Akash Shah

Care/of

Sep 5, 2017

Health and wellness.

It’s an enormous industry, and for millions of consumers, it can often be a very confusing and overwhelming one. Fraught with the burden of selection and over thousands of products to potentially pluck from the shelves of the spaces’ two major goliaths, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC, the state of this current retail experience is broken.

But with a 40 billion dollar market opportunity and the power of personalization, Care/of is putting the customer first, changing the way people find and consume their vitamins and supplements.

While they come be armed with more than one million combinations of vitamin packs, 85% of customers receive unique supplements, made just for them. So, how have they been able to turn such a personal experience into a trustworthy subscription service that’s already resonating with users? 

We talked with co-founder, Akash Shah, about building personalization into the Care/of product, understanding the motivations of their most valuable segments, and partnering with them on their journey to a more healthy life.

A Unique Approach to Recommendations

The second you land on the Care/of website, it becomes clear that a personalized experience is at the heart of what Akash mentions differentiates their service:


I am unique!

I am unique!

Once a user clicks to get started, they agree to spare a few moments of their time to answer 40 or so simple, yet probing survey questions about demographic, lifestyle, interests, and feelings associated with certain medicinal approaches.

Questions like:

  • “Are you a skeptic when it comes to vitamins?”
  • “Are you curious, or are you an expert?”
  • “Are you open to trying new things?
  • “Are you only going to listen to a Harvard trained primary care.”

Which, counterintuitive to popular belief that a quick and efficient onboarding process proved more valuable to sign ups, surprised Akash as one of their first key insights. In this category, “so long as people feel like value is going to come out of it, they are willing to spend five minutes to answer.”

From there, a vitamin pack is recommended, optimized around your responses. And don’t expect generic, cobbled together copy either. Your unique vitamin pack actually feels like it is tailored exactly to you — the combinations and permutations of product recommendations reflect that.

By doctor I meant mom! Just kidding, I’m an adult.

By doctor I meant mom! Just kidding, I’m an adult.

The result of such an individualized experience?

A trusting customer. And with that, higher conversion rates and number of products people choose to purchase in their packs.

“If we recommended five or six products, the probability they’re going to have five or six products in their pack is incredibly high. If it was two or three products, the probability of them having two or three products in their pack was also incredibly high. We found people were willing to anchor the size of their pack, and also the price of their pack, based on the guidance we’re providing.”

Ah, the promise of personalization actualized through effective implementation.

 

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Motivation Based Segmentation

After some initial research and segmentation on typical Care/of users, Akash dug into the importance of feeling out the motivators for each typical user when crafting truly personalized experiences.

With two main demographics representing both men and women within the “millennial-esque age range,” there are some general trends, major events, and motivations to consider as you approach segmentation.

For example, these groups are really starting to care about their health and wellness, wanting to feel confident about those decisions. They might be having a first child, or see a parent or grandparent pass away with some sort of health issue. This puts them in a frame of mind where they are thinking about their own mortality, realizing they aren’t twenty years old anymore.

Understanding these different triggers enables Care/of to build experiences that really resonate.

The triggered email I received after leaving my vitamin pack recommendation in my cart-- STAWP with the compliments. No, don’t.

The triggered email I received after leaving my recommended vitamin pack in the cart– STAWP with the compliments. No, don’t.

But, what happens when I’m a vitamin popping subscriber and one of my own life events impact the health decisions I want to make?

Optimizing for Life’s Changes

Well, Care/of aims to be there, following up with new recommendations to a user’s pack based on updated survey responses, running their algorithm for a new set of relevant supplements. “We want to be their trustworthy health and wellness partner,” Akash describes, adding “our care team is growing in order to provide a more human component to the service.”

But don’t worry, for introverts like me who want to do our own thing, we can make updates to and build our own packs from a library of products and range of wellness categories including brain, energy, eyes, stress, heart, immunity, joints, skin, prenatal, digestion, and bones.

So, keep a close eye on Care/of. With a mobile app in the works to make answering questions about life changes much more native to today’s heavy mobile users, they’re developing a true omnichannel experience on the road to forging stronger relationships with customers and a better product over time.

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