where extra nutritional support is needed. Once a consumer enters into a data-based relationship with a personalized vitamin, they get direct, ongoing education and adherence support coaching delivered to their email to ensure they understand the effects of the vitamin, and they stay compliant over time. The direct, data-based relationship also comes into play when a person has a change in health or lifestyle, and they need to update their survey to get a new formula. The vitamin, in essence, evolves with the individual’s need state. Finally, the turnkey subscription service ensures that vitamin re-stocking occurs on your front doorstep at the cadence that you choose. There is no longer the threat that you forget to refill your vitamin and fall out of compliance with your daily routine.
What Factors Should Be Evaluated When Selecting A Personalized Vitamin?
So, here are a few factors to consider when ordering personalized vitamins:
- The Source Matters: When buying vitamins, especially through ecommerce, you want to make sure to get them from a reputable and trusted source. There are literally thousands of online vitamin retailers, and a slew of new personalized vitamin companies selling pill packs and ‘add-ons’ like genetic testing, blood samples, or hair. Many use products from outside the US and questionable manufacturers. You want to find a personalized vitamin company that pays attention to the format (pill load, pill size, pill shape) and cost of the service, and beware of unnecessary diagnostic testing that will drive up the price without delivering commensurate return on the quality of the product.
- Quality Is Critical: There is limited FDA regulation of vitamin and supplement products; thus, there is not necessarily any oversight of these products. This can be quite scary! One way to guarantee a better product is to look for a USP or GMP verification and understand if they are manufactured in the USA.
- Safety Is Essential: Vitamins are like any other medication in that they can be quite dangerous if not taken in safe amounts. Certain products may be harmful to your health just like taking excess medication or taking the wrong type medication for your needs. Read more about supplement safety and vitamin overdoses.
- A Doctor-Created Personalized Vitamin is Advantageous: Medical knowledge is important to help decide which vitamins each person should be taking based on their needs. Close familiarity with the current scientific research about vitamins and their uses in specific circumstances is beneficial to determine which vitamins are needed for each individual based on who they are, their habits and underlying medical issues.
- Personalize your Vitamins: A personalized approach is important. We do not all eat the same, live the same or have the same health concerns. We do not need to take the same vitamins. Getting a personalized all-in-one daily vitamin is the best way to meet your needs and take no more and no less than your body requires. Take our personalized vitamin quiz here for a doctor-created all-in-one personalized vitamin.
The Future Of Vitamin Ecommerce Is Personalized
Why would you ever wander the confusing and overwhelming aisles of the retail store again? It just doesn’t make sense in today’s environment. The current COVID-19 pandemic is permanently changing shopping behaviors, particularly in the vitamin space. It actually benefits the consumer to buy online because they can see a broader selection of products, identify discounts and savings, and set preferences like subscription and shipping cadence. Yet, there is no greater benefit to the online migration than the emergence of navigation in the form of personalized vitamin services. It will ultimately help the consumer to become more tailored in their product selection and achieve cost savings and spend efficiency. Within the realm of personalized vitamins, it is important that the consumer pull through smart shopping behaviors, such as prioritization of quality, safety, and doctor involvement. Paying attention to format, like all-in-one formulation, and easy-to-swallow pill load will result in better long-term vitamin adherence. Now is the time to ditch the crowded vitamin aisles and meet your perfect-fit personalized vitamin that will impact your long-term health.