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Big Business of WELL|May 29, 2019

A Tsunami of Self-Care is Bearing Down on Healthcare. A 5-Step Rx

In-store blood-pressure screenings were just the beginning. Today, time-starved patients are shopping for self-care services and expecting these services to include the professionalism and confidence once connected to traditional physicians. Here’s what you need to ask yourself before taking out the middleman, AKA the doctor.

The doctor is in – and increasingly in surprising places.

With more consumers taking control of their own wellness and transforming traditional healthcare into self-care, routine services that were once available only in a doctor’s office are being offered in retail, online or in stores.

Healthcare Services Now Being Offered Online

Thanks to brand and retail innovations, shoppers can get smartphone eye exams to renew prescriptions via Warby Parker, and have teeth-straightening trays made at CVS though Smile Direct Club. New York’s NutriDrip, and a variety of other salons, administer wellness directly from a choice of vitamin-rich IV infusions. Or shoppers can order vitamin regimens, customized through personal quizzes and at-home DNA kits, from online merchant Rootine Vitamins.

No Separate Doctor, Dentist or Ophthalmologist Visits Required

This self-care wellness revolution is unfolding fast, driven by 48% of shoppers who told us in our How America Shops® report that they are finding ways to simplify their lives to save time and reduce stress. (Waiting for the MD can be a high stressor!)

Is Your Brand Ready to Move Forward With This Self Care Movement?

The opportunities are ripe, but are you? Here’s what brands and retailers should consider.

1. Is your team ready?

The goal of self-care is to let “shoppers” control their time, their money and their choices. They want to heal, fix or find a solution to a problem their way – that’s what self-care is all about. Is your company ready to let shoppers/patients have it their way?

2. Do you have expertise?

To win the shopper’s trust, the retailer or brand has to prove its expertise. Self-care brands need to be the experts in their field, because delivering great product is not enough. They should have credible science to back them up and experts on hand, if even in the background (i.e. orthodontists, nutritionists, optometrists, etc.) to reassure shoppers they are in good hands – even as they take care of themselves.

3. Is the service easily accessible?

Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. It can be intimidating to make self-care decisions, so easy directions, stress-free experiences and financial reassurances are essential. Feals, a CBD oil subscription service, guides shoppers on how to manage their dosage and oil strength, reducing uncertainty about the cannabis-derived compound.

4. Did you give special treatment to the new “packaging”?

The newest self-care services don’t look like pharmaceuticals. The colors, shapes, fonts and graphics are inviting, not intimidating. They could be beauty packages, but they are not. Plus the language borrows from today’s culture -- a flight of CBD oils to try.

 5. Are you boldly different?

Self-care success means inventing ways to make the self-care experience different from traditional healthcare. Rootine’s vitamins are delivered in colorful, easy-to-swallow microbeads; Warby Parker’s self-administered eye exams use cell phone technology; and Smile Direct Club and Candid Co. include gifts with purchase that add to improving the appearance of teeth.

Answer these five questions right and the prognosis for your self-care initiative is excellent. Save shoppers time, while affording them complete control, and they’ll likely pay a little more for the service, and do so gladly. In return, they’ll feel smarter and less stressed – two healthy outcomes.

Interested in reading more? Get in touch to buy our report Gotta See Virtual Tours “The Tsunami of Healthcare”

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