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Big Business of WELL|September 10, 2019

Is Your Company Ready for the WELL Revolution?

The social movement in the U.S. to “be well” has enticed industries, from high-tech to hospitality to treat wellness as more than a category, but as a culture. These three questions, from our recent presentation at the Total Store Expo (hosted by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores), will help companies gauge their competitive readiness to win a share of consumer spending on wellness.

Here’s a customer characteristic many companies might not know: More than 80% of Americans say they are in very good to excellent health, and two-thirds are taking active steps to stay that way – whether it’s taking medication or drinking lots of water everyday.

Shoppers are taking control of their own health at an extraordinary rate, and this control is altering the economics, politics and technology of healthcare leadership and authority. For example, Apple has FDA-approved heart monitoring on its watches, and nutritionists are now mass influencers.

Where do you fit in?

The expansion of influence in the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry means retail leaders and healthcare manufacturers should be rethinking their traditional approaches. Wellness is no longer just a category to add to the over-the-counter aisle, or a new ingredient to win FDA approval. It is a cultural transformation that has penetrated the way shoppers eat, sleep, socialize, travel, work and spend.

Organizations bound by traditional R&D and operation limits realize they are at risk of missing this opportunity at this crucial juncture. This was evident in the responses by healthcare business leaders at our recent presentation at the NACDS Total Store Expo, “How to Get Your Share of The Big Business of WELL.” We asked attendees to answer three questions to gauge their readiness to compete and lead The Big Business of WELL. Their responses indicated there is a lot of ground to cover.

How prepared are you to win at WELL?

3 Questions all Companies Should be Asking Themselves

  1. Do you understand how your shoppers define being healthy? This is not just about relieving a condition but managing the causes of conditions such as stress, allergies, and poor diet or sleep. Being well today extends well beyond eating healthy foods and exercising. Consumers spend on nutritionists, use CBD, wear fitness devices, get regular massages and facials – all in pursuit of being well and looking well. It’s evident on Main Street, where cryotherapy salons are opening, and in CVS and Macy’s, which have installed Smile Direct booths to introduce shoppers to teeth straightening through a virtual service.
  2. Do your shoppers believe you care about them and their health? Shoppers want affordable wellness that is honest, obtainable and easy to understand. Therefore cost, information and easy access are necessary to prove a company cares about wellness. Casper Mattress revolutionized an industry by providing comfortable sleep through home-delivered mattresses, while customers of Warby Parker can have their eyes checked on a digital app. Walmart led the campaign for affordable organic products, and Aldi clearly states in its signage that shoppers shouldn’t have to choose between eating well and saving money; it enables them to do both.
  3. Is your company willing to be holistically healthy? It is no longer enough to sell a product to relieve symptoms. Shoppers want their pain reliever brand or digestive aid to treat their total condition. Guiding shoppers to avoid a health issue may seem counterintuitive, but in the long run it will enable a brand to become more important as a wellness partner. This is why Rootine specializes in vitamin subscriptions based on a customer’s DNA, rather than allowing its shoppers to buy an inventory of vitamins they do not need. It is why CVS has acquired Aetna and Walgreens aligned with Humana to shorten the distance between shopper and wellness.

The wellness cultural change is not slowing down for anybody. It requires different thinking, a wider lens and, for many, an internal cultural change.

How can we help your company? The WSL Big Business of WELL is a multi-faceted solution designed to support retailers, consumer brands and services at any stage, so they can see the “new well” from the shopper’s view and share in the shoppers willingness to spend to be well. Visit us.

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