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How Men’s Wellness Became A Billion Dollar eCommerce Business

From skin care to mental health to wellness tourism, the men's wellness sector is booming and DTC brands are reaping the rewards. Here's what's now in men's health and what the future might hold.

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The men’s eCommerce wellness industry is having a moment. 

Fueled by a growing commitment to overall well-being, men are investing in their health like never before. According to Mindbody’s 2021 Wellness Index, men spend $1800 annually on wellness-related products and services. The average male adult spends $155 per month on health and wellness — an average of $112,000 in their lifetime. Experts predict the men’s personal care market will reach $166 billion in 2022. 

Reasons for the Rise of Men’s Wellness

According to a Psychology Today article, 60% of men participate in wellness practices more now than five years ago. The pandemic and changing societal perceptions of masculinity have also fueled the men’s growing wellness movement. Reports show 64% of men have increased their focus on health and wellness since the beginning of the pandemic. 

This rise in self-care comes as guys increasingly embrace physical and mental wellness as a way of life. There now exists among men an “unprecedented openness” to self-care, says Beth McGroarty, of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), which has led to a dramatic “shake-up in what the male consumer is — what he buys, and to what end.” 

Career insecurities and economic worries also fuel men’s rising interest in wellness and appearance. “Men are trying to look young, look fit,” said Ophelia Yeung, an GWI economist. “If you don’t look young and fit, ageism and age discrimination will hurt your career.”

What Exactly Does Men’s Wellness Mean?

screenshot of forhims.com home page. Men's wellness products pictured: ed pills, hair loss serum, anxiety and depression medication bottle

Fitness and diet were once the centerpieces of men’s wellness, it now covers a broad spectrum of health issues. Today’s wellness can be any process that helps people achieve top physical and mental health and well-being. From looking, feeling and performing better to preventing and treating ailments, men’s wellness is taking on a whole new meaning.

Mental and sexual health, caring for skin and hair and boosting immunity are all top of mind for today’s men. This new wave of men’s wellness encompasses many other categories:

  • Beauty, personal care and anti-aging products
  • Mental, emotional and sexual health
  • Preventive and personalized health
  • Nutrition and weight loss
  • Home fitness
  • Wellness tourism

Wellness is no longer an issue of preventing illness and living the best possible life. It now centers on personal optimization, physical performance, appearance and mental acumen through creams, lotions and ingestible supplements. Animal-assisted therapy, wellness technology, sleep hygiene and wellness vacations and retreats are trending as men broaden their definition of wellness. 

The Rise of Wellness eCommerce

This focus on self-care has naturally led to dramatic growth in the global eCommerce wellness industry. With a current global value of $1.5 trillion, the health and wellness space now generates 5.3% of the global economic output. Amazingly, the wellness industry grew twice as fast as the worldwide economy from 2017 to 2021. 
The US is the world’s largest health and wellness market, at $1.2 trillion. Americans currently spend an average of $3,685 per year on wellness activities and products, which translates to $155 per month. The US accounts for 28% of the global wellness market, while the top ten markets represent 71% of the world’s total.

Who Are the Men’s Wellness Consumers?

Market research suggests men tend to be brand loyal, which bodes well for the growing number of online companies catering to the men’s wellness market. Men’s ever-increasing commitment to health also knows no age boundaries. Gen-Z and millennials lead the way in younger generations, but men in their 50s and 60s are also loyal customers of brands like Hims. It seems men can never be too young or too old for self-improvement when it comes to health and wellness.

eCommerce Brands Are Capitalizing on Men’s Wellness

The male wellness market has exploded since the pandemic. Savvy eCommerce wellness brands are seizing on this men-centric shift by rebranding existing products that have long been marketed to women. Skin, hair and anti-aging products have transcended gender lines. But the more successful men’s wellness brands also focus on sexual and mental issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

One such brand is Hims, which offers customers comprehensive online men’s health and wellness services. The company, launched as a digital-native brand in 2017, markets itself as “a one-stop telehealth service for men’s wellness and care.” Hims aims to remove the stigma of touchy issues like hair loss and erectile dysfunction by making them personal. “You’re not alone,” its website states. “Hair loss affects 50 million men in the U.S. 40% of men by age 40 struggle with ED.”

The list of men’s wellness issues Hims provides relief for is all-encompassing. Got cold sores or worried about premature ejaculation? Concerned about wrinkles or dry skin? Feel stressed and need to schedule a private online session with a licensed therapist? Hims has a solution for each of those and a host of other issues that keep men up at night. Hims also has prescription services that offer men discreet delivery of sexual enhancers like Viagra and finasteride for hair loss.

A Different Type of Healthcare

The Hims telehealth concept has been hugely successful. In just five years, Hims shot up to a $1.6 billion valuation and went public at the beginning of 2021. Total revenue for the first quarter of 2022 was $101.3 million compared to $52.3 million for the first quarter of 2021. That figure represents an increase of 94% year-over-year, and the company currently has 551,000 member subscriptions. In 2018, the company launched Hers, a brand targeted at women’s health and wellness.
Hims is not alone in an increasingly crowded men’s wellness space. Competitors like Roman, ASYSTEM, Manual and Numan operate similar business models that offer a wide range of men-specific products and services. Like Hims, these brands also offer online treatments from licensed doctors and therapists. These online sessions spare men the stigma of discussing personal or sexual issues in an in-person visit.

The Future of DTC Wellness eCommerce

Thanks to commitments by men and women to their overall health, the global wellness market is healthy and growing. The GWI predicts that the industry will grow at roughly 10% annually, reaching $7 trillion by 2025.  

If anything, the digital men’s wellness space will get even more crowded and digitally enabled in a post-pandemic future. This offers brands like Hims a prime opportunity to flourish. However, as virtual health and fitness become the “new normal,” increased competition will give consumers more options. Market saturation is also possible, meaning brands need to offer something different from their competitors.

Ultimately, growth and survival in the lucrative DTC wellness eCommerce space means applying the tried and true principles of eCommerce success. Great products, excellent customer service, personalization, optimized websites and capitalizing on popular trends are also obvious keys to success.

But today’s men’s wellness brands need to go further to capture a growing and lucrative market. Those that redefine masculinity, eliminate stigma and increase access to online health care stand the best chance of seizing the day.

DTC health and wellness eCommerce is hot right now. If your brand is looking to open or add a wellness-related specialty store, Scalefast can help. Talk to one of our eCommerce experts or schedule a demo today to learn more.

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