The Highest Health

For years, Aisle7 Online has been the premier platform for presenting a library of health and wellness materials on the Web. And now, with our latest suite of products, we offer an unrivaled e-commerce experience.

This summer, Hi-Health is launching a full set of e-commerce enabled products to supplement their exisiting Wellness Education Center, which is already powered by Aisle7:

  • Conversion Package w/ E-Commerce Linking
  • Dynamic Content Targeting
  • Vitamin Advisor w/ E-Commerce

In licensing our Conversion Package w/ E-Commerce Linking, a “Find Products” button was automatically enabled throughout our supplement based content that sends terms directly into the Hi-Health product search engine. This places curious browsers one click away from key products at the very moment they have been convinced of their need.

On individual product pages, Hi-Health has utilized our Dynamic Content Targeting data service to channel in the most relevant content that will aid in purchase. When a user is considering buying a B Vitamin, they conveniently have the info they need to push them over the tipping point.

Next up for integration is a customized Vitamin Advisor tool. This two-step questionnaire recommends over 20 different products straight from the Hi-Health catalog, and even includes an Add-To-Cart button that pushes a user right into the checkout process with a full cart!

Hi-Health is committed to help their customers find the products they need, and with the help of Aisle7, they are now poised to deliver! Explore their full site right here: Hi-Health.com.

The Website Doldrums

You started a business!  That’s great.

Aired a TV commercial!  So bold.

Opened a second location!  On a roll.

Launched an e-commerce website! How 21st century.

Became satisfied with a dismal 1.4% conversion rate online!  [Crickets chirping]

 

I have seen this story line unfold time and time again. What shocks me isn’t the low conversion rate, but the complacency I see from those who manage these poorly yielding websites. And worst yet, these folks doll out far more excuses than solutions!

At Aisle7, we help people make healthy decisions. Across the world we help shoppers find the right health and wellness products. And across the web we help retailers improve their sales. And when we find gems of knowledge that can be reapplied, we write them up as easy to read, 1-2 page, Best Practice white papers.

Here are a few examples from the Aisle7 Best Practice Library:

Acquisition

Search Engine Optimization - Enable Basic Search - Integrated Search Methods

Engagement

Building Better Menus - Styling Aisle7 Content - Adding The Newswire widget

Conversion

Social Media Marketing - Build Your Brand - Dynamic Content Targeting

Site-Wide Techniques

Content Drives Decisions (New!)

Visit (and definitely bookmark!) the full library here. New Best Practices are released most every month. Now let’s see the conversion rate get up there!

Feeling Lucky?

Over the past weeks, Lucky Vitamins has taken great leaps forward on their e-commerce site, using Aisle7 Online content to drive consumer decisions like never before. Now, at every stage of purchase: the moment a user lands on their site, searches for a product, or browses a category, they are within a click of on-point health information.

They started simple, launching a tightly integrated landing page asset on a page that has been optimized for social sharing and includes several tagging tools. This page can be accessed at any time, from either the main menu or from the nicely crafted icons at the bottom of the site.

While some shoppers will arrive at a site and immediately seek out health information, many more will dive right into the on-site search. Following our integrated search Best Practice article, they built a search engine that mingles their products with Aisle7 articles on adjacent tabs.

Still not satisfied, Lucky Vitamins decided to again put Aisle7 content at the forefront by integrating sets of links on key category and product pages. Using their free Content Explorer tool (haven’t seen it yet? contact me!) they found matching articles and guides that would boost consumer confidence and push them over the sales tipping point. The right info at the right time!

None of the above improvements take stunning technical expertise or weeks of development time. The real drive here was vision, of the way shopper’s would use (and occasionally stumble!) through their online shop. Check out their live site today!

Confusion stalls growth in Vitamin Category

Early last week,  a new market study came out reporting that vitamin category growth is slowing to 2% growth. The last 4 years the industry was humming along at a moderate 4%.

What particularly caught my eye is that the category sustained growth despite less people buying vitamins this year. In other words, people who are seeing benefits are buying more. The study also indicated that some negative studies, many of them unfounded, are creating confusion in the marketplace even among products like Fish Oil and Vitamin D which have well supported scientific evidence.

This points to the increasing opportunity to provide shoppers with 3rd party, objective education tools to help shoppers make good decisions. It’s why we developed Aisle7 Mobile Vitamin Advisor. With just a couple of taps on your phone, a shopper can get a personalized report on why supplements may be helpful for their specific conditions. And now that it’s on the phone, they can access the information anywhere at anytime.

Introducing the Aisle7 Mobile Vitamin Advisor—Family Edition

You see it everyday –  shopper’s standing in the vitamin aisle, staring at the wall of options as if all the labels are written in another language. Many of these shoppers will tuck tail and run because of the sheer volume of choices. Face it, for people who have never purchased vitamins and supplements before, the process can be confusing and intimidating.

Stop leaving money in the aisle.

Streamlined and friendly, the newest member of the Vitamin Advisor product line was built to help people choose which vitamins to buy using their smartphone.  By answering a simple questionnaire that takes less than a minute, shoppers get a personalized report with up to six science-based supplement recommendations to address their unique concerns.  The report has been highly valued by shoppers who’ve used Vitamin Advisor on a website. Now we’re bringing it to the phone.

Find out more about this turnkey program that can add a whole new (and profitable) dimension to your vitamin aisle.

 

 

A Staggering Surge

There comes a point when trends become truths. Millions become billions. And data points cross the line from eye-opening to redundant. Mobile shopping is here. Officially. The evidence is in. Done.

Back in the early years of the Internet (or World Wide Web, as we called it back in 1997), there was skeptical trepidation to commit to building a Website. I remember presentations where I was trying to convince a business owner that they should spend some money on a domain name. I quoted surveys and trends and studies and white-papers. “55% of businesses will have a website by 1998” or “33% of business owners say they use email everyday.” I remember one meeting where a colleague said, “No one will ever want to look up movie times on the Internet when they can just call Moviefone.” Er.

It wasn’t until a few years later when selling a Website didn’t require pages of charts. It was just a fact. I didn’t have to explain why, just what and how much.

So, now, here we are at another tipping point. Mobile shopping is a fact.

Type Mobile Shopping Trends into Google and read for yourself. Just recently eBay announced some numbers for mobile commerce that CEO John Donahoe referred to as a “Staggering Surge.” It was something like a Gajillion dollars or some such enormous amount of money. Staggering Surge is great way of saying, “Such a shift in the way we do business, that the numbers don’t even matter anymore.”

If you aren’t working mobile retail into your near future plans you are lagging way, way behind. How much of a lag? A staggering lag.

 

 

Proximity + Relevance = Win

The holy grail in marketing is to deliver the right message, to the right person at the right time. If you look under the covers of most digital marketing solutions, this is the formula at work. The narrative goes something like this — at any given time a shopper has a myriad of questions rattling around in their head about what to buy. Is this healthy? Will it taste good? Can I get a better price? Will the kids like it? These questions act as barriers to purchase.  The paradox is that they are easily answered. What to do? How can we find out what the shopper is thinking and help answer their questions?

Since we can’t easily peer into a shopper’s mind as they walk the store, we need to provide services that answer questions as they arise when shoppers are at shelf. Recent research shows that 92% of consumers prefer self-service applications for research and decision making tools. Up until recently, providing digital marketing solutions at the shelf was too cost-intensive. But now with mobile phones and cheaper kiosk  devices (and getting cheaper) like the iPad the price for information delivery is coming down fast — thank you moore’s law.

The next step is providing the right information. The problem is a function of content programming and targeting. Fortunately, now that the price of hardware is coming down precipitously, it opens up the possibility to cost-effectively deliver targeted messages. Instead of placing all of your investment in a single device for the whole store, you can afford to place multiple devices to various departments and shelf-sets. For example if you wanted to present a solution for the Cold and Flu shelf set, you could create a focused presentation about the top tips to reduce the length of a cold, prevention recommendations, and product ideas for natural or Rx remedies depending on your proclivities.

Or let’s say you wanted to build a merchandising and marketing campaign on Gluten Free products. You know shoppers entering that aisle are interested in the topic. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could deliver an information solution to answer any of the questions they might have.  e.g. Will going Gluten Free help my digestive issues? What foods should I avoid? How do I use these products in a recipe?

The possibilities are endless. Heart health, HBC, Sports Nutrition, etc… The information and tools to support decision making are available. Recommendations from the experts are at your disposal. The trick is delivering it at the time when a shopper is interested. That’s the holy grail. The new version of  Aisle7 In-Store solves many of these issues. Check out our demo to see our off-the-shelf version. Or give us a call and we can brainstorm with you on how to deliver a focused presentation in the aisle.

 

We’ve Been Pinned

Are you using Pinterest to connect with your customers?

This social media site is an up and coming marketing activity for passion products. More visually driven than Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest boards appear to be curated and art directed. Ideas shared on Pinterest spread like wildfire. 80% of Pinterest pins are repins, whereas only 1.4% of tweets are retweets.  Not only that, but your shoppers are flocking to the site – Pinterest grew from 1.68M users in Sept. 2011 to 16.23M in Feb. 2012.*

Health and wellness retail is in the sweet spot for Pinterest activity because people are tuning into their health and are looking for inspiration. Not only does Pinterest offer up a healthy recipe, but it also provides a mouth-watering image of the dish. Interested in ways to shake up an exercise regimen? Pinterest can show you what to expect, or what to aspire to.

If you’d like to see an example of a great retailer Pinterest board, take a gander at what Vitamin Shoppe is pinning. They’ve created multiple boards based on the health goals of their various customers – recipes on smoothies, profiles on Olympic athletes, even an image collection of animals exercising (who doesn’t love cute animals?!). Vitamin Shoppe is using their Aisle7 content to link customers back to the Vitamin Shoppe website, taking their Pinterest followers from their “Eat Your Greens” page back to the Aisle7 article, “Drink to Your Health with Raw Green Smoothies” on VitaminShoppe.com.

Aisle7 content can go beyond your website to engage with your fans/friends/shoppers on social services like Facebook, Pinterest, email, etc. Want to do more with your content? Give us a call to talk more!

 

*Source: Huffington Post

Health Needs of the Healthy

The summer of 2012 is a big one for health & wellness in America. Wait wait wait – I am not going to bore you with an intensive debate of the constitutionality of health care reform. I’ll enter into evidence the fact that my law training doesn’t extend beyond viewership of the first two seasons of L.A. Law.

I want to talk about the Olympics.

I just spent the last two weekends in Eugene, Ore. spectating the Olympic Trials for Track & Field. Over eight days of competition, America’s finest runners, jumpers, and throwers competed for the right to represent our country at this summer’s Olympic Games in London. It was stunning display of athleticism, from slender harriers in the distance events to strapping giants tossing javelins like toothpicks.

Hayward Field – Eugene, Oregon

What a show! I was even lucky enough to watch Ashton Eaton break the world record in the decathlon to earn the title of “World’s Greatest Athlete.”

But what does this have to do health and wellness marketing? You might be thinking that these perfect human specimens running 110 miles per week aren’t quite the targets of your recent heart health campaigns, and they certainly don’t have any concerns about diabetes. You are probably right on those points, but…

Beware of marginalizing the health needs of the healthy.

Case in point: 5k finalist Lauren Fleshman. Tired of sub-standard post-workout food options, she founded Picky Bars, a business that sells “Allergy Sensitive, Athlete Designed, Scientifically Scrumptious” snack bars. We are talking about a two-time US Champion, presumably one of the healthiest people on the planet, still striving to find something better.

It is easy to build your marketing calendar around health maladies, and yeah, Aisle7 has got you completely covered in that realm. Just don’t forget to pepper your calendar with concepts that play to the already healthy. We’ve got you covered there too!

What Is Your Website For?

In my last post, I told you about the hardest question an Aisle7 customer had ever asked me. Moving from defense to offense, I will tell you today about the simplest, yet toughest, question I ask to our subscribers:

“What is your website for?”

Sit back and think that over. There are a lot of easy answers, but it will take some thought to get an A+. Let’s start with some of the regular responses:

  • “To sell stuff.”
  • “For marketing.”
  • Everyone has a website.”

True statements across the board, but I am thinking those are C- answers. These are better:

  • “To introduce my product and sell it.”
  • “To help steer customers into my store.”
  • “Seriously, everyone has a website!”

Now we are getting there, but are still only at the B level. Here is what the teacher was really looking for:

  • “To engage potential customers, convince them that they direly need the products I offer, put those items into their cart, and get them in line to check out.”

And then the music cues in, and I introduce Aisle7 Wellness Shops.

Wellness Shop Home Page

Our Wellness Shops are friendly information centers focused on specific health conditions or goals. They draw customers in with sharp imagery and rotating monthly content. They keep them focused by presenting only targeted information, never allowing them to stray too far. And most importantly, they invite conversion with Promolink, an embedded campaign that you can customize that connects them to your top products or promotions.

Promolink w/ Sample Products

Learn more about the ways to use our Wellness Shops, featuring Promolink, visit our Aisle7 Best Practice Library or access a Live Demo today.

And stay tuned for my next installment, “The Easiest Questions I Answer and The Lovely Folks That Ask Them.”