Almost every supermarket website I’ve seen includes a page devoted to wellness. The depth and breadth of the information presented varies from chain to chain, but at the very least, there are sections that focus on gluten intolerance, diabetes and dieting — kind of the holy trinity of supermarket whole health marketing.
As the wellness movement has gained momentum, retailers are beefing up their online offerings, too. They add advice and columns from their dietitians; or they might work with a third-party provider like Aisle7 to really develop an information library that can be customized and updated.
I mention all this because a new survey out shows that more than half of Americans looked up health information on the internet last year. The poll of more than 7-thousand adults ages 18 to 64 was conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“As the percentage of adults in the U.S. who use the internet continues to grow, the internet may become increasingly important as a source of health information for consumers,” stated the center.
Among the findings: From January through June 2009, 51% of adults aged 18-64 had used the Internet to look up health information during the past 12 months; and more than 3% had used an online chat group to learn about health topics.
Getting a bit more granular, the study found that women were more likely than men to look up health information (58% vs. 43%) and were also slightly more likely to use online chat groups to learn about health topics (4% vs. 3%).
And, here’s a stat that might be of particular interest to retailers. During the first 6 months of 2009, 6% of those polled went online to refill a prescription.
All of this begs the question — How’s your online wellness program looking these days? If it’s outdated, static and looking a bit pale, it’s in sore need of some exercise. Even worse, you’ve been missing out on the chance to capture some customer loyalty, and some premium profits, to boot.