Selling Supplements: A Unique Opportunity for Online Retailers

Selling supplements online is a solid business model for online retailers

Selling Supplements in Your Online Store

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about their health. You can see this trend in the growing number of fitness facilities and programs as well as an increased emphasis on healthy food. Consequently, more online retailers have started selling supplements to capitalize on this trend.

This is not just a fad, however. Market research and analysis indicates that this market tendency continues to grow and will continue doing so for the foreseeable future. As a result, online retailers are turning to wholesale supplements in order to meet this growing demand. Furthermore, the wholesale suppliers are looking to provide the greatest number of options with the highest possible quality. This is what can turn a one-time visitor to your online store into a regular customer.

Types of Supplements and Their Health Benefits

Online retailers are selling supplements to grow their business

Wholesale suppliers of supplements formulate their products to fall under one of the following categories:

  1. Minerals
  2. Vitamins
  3. Botanicals (plant-derived products)
  4. Proteins and amino acids
  5. Fibers and specialty carbohydrates
  6. Omega fatty acids

If you decide to sell supplements online, you may be asking: “What is the difference between vitamins and supplements?” Essentially, supplements fall under a wider category and are any products that are intended to boost health and wellness. Vitamins, on the other hand, are necessary for our bodies to function. In other words, all vitamins are supplements but not all supplements are vitamins. This means that a supplement business can effectively market its products to people who need the products to function as well as people who are looking for additional sources of nutrition.

Furthermore, the health benefits of dietary supplements include:

  1. Staying flexible and limber
  2. Energy and weight management
  3. Helping digestion
  4. Memory and mood enhancement
  5. Physical fitness, pre-workout, and workout recovery

In 2018, energy and weight management had the largest market share at 30.7%. This is due to the proliferation of online weight-loss programs as well as government initiatives to improve healthy eating. This also means that the retail sector dominance of these particular products will only continue to expand, making supplement businesses robust and stable within the wider retail sector. In other words, adding wholesale supplements to your retail repertoire is a solid way to grow your online business!

The Global Dietary Supplement Market

Supplements have various health benefits

This is a huge market with tremendous growth potential. In 2018, the marketing and research firm Grand View Research conducted an analysis and concluded that the global market was worth $115 billion. Additionally, this number is only expected to expand as the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was 7.8%.

Furthermore, in 2018 Nutrition Business Journal released an additional report that concluded:

  1. Over-the-counter dietary supplements were the most popular item in 2018 with 73.7% of total revenue.
  2. Proteins and amino acids are likely to have the greatest growth rate from 2019 to 2025 at a CAGR of 12.6%.
  3. In 2018, capsules had a market share of 35.3% while soft gels had 13%, making capsules considerably more popular.
  4. Tablets are the most popular form with total revenue of $40.5 billion in the year 2018.
  5. Vitamins had total revenue of $37.64 billion in 2018 and this sector is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2019 to 2025.

Additionally, a report by Rakuten Intelligence in 2016 stated that sales of supplements via Amazon make up a whopping 77% of all online supplement business. That is huge! Many Greendropship members who sell supplements online will use Amazon dropshipping for their online stores, thereby increasing their traffic and revenues.

After Amazon, the other top sellers for online supplements are generally specialty sites like, Swanson Vitamins, and Puritan’s Pride. These are the second, third, and fourth most popular, respectively. That means that using the Amazon dropshipping model is an excellent way to expand your supplement business.

Why Is The Dietary Supplement Market Expanding?

Selling supplements to athletes and healthy customers grows your online business

This industry is growing steadily and expanding worldwide. This is due to a variety of factors, including:

  1. Increased awareness of health.
  2. Increased emphasis on physical fitness.
  3. A greater understanding of healthy food and sports nutrition.
  4. Rise in the number of workout centers and gyms, particularly specialty gyms like yoga studios and indoor rock climbing.
  5. Rapid and widespread urbanization.
  6. Rise in disposable income, especially among Millenials.
  7. Increased population of senior citizens.
  8. Greater emphasis on preventative health due to the prohibitive costs of traditional health care.
  9. Increased prevalence of various chronic diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.

All of these various factors are predicted to only continue growing in size and significance, making wholesale supplements an excellent way to grow your online store.

Tips for Selling Supplements Online

Supplements are important for health and wellness

So now you have decided to sell supplements online via dropshipping. This business model ensures that your startup and overhead costs will be low while you can offer your potential customers a huge amount of variety in products. So how do you go about doing this? Well, the overall process can be broken down as follows:

  1. Secure a dropshipping supplier, particularly one that specializes in a health-oriented inventory with an emphasis on natural and organic products.
  2. Conduct research to determine and identify your target market.
  3. Do additional research on which supplement brands to carry and focus on those with high customer loyalty.
  4. Determine how to set up your online store to meet your needs as a retailer; for example, selling through Amazon is an excellent option as it has the lion’s share of the online supplements market.
  5. Stand out from your competitors in order to differentiate yourself in a highly competitive retail landscape.
  6. Provide excellent service with an emphasis on convenience and customer care. This is how you turn one-time visitors into regular customers.
  7. Market your store and products to your potential customers. You can harness the power of social media as well as work with the vibrant community of health and wellness blogs.

Following this general outline can help your online store thrive and grow.

Who Should You Market To?

Selling supplements to healthy consumers grows your online store

Before starting your online business, it is essential to define your target market. For example, the American Dietetic Association states that there are segments of the population who routinely do not meet their nutritional needs, including:

  1. Pregnant or nursing mothers
  2. Strict vegans or vegetarians
  3. People with serious food allergies
  4. Geriatric patients
  5. People suffering from gastrointestinal issues (like Crohn’s disease)
  6. Patients suffering from cancer as well as heart, kidney, or bone disease

Women make up the largest customer base for online purchases of supplements at 54% of the total purchases. Furthermore, a third of these are millenial women. On average, they spend $24 per visit compared to the national average of $27.

Consequently, dietary supplements are popular for pregnant and nursing women due to their numerous health benefits. The most popular are:

  1. Folate
  2. Prenatal multivitamins
  3. Vitamin D3
  4. Magnesium

Consider the fact that a pregnant woman is effectively feeding two people at once whenever she eats, so her nutritional needs skyrocket during the pregnancy. For the forecast period of 2019 to 2025, this industry segment is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 7.1%.

In addition to these groups, marketing your supplements to athletes and fitness enthusiasts is also highly effective. Due to their high metabolic output, these consumers will almost certainly have higher nutritional needs than your average person. They most frequently purchase supplements for bone and joint health, energy and weight management, and workout supplements.

Greendropship and Your Online Store

Selling supplements to healthy consumers

If you decide to sell supplements online, just know that it all boils down to an important concept: research, research, and research! Make sure you know what you are selling and to whom. For example, nutritional supplements should be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

However, a dropship supplier like Greendropship carries products that have all complied with these strict standards. They are all made in the USA, ensuring that your customers will have the highest quality supplements.

Furthermore, Greendropship members have access to over 20,000 natural and organic products. Consumers like to have options; this is what will keep them coming back to your online store. By offering them what they want, then you can turn one-time visitors into regular customers.

Marcin Ossowski is a writer based in Los Angeles, California. At GreenDropShip, he writes about e-commerce, lending his expertise to online retailers and entrepreneurs on how to best drive sales and market their online stores. In his downtime, Marcin spends a lot of time outdoors and is actively pursuing his passion for writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and satire.