A new report from market researcher 1010data ranks vitamins & supplements as the number-one e-commerce over-the-counter (OTC) category in 2020 in the U.S. when it came to online health and wellness purchasing. The June 2021 report, “Ecommerce Health & Wellness Spotlight,” examined sales trends in the OTC market in 2020, both in-store and online, and revealed additional promising trends for the supplements category.
In general, e-commerce OTC health product sales in the U.S. grew 75% in 2020. Vitamins accounted for 73% of e-commerce OTC sales in 2020, with sales growing 68% year-over-year. Vitamins’ e-commerce market share outperformed other OTC categories online, including probiotics, allergy relief, sleep aids, pain relief, and cough & cold. The report states: “Vitamins have one of the highest online purchase adoption rates, but this level of growth indicates new online shoppers have joined this trend given the pandemic’s impact.”
Winning Merchants, Delivery Services
In terms of which e-commerce merchants saw the greatest traction in online OTC in 2020, Amazon’s Subscribe and Save program held the biggest market share last year, while Amazon third-party vendor sales saw declines. Others growing OTC e-commerce market share were Costco, Target, Walmart, and Instacart. Instacart’s OTC sales grew impressively in 2020, at 395%, “the highest of any merchant we track,” 1010data wrote, with consumers “including OTC purchases alongside their grocery orders.”
Instacart’s partnership with Costco, in particular, was successful in 2020, with Costco ranking as Instacart’s top OTC health seller. The top three OTC health brands sold by Costco through Instacart were Kirkland Signature, Nature Made, and Nature’s Bounty. The report notes, “By offering a more diversified product portfolio and same-day delivery alongside grocery, Costco’s Kirkland brand share is more than double that of its next closest competitor.”
Private Label on the Rise
Private-label and exclusive brands, such as Walmart’s Equate, Spring Valley, and Parent’s Choice lines, grew impressively during 2020. OTC health brands whose year-over-year e-commerce growth rate in 2020 was over 100% included the Walmart brands, as well as Reckitt Benckiser, GlaxoSmithKline, The Nature’s Bounty Co. Bayer, and Pharmavite.
For more insights, download the “Ecommerce Health & Wellness Spotlight”.