It’s rare for a day to pass without reading a news headline on rising health care costs, and Americans may be feeling the pinch. Factors like growing deductibles and out-of-pocket payments for doctor visits and prescriptions are inspiring consumers to take more control of their health care—especially when it comes to covering expenses. And for some, that means looking beyond their traditional doctor’s offices and hospitals for solutions.
Though walk-in clinics have been available for some time, retailers have heard and understand consumers’ concerns related to rising health costs, and many have responded by increasing the number of clinics available, as well as their in-store health care services. By the end of 2017, Accenture projects there will be over 2,800 retail clinics, noting that this represents a 47% increase from 2014, when there were over 1,900 clinics in the U.S.
According to a recent Nielsen study, nearly 20% of consumers in the U.S. say they’ve visited a retail health clinic in the last 12 months. This presents a significant opportunity for retailers that offer health care services. Notably, those that better understand the influence that trips to retail clinics have on additional in-store purchases will be best positioned to capitalize on additional spend potential. More importantly, retailers also have an opportunity to increase customer spend and loyalty by leveraging retail clinic interactions to influence what consumers purchase across the rest of the store during their visit.
So who is the retail clinic consumer, what type of health care services do they seek and what’s filling their shopping carts once they leave the clinic and step into the aisles?
Households with Children: Twenty-nine percent of these shoppers have visited a retail clinic in the last year, primarily for treatments (56%), but also more likely than other shoppers to have visited for physicals and health counseling needs. While in store, 71% were influenced to make a purchase after their clinic visit, with 45% purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) medication and 40% purchasing personal care items.
Hispanic Shoppers: In the last year, 35% of Hispanic consumers visited a retail clinic, seeking services such as flu shots, health assessments and physicals. Eighty-six percent made a purchase after their visit to the clinic, with 55% purchasing OTC medicine and 47% purchasing personal care items.
Millennial Shoppers: Twenty-six percent of Millennials (age 18-34) visited a retail clinic in the last year, primarily for treatments (49%), but also more likely than other shoppers to have visited for health screens, assessments, physicals and health counseling. Millennials are almost twice as likely to purchase personal care, food and cleaning supplies during their visit.
In the video below, Andrew Mandzy, Director of Strategic Insights for Nielsen’s Health & Wellness Growth & Strategy team, dives deeper on what consumers are buying and how retailers can line up the right assortment to match store demographics and expand the trip basket among retail clinic visitors.
The insights in this article were derived from Nielsen’s “Retail Health Care Services as Total Store Growth Opportunity” survey conducted by the Harris Poll. The survey was conducted online Sept. 19-Oct. 3, 2016, among 2,223 U.S. adults ages 18+, plus oversamples among 441 Hispanic adults (in English and Spanish) and 143 Asian adults (in English).