Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How health and wellness brands can win the customer journey

By Ricardas Montvila, VP Global Strategy, Mapp

Between hitting the gym, taking supplements, eating healthily, and tracking progress with fitness apps, people of all ages are on a mission to improve their physical and mental well-being. As this health-conscious mindset becomes more common, the demand for health, wellness, and fitness products and services has skyrocketed.

In fact, consumers now see these products and services as essential expenses, with global spending reaching a staggering $8 trillion annually to prevent disease and maintain well-being. Despite financial struggles, 80% of shoppers plan to maintain or increase their health, wellness, and fitness spending.

According to GfK, 44% of consumers are now seeking products promoting healthier lifestyles. Direct to Consumer (DTC) and multichannel retailers are looking to cater to this trend by mastering their marketing through customer experiences their audiences really want.

But how can retailers grow their customer base, nurture customers with strategic personalisation, drive sales, and boost customer loyalty in the health, wellness, and fitness ecommerce arena?

What do consumers want?

Before we look at the solutions, let’s take a moment to think about our lives as consumers. Generally, there are certain products and services that customers typically only have one of, such as a preferred pharmacy, gym, and bank. Every brand wants to be “the one” for its customers. But building this kind of loyalty entails delivering exceptional customer experiences consistently at every touchpoint.

Consumers have now come to expect outstanding customer experiences. According to Emplifi, four out of five consumers would leave a brand they were previously loyal to after three or sometimes fewer poor customer experiences.

Many businesses typically fail to meet these customer expectations mainly because they had not properly set and managed them. Instead of relying on the “surprise and delight” approach, it’s a good idea to focus on the basics of setting, managing, and meeting customer expectations for better control. To do this correctly, you need to understand a customer’s general expectations of eCommerce brands.

Easy discoverability

Consumers expect the right brands to appear in their primary research channels, including search engines, social media, and YouTube. Those looking to shop from online to offline utilise Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) to pinpoint which store has the product in stock before visiting. According to a survey conducted by Think with Google, 76% of shoppers searching for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day. Over a quarter (28%) of these visits result in a purchase.

Personalisation, but with privacy

Just as every customer’s health and wellness journey is unique, they want their experiences to be tailored too. Consumers expect communications with relevant products and recommendations to help fulfil their needs. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, according to Accenture, and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. To achieve this, retailers need real-time customer insights at the core of their marketing. Using gamification tactics such as interactive quizzes and games often encourages customers to willingly share data, which is more accurate, reliable, and compliant.

Quality and authenticity

Rapid market expansion means a higher risk of new market entrants coming out with dubious product-related health, wellness, and fitness benefit claims. Consumers are aware of this and are more hesitant in their purchase decisions when it comes to health and wellness as they spend more time researching products and services. They expect validation through social proof and reviews on websites, for example.


Customers prioritise convenience in their purchases and expect retailers to offer innovative ways to save them time and effort. Shopping and fulfilment options such as buying online and in-store pickup are some effective examples that can encourage conversions.


Transparency builds trust in health, wellness, and fitness brands. Consumers are more wary of product consumption and its effects, particularly when it comes to claims about improving or maintaining their health. They want to know if the product they purchase works and whether it is made from safe, ethically sourced ingredients. Communicating product proof and being transparent about material sourcing, manufacturing processes, and corporate responsibility can help establish your brand as trustworthy and reliable.

The value of insights

Insight-led marketing enables you to identify your target audiences and understand which campaigns will resonate with them. It combines your data, marketing tools, and processes to help you unearth actionable insights from all your available information. This helps you to gain a 360-degree view of your customers, including their buying preferences and digital habits.

Once you’re able to learn more about your customers, you can identify actionable insights to meet their needs and optimise your customer experience strategy.  

Get on top of your data!

First-party data forms the basis of insight-led marketing to give you a “real-time” advantage. This edge enables you to identify vulnerabilities in the customer journey and react to optimise your marketing across your channels and digital touchpoints.

In the world of health, wellness, and fitness, insight-led marketing can help you stand out in a crowded and saturated market. But without the right data and insights, it’s impossible to create effective marketing campaigns that resonate with your audience.

Ensure your MarTech stack can support your insight-led marketing efforts with the tools to gather and analyse data, create personalised content, and deliver a positive customer experience.

Customer Data Platforms

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are marketing software that unifies, collects, and stores your customer data from various data sources to create a complete 360-degree single customer view. It uses your data (mainly first-party and zero-party data) to create customer profiles to enable a deep understanding of characteristics, interactions, and behaviour throughout the customer journey.

Just as insights should sit at the core of your strategy, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) need to sit at the core of your tech stack to help you draw customer insights, activate them with marketing automation, and monitor your performance with analytics.

Unfortunately, many marketers are working with siloed data and tools to try and piece together insights. This only creates gaps and inconsistencies between departments and tools, resulting in fragmented marketing. Here’s where CDPs initiate your insight-led marketing.

Time to go the extra mile!

As we’ve seen, just as a healthy lifestyle requires a holistic approach that considers both physical and mental well-being, effective marketing requires a holistic approach that considers all customer journey touchpoints.

Is it now time to lace up your marketing sneakers and get ready to run the extra mile towards success? We think so!