Healthy Business With WooCommerce
If you are running—or thinking about running—a healthy eCommerce business, we’ve found a great study for you to check out.
We’ve also matched the study’s key findings up with a small selection of health-conscious WooCommerce businesses that are putting the research findings into practice.
Health and Wellness in America Study
Nielsen and NMI have published Part 1 (The Consumer Perspective) of Health and Wellness in America.
Some of the key findings include:
- Americans find healthy eating a challenge, including because of rising food costs.
- Knowledge is key, and consumers are increasingly monitoring food labels, including the ingredients list and nutritional facts panel.
- While American consumers want to be healthy, there is often a gap between aspirations and behaviours.
- Americans are understanding that food can play an important role in preventative health, or to address health issues and medical conditions.
In addition, the top five (self-reported) unmet nutritional needs for American consumers are: fiber; vitamins/minerals; calcium; antioxidants; and Omega-3s.
Opportunities for eCommerce
Providing Educational Value
As the report notes:
retailers can provide meaningful solutions by coalescing around accessible, easy to understand and transparent nutritional information that addresses unmet consumer needs and desires.
We looked around to find some existing WooCommerce businesses that have adopted this approach of providing valuable information and education for their customers.
One example is Daily Harvest, which sells ready-to-blend, organic, whole fruit and vegetable packs for customers to make their own healthy smoothies.
I checked out Daily Harvest’s blog, and what do you know, one of the first posts I find is about the top unmet nutritional need for American consumers: fiber.
Another example is Deliciously Organic, a site that gives advice, recipes, subscription-based meal plans and plenty more for people wanting to eat organically. Below is just one example of how Deliciously Organic is trying to clear up the confusion for consumers.
We’ve all heard that kale is a “superfood” right? Many of us have thought we were doing the right thing by ordering a (somewhat intimidating) green kale smoothie.
But in actual fact, it’s bad for you to eat raw kale. To explain why, Deliciously Organic has published a clear and easy to understand explanation, followed by a recipe for The Perfect Green Smoothie.
The Gap Between Aspiration and Behaviour
While American consumers have good intentions, it can be hard to translate those into actual healthy behaviours. For example:
89 percent of consumers in an online NMI survey agree that “taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy” (aspiration) while a modest 70 percent say they are actively “trying to become healthier” (behavior).
Three-quarters of consumers feel they can “manage many health issues through proper nutrition” (aspiration) while fully half acknowledge “it can be a challenge to eat healthy” (behavior).
ECommerce sellers can find opportunities that make it easier for consumers to bridge that gap between their aspirations and their behaviour.
One example of a company using WooCommerce to help customers more easily match their aspirations with their behaviours is Suja Juice.
Suja Juice have three lines of cold-pressured organic juices and smoothies that you can buy through their online store (they also sell through Safeway, Whole Foods, and other retailers). Similar to Daily Harvest, Suja juices are a quick and easy way to meet a variety of nutritional needs. Suja Juices also sell juice cleanse kits.
Suja Juice’s blog is full of educational material on juices, foods we should eat more often, foods to buy organic, recipes and more.
Food as Medicine
American consumers increasingly understand that food can play an important role in preventing health problems, or in addressing current health issues.
Based on longitudinal data from NMI, one in three American adults believe that functional foods and beverages (food that provides additional health benefits that may reduce disease risk and/or promote good health) can be substituted for some medicines in their overall health plan.
But as the study notes:
In order to successfully use food as a remedy for what ails them, consumers first need to understand the benefits derived from specific nutrients, such as digestive health and probiotics, heart protection and Omega-3 fatty acids, strong bones and calcium.
One example of a WooCommerce seller tapping into the food as medicine market is Healthy Bastards. For example, if you go to their Cardiovascular Health page, you find three different supplements thought to assist with cardio health.
Healthy Bastards’ product pages include educational information, as well as ratings from existing customers. There is also a Free Resources page of educational materials.
It’s Easier to Help Solve Problems When You Know What They Are!
If any of you were thinking about starting a health-conscious eCommerce store on WooCommerce, hopefully this post has given you some ideas and an insight into your potential customers.
If not, perhaps its at least provided you with some informative health resources you can check out.
As for me, I’m thinking about trying one of those Suja Juice cleanses… wish me luck!