Added Value: The Future of the Specialty Supplement Business

As a sales professional in the sports nutrition supplement industry, a concern I all too often hear especially over these last few years from my brick-and-mortar retailers as well as some of my online stores is whether a brand I’ve offered them is available online (specifically, Amazon), and if so what price point is it being sold at and will they be able to compete?

Recent statistics show that Amazon had a whopping 36.9% share of the online market in the 2016 holiday season and retail stores are closing down shops all around the country.

Vitamin and health specialty retailers: What kind of added value are you offering to your customers to increase loyalty and repeat business, the kind that keeps them from clicking away on that oh-so-tempting bright orange Buy Now button on Amazon?

Added value is an important tactic that can be used by small businesses to acquire and retain customers, increase brand awareness and differentiate one’s place in the marketplace. Retail stores who offer added value are more likely to cultivate strong customer loyalty, increased sales at the register and repeat business. In other words, you must offer your shoppers an "experience" when they come to you.

In the fashion industry for example, more and more brands are offering customers free appointments with personal stylists to help them shop for budget-friendly, flattering garments. In the supplement industry, it could be as simple as offering a free nutritional profile consultation with monthly adjustments as needed upon their visits, booking local fitness trainers or dietitians/nutritionists to come to your store several times per month to meet with your customers and assess their needs, customized PDF meal/nutrition guides, branded promotional swag, GWP (gift with purchase) and exclusive products.

Whatever route you choose in adding value to every shoppers' experience, always do something that sets you apart and shows your customers that you appreciate their business and value that they chose to return to you when they had so many other options. Give them an experience.

Maria Khawly is the Owner of Vitacor Sales and Marketing

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