The Now-Normal World of Health & Wellness Consumers
COVID-19’s impact on the global health & wellness space will be felt for years to come. Across the world, brands have had to completely rethink and rewire their go-to-market strategy to continue to drive sales during the pandemic. It’s no longer the “new normal.” Soon, it will be simply known as “normal” – the new standard for the way companies need to do business and market themselves if they want to succeed post COVID. How did the health & wellness world shift so suddenly? First, there were the initial lockdowns, and with that, retail closures and supply chain disruptions. For brands, the stay-at-home orders also led to an abrupt rise in online sales and an accelerated reliance on digital technologies.
Then came the staggered, state-by-state re-openings, which saw retailers, boutique gyms, and wellness businesses open over a phased approach, albeit with abundant safety precautions, lower occupancy rates and service limitations in place. At the start of Q1 in 2021, we saw more customers returning to brick-and-mortar stores to support their shopping needs, but with a change in their in-person shopping habits – coming to retail or grocery stores less frequently and spending less time in the store while there. A recent survey from Mood Media found that 28% of US respondents reported spending less money and less time shopping now than they did prior to COVID.1 As more people get the available coronavirus vaccines, it’s easy to think that health & wellness brands will be able to get back to business as usual. However, while health brands may be considering a return to business-that-was, the same study from Mood Media saw that 24% of respondents said that they were not anticipating a return to normal until the summer of 2021, if even then. For many brands, this means that the changes in consumer behavior, purchasing habits and lifestyle seen during the first several months of the pandemic will continue to impact growth and revenue.