Understanding Customer Perception on Vitamins, Minerals and Supplement Products – A Voice of Customer Study

The constant shift in consumer needs is one of the pivotal factors that drive the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. Most notable are the constantly changing health trends and vastly available information on health and nutrition that are majorly influencing the types of products consumers are using to maintain their health. Additionally, the increase in health concerns due to changing lifestyles and dietary habits has led to the evolution of one of the fastest-growing CPG categories, VMS. Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements (VMS) come in the form of tablets, powders, or liquids that deliver vital nutrients to the body and preserve or boost an individual’s health. The products under the VMS category are typically available Over the Counter (OTC), where one doesn’t need a prescription to buy them.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements (VMS) – Market Overview

Growing inclination towards preventive healthcare remains the key driver for over-the-counter VMSs. In addition, the increasing aging population, sedentary lifestyle changes, and emerging trends of self-directed nutrition tend to be the additional factors driving the growth of global VMS. A recent report by Grand View Research highlights that the global VMS market size was approximately $123.28 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2020 and 2027.

The use of VMS skyrocketed during the recent unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic as VMS emerged as a preventive measure and have been used by many to build immunity and to maintain health. To substantiate the same, a recent Civic Analytics Consumer Survey has shown that there is a 10% -15% surge in spends on VMS globally since the pandemic began. Another critical factor that is contributing to the increase in consumption of VMS is the growing e-commerce revolution. Even before the current COVID-19 situation, VMS sales through online channels had been growing at double-digit rates since 2015, which makes e-commerce portals one of the preferred modes of purchase.

Vitamins, minerals and supplements sales in US

Source: https://www.lek.com/sites/default/files/colorbox-images/US-VMS-sales-channel-v2.jpg

Consumer Reviews and VMS: Our Methodology

Understanding customer sentiments towards a product is of paramount importance in businesses today. As E-Commerce platforms are one of the most preferred ways to shop VMS, we recognize the importance of customer reviews in gaining insights on customers’ likes, dislikes, and needs on VMS products. In this study, we mined 105K+ reviews from Amazon.com. Further, the unstructured and textual review data was then processed by Text Mining and Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms in performing multi-dimensional sentiment analysis. This process uses AI models that are custom trained for the specific use cases with industry-specific taxonomies and hierarchies evolved from raw data. The AI models help in surfacing accurate insights from customer reviews at scale.

Data Mining Pipeline

Consumer Insights & Analysis

The following are the insights automatically derived by the Voice of Consumer Insights and Signals (VOCIS) platform by aggregating more than 105K customer reviews for the products under the “Vitamins and Dietary Supplements” category from Amazon.com.

Brand Insights

This analysis focuses on providing insights into the brand perception of the customers. With the use of sentiment analysis, we can compare the perception of a brand with that of the leading competitors and use the same to create a data-driven brand strategy.

Vitamin Brands Comparison

Though the customer ratings (4.77) are marginally lower compared to its close competitors such as Dacha and Wellabs, Sports Research emerged as the most popular and preferred brand with the highest Share of Voice (SoV) of 16%.

Product Level Insights

With sentiment analysis, it is possible to compare key product characteristics to find features that resonate positively with the audience and the ones that don’t. These insights help brands in understanding key need gaps and allow for product optimization in appealing to a broader consumer segment.

Vitamins Areas Of Concern

Out of the customer reviews analyzed, the above topics evolved as the key areas the customers expect all the brands to improve on. For example, taste emerged as the key influencer on overall ratings with a 0.12 impact in rating, the general performance of the VMS turns out to be the most discussed factor at 16% mentions.

Competitor Insights

Competitor Benchmarking is quintessential as it helps in developing a deep understanding of the market ecosystem and builds a picture of gaps to be fixed and opportunities to leverage. It also helps in streamlining the product and marketing efforts by emulating your competitor’s success elements such as price and key product features.

Vitamins Competitor Insights

The above graph highlights areas of strength and areas for improvement for the brand Sports Research and the competition. Topics such as taste, packaging, and addressing them through targeted marketing communications will help in improving the impact on customer preference towards the brand. Likewise, when it comes to VMS, side-effects such as headaches, allergic reactions, and itching can have a negative impact on product sales.

SetuServ’s Voice of Consumer Insights and Signals (VOCIS) helps businesses in extracting valuable insights from customer reviews and conversations online, such as E-Commerce platforms. VOCIS is highly capable of rapidly building custom models specific to the use cases to render highly accurate and relevant insights linked to the organization’s KPI and goals.