Emerging from the pandemic, people are more concerned than ever before about their health and well-being. As a result, increasingly they’re turning to digital and e-commerce solutions to address their needs.
In response, e-commerce companies marketing everything from personalized eating plans to immune-boosting supplements to mindfulness practices are emerging; providing consumers with the means to monitor, maintain, and take control of their health in the midst of an ever-changing and uncertain landscape.
The E-Commerce Times talked with health and wellness experts from a variety of sectors for perspective on how e-commerce has been brought into service in this new — and newly health-conscious — world.
“The pandemic has left a huge health legacy,” Shruti Chawla, vice president of marketing at Spoon Guru, told the E-Commerce Times. “A recent [report] by PWC, Google, and Spoon Guru found that almost a third of the UK population have changed their diet since the pandemic.
“People are not only more aware of the impact of nutrition on the immune system, but they are also more driven than ever to make changes to their diets and lifestyles that will lead to healthier versions of themselves, both physically and mentally.”
Wellness Is Personal
One of the key components of pandemic and post-pandemic health e-commerce offerings is personalization. Consumers are realizing that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to health and wellness, and they value offerings that let them tailor the products and services they buy to their individual situations.
“Retailers need to provide a seamless omnichannel experience that the consumer is demanding, particularly in the current climate when health and ethical goals are so paramount,” said Chawla.
“The fundamental key to success for retailers is to differentiate themselves in this very competitive landscape by giving a personalized and relevant shopping experience to their customers, so they are able to find products better suited to their needs and preferences.
“It is also a big opportunity for the retailers to help consumers navigate the overwhelming array of information that is available to them,” she explained.
When it comes to mental and emotional health, as well, consumers are looking for products and services specifically tailored to their particular needs during an uncertain and shifting time.
“We suffered so many losses this past year,” Cheryl Jones, owner and executive director of The Mindful Path, a coaching, training, and consulting services business, told the E-Commerce Times.
“The combination of the coronavirus pandemic, isolation and restriction, social and racial unrest, job loss, and the growing political divide have shaken us to the core. We’ve lost loved ones. It’s been a year of going from one crisis to the next, and all of this is on top of normal life stress.
“Even with our vaccination campaign here in the U.S., we are seeing the highest levels of anxiety and depression reported since the pandemic hit last March. The truth is that these intense times of change and uncertainty are going to continue for a while,” she said.
In the midst of these difficult times, consumers are looking for help in navigating back to sense of wellness and wholeness, and personalized, tailored services like those Jones provide are becoming a central part of the health and wellness landscape.
“My services are very specifically designed to help people to improve their health and recover a sense of well-being — not just to reduce stress, but to create some new healthy habits, so people can create a pandemic recovery plan and begin to flourish and thrive,” Jones explained.
Whether they’re seeking emotional support or making choices at the grocery store, consumers want to feel like they’re at least in charge of their own health and wellness, and personalized plans and options give them this sense of control.
“We have already seen a spotlight shone on the need for more personalization capabilities within the grocery industry,” said Chawla. “This is likely to become even more prominent as more people focus on defining their own health agenda, which may well be different to their partner’s or their children.
“The ability to quickly and simply personalize the shopping experience to cater for an entire household’s differing needs will be hugely beneficial.”
A Well Planet
Much of the focus on health and wellness in recent months has been aimed at getting through the pandemic and surviving and thriving in the world beyond — whatever that may look like.
“I think the popularity of services related to health and wellness is fairly obvious, as we’re in the latter stages of a pandemic,” Taylor Morris, director of operations for Better Way Health, told the E-Commerce Times. “People will spare no expense to have peace of mind about their own health and the health of family members. With products being just a click away, it’s no surprise that demand is soaring.”
It’s not just individual health and wellness that’s on peoples’ minds, but also the health and wellness of society and the planet itself.
“The health agenda is at the forefront for many, but the environment, society, and our impact on the planet have all been thrust into the spotlight, too,” explained Chawla.
“Our clients and the grocery industry as a whole are looking at how they can ensure that they are a driving force for change, and technology like ours will be crucial to helping consumers make the best choices for the planet as well as for themselves,” she offered.
Adapting and thriving in the new is a central focus of many peoples’ lives. E-commerce products and services that address that desire are finding a ready marketplace and consumers eager to do whatever they can to help themselves and their families move forward.
“I believe in humanity, and I believe we have an enormous opportunity to define how we’re going to come out of this pandemic,” asserted Jones from The Mindful Path.
“Who do I want to be? How do I want to be? What does thriving look like for me? I believe that we all have an innate desire to grow. This is part of being a human being. Sometimes we just need help figuring out what that’s going to look like,” she concluded.