How Brands Are Captivating The New Digital Wellness Consumer

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In Welltodo’s recently released 2021 Consumer Wellness Trends Report, we explore the eight key consumer trends we predict will impact the trajectory of the global wellness industry over the coming year. And the pockets of opportunity that exist within this exciting new landscape.

To give you a taste of what you can expect within this 80+ page resource, we’ve been diving into some of the trends featured in the report, sharing the consumer behaviours and values driving them, and which wellness brands are pioneering new approaches in response.

In the final instalment of the series, we’re exploring the rise of the new digital consumer, for whom a brand’s digital capabilities are no longer viewed as a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘non-negotiable’. 

These consumers are increasingly aligning themselves with products and services they are confident will be able to serve their needs from anywhere in the world and throughout any crisis. And insurgents across wellness categories including fitness, mental health, meditation and F&B are already finding success by reimagining and re-laying the foundations for a digital-first future.

THE TREND: The mass migration to digital – and from that, the emergence of what’s been widely coined as the ‘new digital wellness consumer’ – has been one of the most well-documented fall-outs resulting from COVID-19. 

Having accelerated what was once a gradual shift, and facilitated an inflection point in which new habits and behaviours formed during this period are not only predicted to endure but irrevocably alter the future landscape, it’s a trend that consumers and investors alike are not only embracing but continuing to invest heavily in.

How Brands Are Captivating The New Digital Wellness Consumer

Image: Peloton

THE STATS: 

As the insights below demonstrate, within this shifting landscape, the new digital consumer is embracing more digital products and services, adopting different modes of communication and forming online communities. And what’s more, they don’t plan on giving these behaviours up.

  • About 40 percent of respondents did more online shopping during lockdowns, according to a consumer trends survey carried out by Deloitte.
  • Some 14 percent of people had more remote (phone or video) appointments with health practitioners, revealed the same report
  • Video conference company Zoom reported 300 million daily participants in virtual meetings at its peak, while paying customers have more than tripled.
  • 40% of Mindbody’s app users booked workouts in fitness studios they’d never been to physically.
  • And, even more telling, 75 percent of people using digital channels for the first time indicate that they will continue to use them when things return to “normal”, according to McKinsey

THE CURRENT STATE OF PLAY: What’s clear is that this domain, once limited to the early adopters and digital-natives of the world, has radically shifted from a niche to a mainstream consumer movement.

Today, the digital consumer represents a much broader demographic – one that has different values, expectations and needs to those pre-COVID. 

The new digital consumer is searching for brands that don’t just translate in-person experiences into the digital realm but innovate or improve on them, it’s not enough to simply just exist digitally.

To connect with consumers on a deeper level, this means wellness businesses must put brand culture, connection and community first, with technology playing a supporting role. They must deliver on their value propositions in 360 degrees, and respond in real-time to the changing needs of their audience, to drive the digital experience forward.

How Brands Are Captivating The New Digital Wellness Consumer

Image: Sweetgreen

THE TRAILBLAZERS:

FACEGYM: FaceGym’s virtual PT sessions have enabled its customers, who are unable or don’t want to have in-person treatments, to book bespoke skin consultations in which they are taught how to perform the brand’s innovative ‘face cardio’ on themselves. It has also launched 20-minute online Facial HIIT classes priced at £10 per session to further digitise the experience.

SWEETGREEN: Since the start of the pandemic, US-based healthy salad chain Sweetgreen has deployed a range of emerging technologies and new digital models. New offerings include the launch of delivery via its own app, featuring a digital-only menu aimed at innovating off-premise, personalised experiences. It also plans to open new drive-thru locations later this year, enabling customers to order ahead digitally.

PELOTON: Instead of resting on its laurels, at-home cycling giant Peloton has doubled down on community-focused features to cultivate member interaction at a time when distancing and isolation mean people are missing out on their usual social activities.

Now users can add public hashtags to their profiles based on their interests and workout goals to connect with others who share the same interests. Users can also build custom workout routines that combine multiple sessions into one, mirroring they might choose to workout in a gym.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR BUSINESS:

  • What do your customers want, what makes them feel comfortable and how can you support their real-time needs?
  • How can you expand your core products, services and experiences to fit within the digital landscape and meet consumers where they exist?
  • What future opportunities lie within the digital landscape – where could your brand fit in?

To find out more about what the new digital consumer wants and how you should be approaching the above questions, get your full copy of Welltodo’s 2021 Consumer Wellness Trends Report, here.

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