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.

 

 

WellnessFX Launches Mobile App featuring Aisle7

WellnessFX just released their first app to the iOS store today and we’re proud to part of it.

We started working with WellnessFX months ago to provide science-based nutrition recommendations based off the biomarker analysis their platform provided to their customers. Brilliant!

This is the first consumer appropriate feedback tool to help consumers find the supplements that may be most helpful, track progress through bio-marker feedback, and assess goals with a WellnessFX health coach. There is a lot of hub-bub around proactive health care apps like this one and we believe this will only increase the need for our content and decision tools to help consumers make sense of the data.

Read the press release

Made possible with Aisle7 Appstream

Upward (Usage) Mobility

There are a lot of trends / statistics / lecturers out there saying that mobile is the future. You know it, and we know it. But man, sometimes the reality of smartphone usage is just staggering.

GNC recently launched a new app (check out the GNC Live Well app in the App Store) featuring Aisle7 content in the Health Center:

 

Watching the usage numbers jump after the introduction of the app was incredible. In the week following the launch, Aisle7 content views from GNC jumped 450%. And 70% of those page views were mobile traffic. In only one week the nature of engagement with the GNC customer had drastically changed (for the better, of course). Those numbers just keep on growing.

Interested in using Aisle7 content in your mobile strategy? We’d love to talk more.

Tablet Opportunities for Retailers

With over 20 million iPad’s sold since their debut just over a year ago, it’s not surprising to learn that device owners are spending more time with their shiny new toy than other screens like their phone, desktop or laptop, or television. A growing percentage are going beyond Angry Birds and the New York Times, to spend time – and more importantly, money – shopping their favorite retail stores using their iPad.

What could really shake up the retail industry is placing an iPad in the hands of associates on the sales floor. Imagine staff, armed with information and access, helping customers when and where they’re shopping, and closing the deal by ringing up sales in the aisle. That’ s what Nordstrom just announced plans for: put 5,000 tablet devices into associates’ hands across their stores by July to check store inventory and process payments.

In fact, Shop.org recently released industry research regarding retailers’ use of tablets and how important they are to their business in their State of Retailing Online report.

When it comes to inserting tablets into their daily operations, the survey found 30 percent of respondents said a main objective for their mobile platform will be to provide store associates with tablets to improve selling.

Retailers understand the real value of a well-trained and educated store associate, and with high turn-over, it’s a challenge to provide a consistent experience around complex categories like health and wellness. Giving associates access to additional information, product-level details, inventory updates, and other resources to help shoppers at the point of decision is a win-win for the store, as well as the shopper.

At Aisle7, we see tablet devices as a huge opportunity for our customers who want to help shoppers find the right product for their health goals while staying regulatory compliant. Customer demand is why we’ve developed our Aisle7 IN-STORE health and wellness content application for use on the iPad. We just made the announcement last month and already have orders coming in.

Deloitte forecasts that in 2011, 25% of all tablets will be bought for business, and retailers will lead all industries in their adoption. Will you be the first in your industry?

Shopper’s Mobile Wish List for Retailers

Some things are so simple that they become overwhelming. And you know what happens then. Nothing. Priority projects don’t move forward because they appear to be “ginormous”.

But some things are simple, because they are, and should be embraced for their simplicity. Like a mobile strategy. The simplistic way to approach to developing a mobile strategy is to look at what your shoppers want from you on their mobile device – both in the store as they’re shopping, and before they get to your store as they’re planning and preparing for a shopping visit.

As purchases of smartphones increase across all shopper demographics, it’s important for retailers to understand what shoppers want from them in a mobile application – thankfully, this fall 2010 study from Accenture reveals some of those insights.

As they’re deciding where to shop, what to buy, and thinking about how much they’ll be spending, they want access to key pieces of information to help direct them, like:

What Shoppers Want Before They Shop

What Shoppers Want Before They Shop

Once they get to your store, they have different needs. They want help making informed purchase decisions (sound familiar?).

What Shoppres Want Inside Your Store

What Shoppres Want Inside Your Store

From today’s eMarketer article on this:

“Companies need to use all of their customer information to better understand how and when their customers want to engage with them, ask them questions or just check some basic product details,” said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture’s Retail Services, in a statement. “Only then can they deliver a personalized and enjoyable experience, while lessening the risk of alienating customers through unwanted approaches.”

Here at Aisle7, we’re enjoying smart discussions with retailers and brands ready to take on this strategy and empower their shoppers with information in the palm of their hand. The possibilities are endless, which can seem overwhelming, but looking at what content, features and functionality will really matter most to your shoppers moves you to a mobile strategy in a simplistic way.