Vitamin, mineral, and other dietary supplements are big business. Whether you're a medical practitioner looking to expand your patient's care choices, or a fitness professional with a passion for nutrition, you know that wellness is where it's at. If you've thought that you could open a business around your desire to create a healthier world.
We at 3dcart can help you with some basic tips of building a store and brand presence online.
“Americans have turned to vitamins to prevent illness as an alternative to expensive prescription drugs, boosting demand… The convenience afforded by online shopping further benefited sales.”
1. Know Your Market.
It may seem that if you’re selling supplements, you’re selling supplements, but that’s just not so. Is your focus on providing women vitamins and supplements that will aid them in every stage of their lives? Or, is your target demographic the aging baby boom population and their desire to be fit at any age? Are you after the gym rat that can’t live without his protein powder? Some e-tailers are specializing in all-natural supplements. It is essential in online retailing to have a highly developed market niche.
Once you’ve defined who you want to sell to, it’s much easier to know what items to stock for your inventory. There are few laws specific to the sales of vitamins and supplements, but the F.D.A. has issued plenty of guidelines. Be sure to know and follow them as you create your business plan.
2. Lots of Liittle Bottles: Create a Dynamic Web Design.
No matter how you slice it, vitamins and supplements come in similar packaging. If you do as most new online entrepreneurs and upload photo after photo of little white bottles, your site will be static, boring, and unsuccessful. Stock photo companies have lots of great action shots of athletes and models in all manner of modes to add movement and energy to your site.
Just the thought of building a website may be daunting. Here’s a secret, most successful online sellers aren’t all that tech-savvy either! What they’ve done to be successful is to know their market and brand, and partner with a trusted e-commerce software firm to supply the web design and online sales platform. When choosing a software partner, look for a secure and reliable check-out system, an easy-to-use shopping cart, and lots of customizable page templates that allow you to create dynamic web pages to sell your vitamins.
3. The Conundrum of Shipping.
Luckily, selling vitamins and supplements online isn’t like selling furniture. Your products fit into most standard shipping boxes and usually won’t be too heavy, so your shipping costs can be kept fairly low. But, knowing how to calculate your shipping cost is vitally important to your bottom line. Do you want complete control over the shipping phase of the purchase? Then you’ll need to buy shipping supplies, and create custom labels and packing slips. What carrier will you use to ship? Do they have a handy shipping calculator available on their website? Can you link your site to their calculator, or provide your own? If after consideration, you decide you want to contract out your shipping, there are lots of options including a dropship partner like Amazon, which can store and ship your inventory for you.
4. Keeping Track: Where Are the Customers From, and How Do You Keep Them Coming Back.
As we said, the vitamin and supplement industry is enormous. Driving customers to your specific site takes a lot of time, and skill. Your software partner should offer social media integration in its platform, and hopefully won’t be shy in showing you how to use Google plus, Yahoo, Twitter, and Facebook, along with mining new, untapped business opportunities in online health forums and the like. Engaging with each customer, finding out how they came to you and why they purchased, is important to helping you tailor your marketing and sales strategies. Follow-up your sale with coupons or discounts for additional purchases so that a first-time customer becomes a life-long one.