The health and wellness retailer is incorporating technology-driven innovations in product selection, service, and education into the shopping experience to help consumers better tailor their purchases to their own individual needs, according to a company press release.
Vitamin Shoppe integrates technology with customer-friendly design
The nutrition retailer is launching a new “innovation store” in Edgewater, New Jersey that boasts over 3,000 square feet of reimagined space. The store showcases interactive elements like on-demand digital product guides, enhanced mobile POS checkout, a designated area where shoppers can take Vitamin Shoppe's "Only Me" health assessment, a free body composition analysis station, and a supplement sampling machine.
Signature merchandise assortments, including the store's CBD Central and Keto HQ sections, as well as service programs like free nutritionist consultations via the Healthy Awards loyalty program, are also worked into the new concept.
The store will utilize traffic counting and advanced heat mapping technology to analyze how in-store Health Enthusiast behavior, marketing campaigns, and promotions are mapped on their pathway to purchase.
"At The Vitamin Shoppe, we are continually searching for innovative ways to evolve and enhance the customer wellness journey," said Sharon Leite, The Vitamin Shoppe CEO. "The new digitally-powered elements of our store encourage customers to deeply engage with our product offerings, as well as our highly knowledgeable in-store Health Enthusiasts, for a fully integrated omni-channel experience. The Edgewater store is a great example of our ongoing transformation into an agile, customer-centric company – as well as our continued commitment to helping our customers become their best selves, however they define it."
New strategy for a comeback
In 2018, Vitamin Shoppe’s total net sales were $1.1 billion, which is a 2% drop compared to the year before. In August, Vitamin Shoppe was acquired by Liberty Tax in an all cash deal worth $208 million, a big drop from the company’s heyday. At its IPO in 2009, Vitamin Shoppe was valued at about $470 million.
This year, the retailer has been investing in a makeover of sorts, including launching a personalized vitamin pack subscription Only Me, which offers daily packs of vitamins and supplements.
Piggybacking off the personalized vitamin subscription, the Edgewater location features the Only Me health bar, an in-store health bar that allows shoppers to take an online assessment and set up auto-delivery to their homes.
In an interview with industry publication Total Retail, Leite said individualized health is one trend in retail technology that will have the biggest impact in 2019. “I think personalization is critical to the customer experience. It’s more than putting someone’s first name in an email; it’s the ability to address the customer how they choose as well as customize content based on their purchase history. On the product side, building your own product or assembling a combination of products just for you, how you define it, will be key. Lastly, with the use of beacons, mobile point of sale, and Bluetooth technologies, retailers can greet customers by their name from the moment they walk in the store, and tailor the conversation based on what they’re looking for.”
Leite has been Vitamin Shoppe’s CEO for just over a year.
Vitamin Shoppe plans to open five new stores in a similar format through January 2020.