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How to Sell Supplements Online

website metrics to represent how sell supplements online

Ecommerce makes it easier and more profitable than ever to start a supplement company. 

One of the biggest supplement trends of the last four years is selling supplements online. 

Health conscious customers are listening to social media wellness influencers tout the benefits of functional supplements like magnesium for stress relief. Customers go from uninformed TikTok scroller to buyer in  a few clicks. And it’s just the beginning.

Selling supplements online became a $23.8 billion industry in 2023, and continues to grow at a pace of 10% annually, according to IBISWorld

It’s a lucrative opportunity for aspiring supplement sellers, but it’s not without pitfalls.

Success requires understanding the complexities of supplement manufacturing, including adhering to regulations like NSF certification and third-party testing to sell on Amazon and other big name online retailers. 

 If you want to sell supplements online, you might be wondering: 

  • Can I make money selling supplements?

  • What is the target market for supplements?

  • Where is the best place to sell supplements online?

  • Do I need a license to sell supplements in the US?

  • How do I manufacture a supplement? 

We’ve got you covered. 

By the end of this article you’ll understand how to sell supplements online for a profit. 

website metric dashboard for online supplement store

Can You Make Money Selling Supplements Online? 

Online health supplement sales amount to a multi-billion dollar industry.

It’s fueled by two main market drivers: 

  1. An increased interest in health and wellness 

  2. The convenience of online shopping

There are a lot of options for customers. Knowing what supplements people are buying is a good place to start a supplement company. 

The Most Profitable Supplements to Sell Online 

So, what supplements are flying off the virtual shelves?

The most profitable supplements are the ones that meet a real need and deliver real results.

While trends can shift, supplements that consistently perform well include:

  • Protein Powders: A staple for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts and those looking to build muscle or manage weight.

  • Vitamins and Minerals: Daily essentials like vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc are always in demand.

  • Herbal Supplements: Some of the most popular supplements to sell online are functional and preventative. Adaptogens like ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea are sought after for stress relief, while others like turmeric and ginger are popular for their anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Specialty Supplements: Products targeting specific needs like sleep, gut health, or cognitive function can carve out a loyal following.

  • Custom Supplements: Personalized supplements tailored to individual needs are gaining popularity, offering a unique selling point for online brands.

Yes, you can make money selling supplements online. But it's not a guaranteed slam dunk. 

Profit isn't just about how much you sell. It's about pricing your products right, keeping your manufacturing costs low, and building trust by formulating high-quality supplements

But first you must understand buyers. By focusing on a specific category or target audience, you can differentiate yourself from the competition and build a loyal customer base.

Target Market For Supplements Online 

The online supplement market isn't just serving bodybuilders and gym rats. It's a diverse group of men and women with different needs and goals.

Understanding who your target market is will help you tailor your products, messaging, and marketing.

Here's a breakdown of the main types of supplement buyers you'll find online:

  • The Wellness Warriors: These people are all about prevention and feeling their best. They're taking functional supplements to support their immune system, manage stress, improve brain health, and promote overall well-being.

  • The Fitness Fanatics: This group is focused on performance and results. They're looking for supplements that can help them build muscle, boost energy, and recover faster from workouts.

  • The Biohackers: These tech-savvy individuals are always on the hunt for the latest and greatest supplements to optimize their bodies and minds. They're not afraid to experiment with new ingredients and cutting-edge formulations.

  • The Everyday Health Seekers: This is the largest and most diverse group. They're looking for supplements to address specific health concerns, like joint pain or sleep problems, or they just want a little extra support for their overall health.

supplement ecommerce on an ipad

Where Is The Best Place to Sell Supplements Online?

Now that you have a good handle on the target market for supplement sellers, it's time to decide where you'll set up an online storefront. There are dozens of online retail platforms, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Let's explore your options:

Amazon: With a massive customer base and a reputation for convenience, Amazon is an attractive option for many supplements sellers. However, it's also a highly competitive environment with stringent NFS and third party certification requirements. If you want to sell supplements on Amazon, read How to Comply With Policy Changes to Sell Supplements on Amazon in 2024 .

Shopify: This popular platform lets you create your own online store, giving you complete control over your brand's look and feel. You can customize everything from the design to the checkout process. But be prepared to put in some effort to drive traffic to your site, as you won't have the built-in audience that Amazon offers.

Your Own Website: For those seeking complete autonomy and branding freedom, a standalone website is the way to go. You have total control, but you'll also need to handle everything from web development to marketing. This option is best for established brands with a loyal following.

Third-Party Marketplaces: Don't overlook smaller, niche-specific marketplaces. These platforms often cater to specific audiences, making it easier to connect with your target customers. But keep in mind that these platforms might have a smaller reach compared to giants like Amazon. Popular third-party marketplaces include: 

  • iHerb: A popular destination for health-conscious shoppers, offering a wide range of supplements and natural products.

  • Vitacost: Another established platform specializing in vitamins, supplements, and healthy living products.

  • LuckyVitamin: This marketplace focuses on natural and organic products, including supplements, personal care items, and healthy foods. Selling on LuckyVitamin might mean obtaining additional third-party certifications. 

The best online storefront for your supplement brand depends on your budget, goals, and target market. Consider factors like cost, ease of use, marketing potential, and audience reach when making your decision.

man at desk with laptop buying supplements online

Marketing Supplements Online

Marketing supplements online isn’t as simple as posting pictures of your product.  

 Here are some effective marketing strategies for nutritional supplements to consider:

Social Media Marketing: Platforms like Instagram and TikTok are your playgrounds for reaching health-conscious consumers. Focus on lifestyle content, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of your brand. Be sure to adhere to each platform's advertising policies, especially when it comes to supplements.

Influencer Marketing: Look for influencers who genuinely align with your brand values and whose audience matches your target market. They can create authentic content that resonates with their followers, leading to increased brand awareness and sales.

Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing for supplements is a performance-based model where you reward partners (bloggers, website owners, etc.) for promoting your products. This can be a cost-effective way to expand your reach, as you only pay for results.

Content Marketing: Create valuable content like blog posts, articles, and videos that educate your audience about health and wellness. This positions you as an authority and builds trust with potential customers. Share this content on social media and your website to attract organic traffic. Storytelling content marketing performs best in 2024. 

Email Marketing: Build an email list and offer exclusive discounts, share educational content, and keep them informed about new product launches. This helps nurture relationships and encourages repeat purchases.

Paid Advertising: Consider paid advertising options like Google Ads to reach a wider audience. However, be aware of Facebook's restrictions on supplement ads. Focus on platforms where supplement advertising is allowed and tailor your ads to comply with their policies.

Track your marketing efforts to see what's working and what's not. Use analytics tools to measure your return on investment (ROI) and adjust your strategies accordingly.

man with tattoo at his desk taking supplements he bought online

Do I Need A License To Sell Supplements In The US?

The good news: You don't need a special license to sell supplements online in the US. But before you start popping the champagne, there are some legal hoops to jump through.

Here's an overview of supplement regulations:

FDA Regulations: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the big dog in the supplement world. They don't pre-approve supplements like they do drugs, but they do have strict rules about labeling, marketing, and manufacturing practices. If you receive any reports of adverse events, you're required to report them to the FDA.

Labeling Requirements: Your supplement labels must include accurate information about the ingredients, dosage, suggested use, and any potential side effects. You can't make any claims that your supplement can cure, treat, or prevent any disease.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs): The FDA requires all supplement manufacturers to follow GMPs to ensure product quality and safety. This includes everything from ingredient sourcing to manufacturing processes to packaging.

NSF Certification for Supplements: If you're serious about selling supplements online, you've probably heard of NSF certification. But what is it, and why does it matter? It's a third-party verification that your product has been tested for quality, purity, and label accuracy. Many major online retailers, including Amazon, require NSF certification for dietary supplements.

Without it, you'll be locked out of these lucrative marketplaces. 

While you don't need a specific license, it's crucial to understand and comply with all relevant regulations. Failing to do so could result in costly fines or even legal action.

Pro tip: Consider working with a reputable supplement manufacturer who is already familiar with FDA regulations and GMPs. This can save you a lot of headaches.

We’ve got 20 years experience. Book a complimentary supplement development consultation

So, while you don't need a license to sell supplements online, you do need to play by the rules. By following the regulations, you can protect your business and build trust with your customers. Read our guide on NSF Certification and Third Party Testing for details. 

How Do I Manufacture A Supplement To Sell Online?

So, you've got a killer supplement idea and a hungry target market. Now comes the tricky part: formulating that supplement  idea into a product. 

Here's the lowdown on the supplement manufacturing process:

  1. Formulating Your Dream Team: This is where the magic happens. You'll need to work with experts (think food scientists, nutritionists, or supplement formulation consultants) to create a safe and effective formula that delivers on your promises. This involves choosing the right ingredients, dosages, and delivery forms.

  2. Sourcing High-Quality Ingredients: Don't skimp on quality! Your ingredients are the foundation of your product. Work with reputable suppliers who can provide certificates of analysis and documentation to ensure purity and potency.

  3. Choosing a Manufacturer: This is a big decision. You'll want to partner with a manufacturer who has experience producing high-quality supplements and who understands the regulatory landscape. Don't be afraid to ask for references and certifications.

  4. Labeling and Packaging: Your label isn't just a pretty face—it's a legal document. It needs to comply with FDA regulations and accurately reflect the contents of your product. Invest in professional design to make your product stand out on the shelf (or on the screen).

  5. Third-Party Testing (Optional, but Highly Recommended): Having your product tested by an independent lab is a smart move. It verifies the quality and purity of your supplements, giving consumers confidence in your brand.

  6. Fulfillment and Distribution: Once your supplements are manufactured, you need to get them into the hands of your customers. You can handle this in-house or partner with a fulfillment center to streamline the process.

Don't be overwhelmed by the manufacturing process. 

There are plenty of resources available to help you navigate the complexities. Consider working with a supplement consultant or manufacturer who can guide you through each step and ensure your product meets all regulatory requirements.

Remember, the quality of your product is a direct reflection of your brand. 

By investing in top-notch manufacturing, you're not just creating a supplement — you're building a reputation. Read more on How Successful Supplements are Developed

Ready to Turn Your Supplement Vision into Reality?

Partner with BevNutra, a leading supplement manufacturer committed to quality, innovation, and your success. We'll guide you through every step of the process, from formulation to finished product.

Book your free consultation today and let's bring your supplement to life!

Frequently Asked Questions about Selling Supplements 

Is it profitable to sell supplements online?

Yes, it can be very profitable. Online health supplement sales amount to a multi-billion dollar industry. The online supplement market is booming, but success requires high-quality products, strategic pricing, and effective marketing.

Where can I sell my supplements online?

You have several options:

  • Amazon: Massive reach but high competition.

  • Shopify: Create your own branded store.

  • Your Website: Full control, but requires more marketing effort.

  • Third-Party Marketplaces: Niche platforms like iHerb or LuckyVitamin.

Do I need a license to sell supplements in the US?

No specific license is required, but you must comply with FDA regulations for labeling, manufacturing, and marketing. NSF certification is required to sell supplements on Amazon as of April 2024. 

Is it illegal to resell supplements?

Reselling supplements is legal as long as you're not making false claims or selling expired or counterfeit products. It's essential to source from reputable suppliers and ensure proper storage and handling.

How do I choose the right supplements to sell?  

Consider your target audience, their needs, and current market trends. Research popular ingredients and formulations, and consider offering unique or niche products to differentiate yourself.

How can I market my supplements effectively? 

A multi-channel approach, including social media marketing, influencer partnerships, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising. Focus on building trust and educating consumers about the benefits of your products.


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