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Health & Beauty

Online vitamin sales are growing faster than the rest of e-commerce

by Taylor Stanton - February 23, 2019

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When you think about e-commerce, do vitamin and supplements come to mind? They should.

Data from Slice Intelligence shows the vitamin and supplement category is growing fast, with sales having increased by 40 percent in the last year. Online vitamin and supplement purchases are increasing at such a quick rate that the category is moving 12 percent faster than the e-commerce average itself.

Vitamin and supplement sales are so large online that revenue generated on these products is roughly equal to all of the money accumulated from the purchase of wearables in the last 12 months.

Millennial women boost vitamin sales

Millennial women drive online vitamin and supplement purchases. Fifty-four percent of shoppers picking up vitamins online are women, just slightly higher than the e-commerce average, and nearly a third percent of these shoppers are Millennials. Interestingly, these shoppers spend $24 with the category, which is three dollars less than the average purchase of vitamins and supplements.

Vitamin a: 77 percent of vitamin and supplement sales are made through Amazon

As is the case with many other online categories, the majority of vitamin and supplement purchases are made through Amazon. The Seattle-based retailer commands 77 percent of all vitamin and supplement sales made online.

Beyond Amazon, specialized sellers lead this category. When excluding Amazon, data illustrates that 80 percent of vitamin purchases are made through specialized sellers with Vitacost accounting for nearly a quarter of the category's sales. Following Vitacost, Swanson Vitamins and Puritan's Pride jockey for second place. Interestingly, GNC barely makes the top five list. The merchant known for its brick and mortar prominence only accounts for eight percent of vitamin and supplement sales amongst the list of specialty merchants.

Our take: opportunity may lie in subscriptions

This category’s growth highlights the opportunity offline vitamin merchants have if they make a larger e-commerce play. Slice Intelligence’s principal analyst, Ken Cassar, explains: “While the vitamin and supplement category is huge online, there is clear potential for the brick and mortar merchants that dominate offline category sales to better exploit the e-commerce opportunity, which is clearly stealing market share. Online subscription opportunities could be particularly powerful in this space, in the interest of helping consumers maintain compliance”.

About this data

With a panel of over 4 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.