We at Vendo keep track of the latest wellness trends, consumer spending categories, popular products, and breakout wellness and health brands. But more importantly, we study and share our learnings on market-proven strategies on how to start and run a highly-profitable online wellness marketplace in this increasingly crowded space. We have put together our key findings in this article. Feel free to reach out and talk to us about your business plans. Let’s get you started and selling!
Why it's the right time to start a wellness marketplace?
The health and wellness market value is estimated at more than $1.5 trillion, with annual growth of 5 to 10 percent, according to McKinsey latest research.
Some of the key drivers of the wellness industry growth include:
- an aging population;
- rising health awareness;
- the globalization of health & wellness;
- and technological advances that have made tracking your health data easier and making informed decisions about your wellness.
Increasing consumer interest and purchasing power creates expansive opportunities for companies, especially as spending on personal wellness rebounds after slowing down or dropping off during the COVID-19 crisis.
"Self-care, digital health, and e-commerce will all play a central role in shaping the future of wellness." - Scott Melville, CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association
What is wellness exactly?
The 8 dimensions of wellness
According to social sciences, there are eight dimensions to wellness: emotional, physical, occupational, social, spiritual, intellectual, environmental and financial. If any one of these is unbalanced or neglected, over time it will have a negative impact on physical and mental health.
Wellness consumer spending categories
- Better health
Traditionally the most common type of wellness, which includes medicine and supplements, but nowadays extends far beyond simply medicine and pills. Consumer medical devices, such as Fitbit or Apple Watch, are also included in this category.
People are growing more proactive about their wellbeing and taking health into their own hands. Although medicine still drives most of the growth in this industry today, wearable gadgets will play an increasingly important role over time as they become more sophisticated.
- Better fitness
This wellness category is all about helping people get and stay in shape. It includes exercise equipment, fitness trackers, healthy food and drink, and anything else that helps people live a healthier lifestyle.
As people become more health-conscious, they are increasingly interested in wellness products that can help them improve their fitness. This has led to strong growth in the demand for exercise equipment, fitness trackers, and other wellness products that can help people get in shape.
- Better nutrition
Nutrition has always been a part of wellness, but now consumers want food not only to taste good but also to help them accomplish their wellness goals. There is a growing demand for healthy food options, including organic produce and vegan meat alternatives. People are also interested in supplements and vitamins that can boost their health.
- Better appearance
This dimension primarily involves wellness-oriented apparel (“athleisure”) and beauty products (such as skincare and collagen supplements). A number of service-oriented offerings in this area have sprung up recently for nonsurgical aesthetic procedures, such as microneedling, lasers, and oxygen jets.
- Better sleep
This is a relatively new category caused by the stress connected with fast life pace, rat race and recently the pandemic and all its consequences. People are looking for ways to get better sleep, whether that means using natural supplements or investing in a luxury mattress.
Traditional sleep medications such as melatonin now have company: app-enabled sleep trackers and other sleep-enhancing products (for example, blackout curtains and gravity blankets). Half of consumers around the world reported a desire for more products and services to meet the need for higher-quality sleep.
- Better mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware in the moment. It can help with stress management, anxiety, and depression. People are using mindfulness to improve their mental wellness.
This category has gained mainstream consumer acceptance relatively recently, in the form of meditation-focused apps, such as Headspace and Calm, and relaxation- and meditation-oriented offerings, such as Travaasa and Soothe.
During the COVID-19 crisis, reports of mental distress have increased globally. Half of the consumers said they wished that more mindfulness products and services were available, indicating an opportunity for companies.
Wellness spending categories by country
The top wellness categories vary for country specific markets. However, the global trend is that over the next few years, consumers are anticipated to be spending more and more money on wellness products and services.
The wellness & health industry
Promising wellness product categories
Some of the popular fast growing wellness categories include fitness equipment and apparel, nutrition, skincare, and stress-relief products.
- The global fitness equipment market is estimated to be USD 12.38 Bn in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 14.52 Bn by 2027.
- The global dietary supplements market size is expected to reach USD 327.4 billion by 2030, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.
- E-commerce sales of beauty and personal care increased by 23% over 2020-2021, while virtually enabled at-home experiences will remain an imperative to drive e-commerce sales. By 2025, skin care will steal the brightest spot of the global beauty industry, as the category is estimated to reach USD 181 billion sales.
- CBD sales is projected to hit $11 billion by 2027.
Successful wellness brands
Mind Body Green has grown from a small blog to a huge authority in health and wellness with over 10 million monthly visitors and a multi-seven figure valuation. Mindybodygreen.com publishes lifestyle authority content from trusted voices across the health and wellness vertical. It also offers an online store with its own products.
This sports equipment and supplements marketplace is the top-visited fitness site on the web. Bodybuilding.com has captured an impressive share of the supplement market with its vast reach and its deep list of offers.
The Honest Company (NASDAQ: HNST) ensures that parents have access to non-toxic, eco-friendly, effective, and beautiful family products that don't break the bank. Honest.com offers essentials for every family member including diapers, wipes, bath, skincare, home cleaning, and health and wellness products door-delivered through a monthly subscription service of customized product bundles or single item purchase.
Thrive Market is an online store offering organic products at wholesale prices. The company carries over 2,500 types of food, supplements, home, and personal care products from over 400 brands on the market.
Successful wellness startups and wellness services
Consumers are increasingly seeking products and experiences that promote well-being and healthy habits not only in a traditional way but also new innovative solutions. Modern-day “wellness” refers to holistic healthy living characterized by physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being that often needs a technological boost.
Alternative protein startups:
- plant-based dairy brands (Ripple, Califia Farms)
- meat alternatives (Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats)
Healthy meal subscriptions (Purple Carrot)
- kombuchas (e.g. Health-Ade Kombucha)
- smoothies (e.g. Daily Harvest)
- detox beverages (e.g. Dirty Lemon).
Vitamins & Supplements :
- personalized vitamins (care/of, Thryve)
- beauty-focused vitamins (HUM Nutrition, Moon Juice)
- hair growth supplements targeted towards men and women respectively (Hims, Nutrafol)
Active Nutrition (foodspring, Revere, Après)
Companies in this segment offer tech-enabled personalized nutrition platforms. Viome determines a user’s biochemistry profile to offer personalized diet and lifestyle recommendations. And virtual nutritionists like Nutrino connects users with virtual nutritionists.
Fitness Tech brands
These fitness tech startups are launching fitness lifestyle tech brands such as connected cycling and treadmill company Peloton (over $1B in total disclosed funding to-date) and Mirror, which raised $13M in February 2018 for at-home connected workouts.
Other notable segments include on-demand class booking platforms and workout app ClassPass ($259M funding to-date) and its Singapore-based equivalent GuavaPass.
This category also includes fitness genomics companies like AthGene ($4.7M), which provide gene analysis for fitness enthusiasts to help them optimize their workout and nutrition patterns.
This segment also consists of brands producing connected apparel and athleisure. Athos Works, for example, produces sensor-laden performance apparel and an accompanying fitness tracker app that helps users monitor their fitness progress.
Startups are focusing on sleep as a new frontier for wellness. Companies in the space range from mattress startups like Casper to luxury sleepwear line Lunya.
Meanwhile, sleep tech startups are aiming to use technology to cultivate better sleeping habits for consumers. Sleepace provides a variety of smart sleep solutions while Somnox has developed a sleep robot.
Mental Wellness brands
Startups in this space range from meditation apps such as Headspace ($76.4M) to wearables providing guided meditation like Muse ($31.2M) to mood trackers such as Woebot ($8M).
Corporate Wellness brands
Peerfit provides an employee wellness program that allows employees to access boutique fitness studios while Bravely offers conflict resolution services for employees.
Beauty & Personal Care brands
This category consists of brands producing natural or organic beauty and personal care products such as Yes To and Juice Beauty, probiotic skincare lines such as TULA and Gallinee, and natural deodorant lines like Myro and PiperWai.
This category also includes “clean clinical” brands such as Drunk Elephant, which blend natural ingredients and “safe synthetics” along with inclusive personal care brands like female-focused shaving brand Billie, that seek to eliminate the “pink tax” on produces marketed towards women.
Travel & Hospitality brands
Wellness is taking over the travel and hospitality sectors. In travel fitness, ROAM Fitness and FlyFit Global provide workout facilities behind airport security while companies like Ketanga Fitness Retreats curate fitness retreats around the world.
Wellness is also becoming increasingly integrated in airports with companies like GoSleep, which develops sleeping pods for travelers to rest.
Feminine Care brands
Startups targeting women’s health and wellness have multiplied in recent years, with brands like Lola ($35.2M in total disclosed funding) offering organic period care goods and sexual wellness products. Damiva and Cora also produce natural period care goods while companies like Sustain focus on sexual wellness products.
Functional Health brands
Startups in this space offer digital health platforms that integrate wellness and other aspects of functional health. For example, Maven, which has raised $17M, provides a women’s digital health clinic while Parsley Health offers a whole body approach to medicine, nutrition, and wellness.
Celebrity curated wellness marketplaces
Goop by Gwyneth Paltrow
Goop is a wellness marketplace that was founded in 2008 by Gwyneth Paltrow. The company sells a variety of wellness products, including skincare, supplements, and homeopathic remedies. Goop has been criticized for some of its claims about the efficency of its products, but it has also been praised for its dedication to offering natural and alternative health solutions.
Poosh by Kourtney Kardashian
Poosh is a wellness marketplace by Kourtney Kardashian. It is a platform that connects people with wellness products and services. The company offers a wide range of wellness products, including skincare, haircare, fitness, and nutrition. Poosh also provides a directory of wellness providers, such as doctors, spas, and gyms.
Cosmoss by Kate Moss
Cosmoss by Kate Moss is a wellness marketplace that sells products related to health and wellness. The company was founded in 2016 by the British super model Kate Moss, who is also the CEO. The company is based in London but ships globally.
7 ways to make your wellness marketplace business successful
There is a market-proven, holistic online strategy on how to start and run a successful online marketplace on Vendo with wellness oriented products in this increasingly crowded space:
- Select a target consumer base you know and understand - Vendo will further provide you priceless consumer insights and will allow you to keep your consumers engaged
- Become an authority on a cross-section of above mentioned needs, trends, and tools in your social media and content supporting your marketplace marketing efforts - that will give you a competitive edge with your target audience and the brands you'll be onboarding onto your Vendo-powered marketplace
- Combine content, such as personal health advice, with commerce through curated product selection and product recommendations for more personalization - Vendo will support you in your efforts with its powerful admin dashboard
- Combine products into sets, collections, bundles that go well together and help your customers solve their problems, such as monthly supply of supplements, home workout kits, diet programs toolkits
- Leverage your superpower of being able to recommend and combine products from multiple brands and across multiple product categories - as a marketplace owner aggregating multiple brands and categories, only you have that power
- Save your customers' time and effort with your advice, product recommendations and product bundles - this is the greatest value you may provide as a marketplace owner
- Collect and present social proof from your users to boost their morale, brand loyalty, and turn them into your marketplace ambassadors, not just customers - sending them a personal thank-you note goes a long way!
- Add Wishlists to boost sales with remarketing and product recommendations
Start a wellness & health marketplace to help your customers deal with their physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental stress and issues. There are so many angles to make your marketplace stand out.