Success Case in eCommerce: Care/of

  • The eCommerce success story of Care/of is going to surprise you because it is quite out of the ordinary.

  • When we analyze case studies, it is always interesting to see different segments, niches, and business models. This helps us understand other needs and how to address them, making it much more inspiring.
    And today, I am going to tell you how things are done at a dietary supplements online store, capable of completely changing the way these products are purchased (and selling a lot).
  • Care/of or the Healthiest Subscription

  • In 2016 two visionaries, Akash Shah and Craig Elbert, decided to start an eCommerce for selling vitamins online.
    In addition to being visionaries, both co-founders had significant experience in digital marketing (Elbert was the marketing director of Bonobos, one of the most revolutionary online stores in the fashion segment).
    That is why they were clear that for their project to succeed, recurring purchases were necessary. So, they worked very hard on both the user experience and retention and loyalty.
    Eight years and $50 million in revenue later, it seems they hit the mark with their proposal.
  • INSIGHT: Products with a low average ticket price can be profitable if, as in this case, you ensure periodic purchases. For that, undoubtedly, subscription is a very practical solution.
  • Care/of's Vision

  • Let's delve into how they understand their business before discussing how they've grown it. It's important to understand their initial premise.
    For Care/of, in the dietary supplementation market, solutions were becoming too universal, remedies applied generally to all users, almost indiscriminately.
    This can be a contradiction if we understand that there is nothing more unique and individual than a person's health. We all have different genetic predispositions, lifestyles, types of diet... so each of us has different needs to meet for balance.
    This leads to the master concept on which their entire strategy rests: the creation of customized packs (and subscription, of course).
  • INSIGHT: Personalization in eCommerce is always an added value, but in this case, more than a marketing strategy, it ends up being a differential advantage of the product.
  • How Does Care/of Work?

  • The main difference between the vitamin niche and others is that it requires a certain level of knowledge or professional advice. Anyone can enter an online fashion store to buy a coat, but before taking vitamins, we need to know which ones are best for our needs.
    When we access their online store, we can choose between taking a test for their advisors to recommend us or choosing for ourselves. We are going to talk about the test in detail a little later because it is worth highlighting the autonomous purchasing process.
    We just surf the website while adding to our plan the different types of vitamins, with their corresponding monthly price. We can choose as many vitamins, probiotics, collagen supplements, etc., as we need for our treatment.
  • INSIGHT: Care/of is so customer-centric that it categorizes products based on the buyer's goal (improve joints, bones, concentration, sleep, digestion, etc.). This approach greatly aids the purchasing decision without needing excessive knowledge in the field. The online store speaks customer's language.
  • On the other hand, the recommendation form is very exhaustive, perhaps too much for some people who are not willing to spend 5 minutes in answering questions. 

    Still, I must say that it is very well-designed, and the 53 questions are answered very quickly. They are divided into 5 blocks:

    •  Personal
    • Health objectives
    • Lifestyle
    • Values and principles
    Thanks to the information it collects, its algorithm can know exactly what our profile is and what we need. This is all it needs to create a personalized pack ready to buy in the shopping cart with just one click.

  • INSIGHT: The summary sheet it creates when processing the information is wonderful. It doesn't just throw a bunch of products into the cart; it provides necessary information, explaining why it recommends each one. This undoubtedly brings much-needed trust to increase conversion.
  • The eCommerce

  • Although we have already seen some screenshots, it is worth noting how well-designed Care/of's online store is.
    The minimalist style and the care they put into the images or the typography they use are ideal for conveying trust, security, and professionalism to users.

  • All of this, as I said, is very well done, but the user experience design is even better. They have managed to make each product page contain a large amount of relevant information despite its apparent simplicity:

    •  Product feature details.
    • Certifications and indicators (allergies, intolerances, and ethical options like veganism).
    • Usage suggestions.
    • Ingredients.
    • Benefits.
    • Studies (different documents signed by various organizations).
    • Recommended products.
  • INSIGHT: Any health-related product should provide as much information as possible. Care/of seems to understand that, due to skepticism or fear of adverse effects, there may be barriers to conversion that can be overcome by relying on scientific data.
  • Keys to Care/of's Success

    • Personalization: Starting from the product and ending with the packaging, everything conveys the feeling of being tailored to each customer. Something that still surprises us to find in eCommerce.
    •  Authority: There is a motto they use that summarizes very well this part of their way of working: "You know your body, we know the science." They work hard on authority because it is critical to eliminate many logically rational barriers before consuming such a product.
    •  Recurrence: The subscription model makes a lot of sense in the online sale of vitamins because it's known that, to see results, a certain consistency is necessary. We can buy on an ad hoc basis, but they always recommend a minimum commitment.
    •  Word of mouth: They work institutional authority on their social media and blog (which is spectacular, by the way), create paid campaigns, but they're also interested in encouraging users themselves to create content due to their ability to generate spontaneous recommendations.
    •  They talk about health goals: everything is designed to help us achieve a goal. Without being a nutrition expert, anyone can find the product that meets their needs.
  • What do you think of Care/of's success case? Have we managed to inspire you for your own business?

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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