Health, wellness and fitness represent one of the hottest commerce sectors today. Consumers from all demographics are interested in living longer, healthier lives and are turning to a variety of technologies and services to help them do so. The market has exploded with products competing for attention in this space, and that can make cutting through the noise and reaching the right consumers seem overwhelming.
The behaviors consumers engage in before making healthcare purchases closely resemble those familiar to retailers in other sectors. More empowered than ever, consumers expect the information they want to be readily available and accessible, and especially mobile friendly. Competition is fierce so there is no wiggle room to inconvenience them. But the right e-commerce strategy can easily elevate you above the competition and deliver satisfied customers.
No tool is more important to attract and convert consumers than your website. There are a few things you can do right now that will engage consumers and turn them into satisfied customers.
Mobile is a necessity. Can you believe that in 2017 there are still many sites that do not display properly on mobile devices? This definitely impacts sales negatively. It’s impossible to stress enough how vital mobile traffic is to e-commerce. If you assume that every conversion is going to happen on the mobile channel, you will generally be correct more often than you are wrong.
Every aspect of your site must be optimized for mobile. That includes shopping carts and checkouts because consumers will quickly abandon a checkout process that is too cumbersome to complete on mobile devices.
Place the right information in the right place. Many health and wellness marketers make the mistake of believing they must immediately barrage website visitors with a complex list of benefits, specifications and research. It is true that this information is important, but your landing page should be clean and inviting, not overwhelming. Prioritize the the highest value opportunities and elements to feature upfront and make the rest easily available through navigation. Use an intuitive and attractive design that is user-friendly and reflects your brand.
Position your product as the gateway to wellness goals. Ask yourself the classic marketing question: What are you really selling? You are not selling a faster way to juice vegetables, an easier way to track steps, or shoes that enable longer workouts. You are selling the end result of your product, the personal goals that it empowers consumers to achieve. Every word and graphic on your website should reinforce that your product is the best avenue to achieve a desired result.
Easy navigation and complete product details. Create a simple path to get visitors the information they want with navigation tools that are easy to use. Some consumers want detailed specifics and others may be seeking special instructions or restrictions. Layer this information intelligently so it is easy to find for people who are looking for it and not obtrusive for those who don’t care. Feature product reviews prominently to validate your offer — and also because many visitors now read reviews looking for answers to questions that may not be clear elsewhere and tips on how to best use a product. Review content feeds the information arsenal of empowered consumers and they value the opinions of other users.
Simplify checkout…and then simplify it more. Once a customer is ready to convert on a shopping cart, the worst thing you can do is complicate that process. Minimize the amount of data you collect to the bare essentials of completing a transaction: name, address, credit card number. With everything additional you add, you risk losing customers. If repeat customers are a big part of your business, enable account creation where customers can save credit card information for future one-click buying — but make it optional so you don’t alienate visitors that want to make a purchase as quickly as possible.
The overarching theme in successful e-commerce designs is simplicity. Today’s busy consumers make purchases while waiting in line, riding subways, and everywhere life takes them. It’s the adaptation retailers have had to make to survive their hypercompetitive landscape and that same level of competition is coming to healthcare. If you can’t convert them before those other distractions demand their attention, they could be lost forever.