Collection of spoons and bowls with vitamins.

How to Sell Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements on Amazon

Ryan Faist

Ryan Faist, Channel Key

July 1, 2024

Should your supplement brand sell on Amazon? Ask five different marketplace experts, and you’ll get five different answers.

To complicate matters, they might all be right. That’s because there is a lot to consider when selling supplements on Amazon. Some brands do well, while others never turn a profit.

A better question to ask is: what do top-selling supplement brands on Amazon have in common? Suddenly, the answer becomes much clearer.

As a full-service marketplace agency representing some of the most recognizable supplement brands in the U.S., we know what it takes to become a bestseller on Amazon.

This blog breaks down Amazon’s current vitamins, minerals, and supplements market, discusses brands’ biggest challenges and pitfalls, and reveals specific marketing and advertising strategies proven to help brands grow in this category.

Understanding the Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements Market on Amazon

First, the good news. Selling vitamins and supplements on Amazon can be lucrative. According to data from the National Library of Medicine, 77% of all supplement sales take place on Amazon.

IBISWorld reports online vitamin and supplement sales have surged at a CAGR of 10.7% over the past five years. The market is forecast to exceed $55 billion in 2024.

In other words, more people are buying vitamins and supplements than ever, and shopping online-mostly on Amazon.

Now, the bad news. With so many brands competing on Amazon, this category has become fiercely competitive.

The unfortunate truth is that many supplement brands are simply not equipped to climb the Amazon Bestsellers list.

This is not to suggest there’s no room to grow in this category, but you need the resources, strategy, and guidance to do so. More on this later.

For now, it’s important to understand that this is one of the most competitive categories on Amazon. Just look at the monthly sales and revenue for the current bestselling ASINs:

#1: Physician’s Choice 60 Billion Probiotic
Total Monthly Revenue: $4,316,919
Unit Sales: 133,775
View on Amazon

 

#2: Nutricost Creatine Monohydrate Micronized Powder
Total Monthly Revenue: $2,513,204
Unit Sales: 125,849
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Supplement Product.

#3: Pure Encapsulations Magnesium
Total Monthly Revenue: $3,255,486
Unit Sales: 125,211
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Supplement Product.

#4 Physician’s Choice Probiotics for Women
Total Monthly Revenue: N/A
Unit Sales: N/A
View on Amazon

#5: Garden of Life Once Daily Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women
Total Monthly Revenue: N/A
Unit Sales: N/A
View on Amazon

Amazon Screenshot of Top-Selling Supplement Product.

Amazon’s Dietary Supplements Policy and Product Verification Process

Brands that sell vitamins, minerals, and supplements must comply with Amazon’s Dietary Supplements Policy. All products listed in this category must meet the following criteria:

  • Products must be manufactured in a facility compliant with the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations
  • Products must not contain contaminants that may pose a human health or regulatory concern
  • Products must contain the ingredients claimed on the product label
  • Products must not contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients
  • Products must be labeled according to guidelines set forth by the FDA and must not contain illegal or disease claims

Brands must verify that all dietary supplement products meet their policy annually through approved third-party testing. These organizations can be found within the Manage Your Compliance dashboard in Seller Central.

To verify that supplement products meet its policy, Amazon must receive test results directly from the organization. Amazon will not accept documents from the brand.

All products requiring action can be found under the Incomplete Requests tab. Follow these steps to submit a testing request form:

  • Select Add or Appeal Compliance.
  • Select Request Lab Service.
  • Select Dietary Supplements as the issue.
  • Select the source or factory location of your product.
  • Under Lab, select one of the approved third-party testing inspection and certification organizations of your choosing to conduct testing.
  • Once the request has been submitted, the Request ID will show as Submitted, indicating that the test request has been submitted

The organization will email you to initiate testing. You are responsible for providing all necessary information to conduct testing of your product(s).

Once testing is complete you can view the status of your testing results under the Compliance Status for each listing in your dashboard. Test results can be found within the Details under Add or Appeal Compliance.

If the test result confirms your product’s compliance with Amazon’s policy, your product will be eligible for sale on Amazon’s U.S. store and no further action is needed.

If you fail to initiate testing, are unable to complete testing, or receive a test result that indicates non-compliance with Amazon’s policy, the product will likely be removed.

Top 3 Reasons Why Amazon Removes Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements from its Marketplace

The biggest challenge brands face when selling supplements on Amazon is policy compliance. This is one of the most heavily regulated categories, and Amazon is particularly aggressive about enforcing its policy.

For this reason, brands should take every precaution to minimize the risk of policy violations. From our experience, these are the top three reasons why Amazon removes supplement products from its marketplace:

#1: Certification Non-Compliance

The most common policy violation is not adhering to Amazon’s strict verification process. This happens a lot because Amazon is known to change its verification policy without notice.

For example, brands were previously required to submit Certificates of Analysis (CoAs) from an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory or show enrollment in an Independent Quality Certification Program.

Effective April 2, 2024, Amazon no longer accepts CoAs directly from brands. Now the approved organization must send the certification directly to Amazon.

#2: Misleading Claims

If your vitamin, mineral, or supplement product listings contain even the slightest misleading claims, Amazon will catch it.

There are two basic types of claims that brands can make, but these must be worded very carefully:

  • Nutrient claims characterize the level of vitamins and minerals in the product (e.g., “a good source of vitamin A” or “high in antioxidants”).
  • Function claims describe the benefit of the product (e.g., helps support healthy gums).

Take extra caution when describing how your product will impact the health of customers. Use words like “help” and “support” to avoid making concrete claims.

#3: Customer Complaints

Amazon prioritizes customer experience above all else. If a customer complains that your supplement made them feel sick, Amazon might act against you.

Spoiler alert: no matter how hard you try to follow Amazon’s dietary supplements policy, at some point you will face a violation. Most likely, it will fall within the three categories outlined above.

You will need to resubmit certification documents every time a vitamin, mineral, or supplement is removed from Amazon. This process can take up to six weeks.

This is why it’s crucial to always maintain up-to-date certifications from an ISO/IEC 17025 certified laboratory certification. Having approved documentation in place will make it easier to get your ASINs reenlisted on Amazon.

How Customers Search for Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements on Amazon

To sell anything on Amazon, your ASINs need to rank high in the search results. Improving your search rank requires an understanding of how customers are searching for your products.

As with any category, this involves using third-party software to identify the most-searched keywords and phrases for your products and incorporating them into your product detail pages.

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that customers are evolving in the way they search for supplements on Amazon. More shoppers are searching for specific ingredients instead of the overall area of concern.

For example, instead of searching for “bone health supplements,” customers are typing “Vitamin D” and “Calcium” in the Amazon search bar.

“People have become more knowledgeable about vitamins and supplements,” said Zack Gibson, Strategic Brand Manager for Channel Key. “Customers are doing their own research and coming to Amazon with specific ingredients in mind.”

Every Bestselling Supplement Brand on Amazon Has These 3 Traits

There are three common denominators among every top-selling vitamin, mineral, and supplement brand on Amazon. Knowing these essential traits and being willing to devote time and resources to developing them will expedite your brand’s growth.

#1: Brand Awareness

As stated, this is a highly competitive category – both in terms of market saturation and price point. As of July 2024, the bestselling supplement on Amazon generates over $4 million in revenue every month. When you move this kind of volume, you can offer low prices and remain profitable.

This is why you need brand awareness to compete in this category. Every successful supplement brand on Amazon has an established DTC site, active social media channels, and aggressive external marketing to help drive traffic to their Amazon listings.

Below is a screenshot of the TikTok account for Nutricost which averages $2.5 million in monthly sales for their top-selling ASIN.

TikTok profile for Nutricost.

#2: A Strategic Product Catalog

The second thing you need to sell vitamins, minerals, and supplements on Amazon is the right product catalog. Knowing which types of products sell the most will make it easier to gain market share.

Unless you can drive an exorbitant amount of external traffic to Amazon, niche products will have a tough time generating meaningful traffic.

Below are the top-selling types of vitamins, minerals, and supplements on Amazon:

  • Amino Acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Blended Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
  • Chondroitin & Glucosamine
  • Collagen
  • Digestive Supplements
  • Enzymes
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Glandular Extracts
  • Herbal Supplements
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Lipid
  • MCT Oil
  • MSM
  • Minerals
  • Royal Jelly
  • Sleep Supplements
  • Vitamins

#3: A Strong Advertising Budget

Amazon is a pay-to-play marketplace. If you don’t have the resources to promote your product catalog, customers will never find your ASINs – especially in this category where the competition is robust and well-funded.

A strong advertising strategy incorporates all Amazon’s advertising levers. For most brands, we recommend the following mix: 70% Sponsored Products, 20% Sponsored Brands, and 10% Sponsored Display.

Below is a screenshot of a Sponsored Brands ad for Vital Proteins, which owns the #6 slot for bestselling supplements on Amazon.

Sponsored Brands ad for Vital Proteins

How to Win New-to-Brand Customers for Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements on Amazon

As with any competitive category, winning new-to-brand customers is key to gaining market share and growing your brand.

A common mistake we see supplement brands make is not thinking long-term about profitability when it comes to marketing.

One of the quickest ways to boost organic ranking for ASINs is to run Sponsored Products ads and Deals. However, you need to be willing to take short-term hits on profit margin while your products climb the ranks.

Ultimately, traffic is what drives sales on Amazon. Increasing visibility is costly in the beginning, but it will maximize profitability in the long-term.

Channel Key recommends implementing a cadence that alternates Lightning Deals and Best Deals on your top ASINs.

A Lightning Deal offers a discount on a limited number of items for a brief period (usually 12 hours) and displays a countdown ticker that establishes a sense of urgency. Best Deals are discounts that run for up to two weeks and receive a red “Best Deal” badge on the product listing.

Running these two types of promotions on select ASINs will continually “jumpstart” your organic placement, which will, in turn, drive higher organic sales. It’s an algorithm game.

We also recommend offering Subscribe and Save for your entire supplement catalog. This program allows customers to subscribe to periodic deliveries of eligible products at discounted pricing. Subscribe and Save is a great way to generate repeat purchases and build brand loyalty.

Product Detail Page for a Supplement Product with Subscribe and Save Offered.

CASE STUDY: How to Lower CPC and Increase ROAS for Supplement Ad Campaigns on Amazon

Earlier, we mentioned every successful supplement brand on Amazon needs a healthy advertising budget. You also need an effective advertising strategy.

Since vitamins, minerals, and supplements are extremely price-competitive on Amazon, your ad campaigns need to be perfectly tuned to avoid eating into your profit margin.

A leading supplier of weight loss, muscle growth, and beauty supplements recently partnered with Channel Key to solve this exact pitfall.

The brand faced numerous setbacks with its Amazon Ads campaigns due to a lack of structure and placement strategy.

The majority of ad impressions were being served on Product Pages, which are known to have the lowest conversion rates. This caused campaigns to overspend and inadvertently bid against each other.

Our challenge was to develop and implement an advertising strategy that would shift impressions to the most efficient placements and maximize ad-attributed sales at the lowest cost possible.

Channel Key approached the problem by addressing four key areas:

  • Implement Placement Modifiers: Optimize campaigns with Placement Modifiers, enabling strategic bid adjustments to improve placement and performance.
  • Restructure Campaigns: Redefine campaigns with a specific goal and target audience to eliminate the issue of campaigns bidding against each other.
  • Focus on Keyword Targeting: Refine keyword targeting strategies to drive more relevant traffic and improve campaign conversion rates.
  • Leverage Data-Driven Optimizations: Use campaign performance data and analytics to make strategic adjustments and improve ROAS.

This multi-pronged strategy substantially improved ad performance ad performance, increasing average click-through rate (CTR) by 121.7% and total clicks by 11.2%.

By refocusing campaigns with clearly defined goals, the average cost-per-click (CPC) decreased by 42%, while overall advertising spend decreased by 24.3%.

The use of strategic Placement Modifiers helped increase ad-attributed orders by 6.7% and return on ad spend (ROAS) by 31%.

The success of our approach underscores the importance of ensuring every advertising campaign has a clear objective, target audience, and placement strategy to maximize performance.

How to Protect Your Supplement Brand from Unauthorized Resellers on Amazon

Unauthorized resellers and product listings are an unfortunate reality on Amazon – and the Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements category is not immune to it. Knowing how to protect your brand from these threats is paramount to winning the Buy Box.

For example, Channel Key works with a leading supplier of high-performance supplements including herbal products, enzymes, probiotics, and fitness-enhancing solutions.

They originally partnered with us to manage and scale their business on Amazon. However, after conducting a marketplace analysis, we discovered they were losing the Buy Box on listings due to resellers and unauthorized listings.

Leveraging our vast partner ecosystem, we connected our client with VantageBP, an all-in-one solution to detecting and removing unauthorized resellers from various online marketplaces.

Together, Channel Key and VantageBP developed a multi-faceted strategy designed to combat resellers, which would then enable a greater ROI on its Amazon marketing and advertising campaigns.

VantageBP developed a comprehensive approach to identify and target unauthorized resellers. Within six months, they removed 151 Amazon listings and 104 resellers from online marketplaces.

Channel Key’s partnership with VantageBP helped achieve a consistent 96% Buy Box win rate for our client’s top-selling supplement, increasing daily sales by 300% and regaining control of their brand on Amazon.

Channel Key Takeaway

Amazon is the top U.S. retailer for vitamins, minerals, and supplements – far surpassing brick-and-mortar heavyweights like Walmart and Target.

According to data from ClearCut Analytics, Amazon customers spent over $12.6 billion on dietary supplements in 2023.

At the beginning of this blog, we asked: should your supplement brand sell on Amazon? By now, you understand why the answer depends on many factors.

However, we can promise that any brand committed to the principles and strategies outlined above can become a bestseller with the proper guidance.

Contact us today to learn more about how Channel Key can expedite your supplement brand’s growth on Amazon.

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