Your go-to guide for selling health supplements online (DTC)
As a health supplement distributor or manufacturer, you’ve got the team and processes to sell your products via the B2B distribution chain. But what about when you want to begin selling directly to consumers (DTC)? Selling health supplements online DTC is more popular than ever, and the market is growing every day. But don’t be intimidated. Here’s your go-to guide — complete with benefits, guidelines and more — so you can begin successfully selling health supplements online today.
Benefits of selling health supplements online
The future is digital. There’s no denying it. Seemingly everything is going online, especially in a post-COVID world. And when it comes to selling health supplements, it’s no different. The vast majority of health companies choose to sell online for many reasons, including:
- There’s no need to spend money on a brick and mortar store. This cuts overhead costs tremendously. No rent to pay, no store to clean. Just a website to run.
- You can be open 24/7. When you run a business online, there are no open and close times. You’re available to your customers any time they need supplements.
Overall, selling health supplements online is simpler and much less expensive for your company than selling in a brick and mortar store. But, it’s not just the “wild west” in the digital space. Selling supplements online comes with its own set of rules and limitations.
When selling supplements online directly to consumers, there are a lot of government guidelines to consider. The supplement space can be tricky because omitting information or having incorrect information can get retailers in hot water very quickly.
In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the production and sale of all health supplements. Here’s what they require to be listed on each product:
- All ingredients
- The manufacturer
- The packaging site
- A product description
- The word “supplement”
Here’s a link to a page on the FDA website that explains more about these requirements.
In addition, it is illegal to make any claim that a supplement will treat a condition or provide medicinal benefits. You absolutely cannot claim that your product will help people achieve anything at all unless you can back it up with authentic scientific studies. If you do make a claim, it must be accompanied by the following text: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
If supplements are mislabeled in any way, companies will receive a letter from the FDA. Every year, the FDA sends hundreds of letters to various organizations for mislabeling their products. Once a company receives a letter from the FDA, they have 15 days to respond and remedy the situation. If a company fails to do so, the FDA will enforce recalls and/or seizures of products.
Selling health supplements on social media
In today’s day and age, social media is absolutely vital for selling health supplements. It is widely known in the supplement world that using social media effectively is generally the “magic trick” for a successful supplement business. There are a few crucial things to consider as you begin to market your health supplements on social media.
- Choose the right social platforms. You might think that selling the maximum amount of health supplements means having a big presence on every social media channel. Sometimes it does, but usually it doesn’t. Usually, with each specific supplement, not every social media network will be a good fit. Begin the process of selling on social media by identifying your customers and choosing a social network (or two) that gives you the best and most appropriate opportunity to speak to your target market.
- Build your network. You can start this process by searching for relevant keywords or hashtags (such as “health supplements” or #healthsupplements). Once you’ve found some people interested in your space, respond to their questions, comment on their posts, like their content and share their relevant posts. The goal is that they check out your page, like what they see and become a loyal customer. Selling supplements and building an audience on social media can be time consuming and competitive, but interacting with your audience in meaningful ways will help you gain ground.
- Market differently on each social media platform. Let’s say your research has taught you that your brand should focus on Instagram. In that case, partnering with an influencer can help you sell much more effectively. However, if your audience is more active on Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, etc., then there are other best practices to use. Keep in mind the best social networks for your specific product and audience, and then market and sell with that in mind. Whatever platforms you end up choosing, you must prioritize monitoring those platforms. Platform users are prone to comment and sometimes in a negative, sometimes trolling style. Merchants need to be ready and armed with responses to defend claims and diffuse negative comments.
Don’t have a digital presence yet?
If your company isn’t online just yet, don’t worry. There’s no better time to start your health supplement eCommerce site.
Once you’ve created an amazing line of health supplements, it’s time to share them with the world — and what better place to do that than online? After you’ve mastered the government guidelines and learned how to effectively market to your target audience, all that’s left to do is sell.
There are excellent eCommerce platforms available on which to build your webstore. We can help you choose the correct one to meet your needs – and help you create and market your eCommerce presence.