Sports supplements are a well-established and rapidly growing industry with the market growing at roughly four percent a year. The industry offers a wide variety of niches and is open to newcomers, partly because of the relatively low barrier to entry. The startup costs are also low compared to other sectors, and you can start by selling sports supplements online while bypassing retail stores altogether. However, you still need to have a solid plan, and understand the market before you make the jump. Here is the ultimate guide to selling sports supplements online.
Know that you may be legally required to meet certain quality standards. Getting FDA approval if you’re selling a new dietary ingredient is mandatory. Getting products NSF certified, on the other hand, might be a valuable selling point, but is not mandatory.
Furthermore, your supplements will be required to meet strict labeling requirements. One solution is to choose supplements that have labels approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA.
The government regulations you have to meet will affect everything from the type of packaging you use to your marketing materials. For example, you’re legally required to have a disclaimer mentioning any potential side effects on both your website and your product’s packaging.
Too many retailers assume that they can and should market their product to everyone, but this is rarely a good idea. You’ll risk wasting time and money selling a product to uninterested people. You should instead choose a target audience and build your marketing efforts around their unique needs.
Choose a target audience that you can convince to try the product, whether you’re targeting recovering athletes, people trying to lose weight, or high performers with dietary restrictions. Your goal is to find a market segment that is under-served and will consider your product better than the popularly known alternatives already available to them.
It doesn’t matter how great the supplement is if the package fails to promote or protect it. Sports supplements may be shipped from the factory to your warehouse before being shipped again to the customer through the mail. If the packaging rips, the product may spoil or spill and your customers will be dissatisfied before they’ve even tried the supplement.
Your packaging can affect your business in other ways, too. Lightweight flexible pouches are easier to ship, and they cost less to transport, as well. Consider checking out a service like the PKG Lab. Package Lab custom stand up pouches can carry your custom packaging design and they also meet the strict regulatory requirements for health supplements. For example, the materials used protect your products from oxygen, moisture and odors.
Before you set up a website, organize the business processes from manufacturing to delivery to the customer. If you’re an affiliate of an existing company, you may not have to do anything except sell the product. The parent company could handle both the manufacturing and the shipping.
Another option is to order the product and select a third-party logistics firm to process all the orders for you. Now all you need to do is sell the product and order additional products as required. Or, you could order the supplements and ship items yourself. You could even set up your own affiliate program, getting doctors, weight-loss clinics, and trainers to sell the product in exchange for a percentage of sales.