Ecommerce improvements help Nature’s Sunshine to best quarter in company history

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

©Getty Images - oatawa
©Getty Images - oatawa

Related tags Dietary supplement industry Dietary supplement companies

Riding a great year for the dietary supplement industry and for multi level marketing companies in general Nature’s Sunshine notched its best quarter ever as it reported its 2020 year end final results.

Nature’s Sunshine CEO Terrence Morehead attributed the company’s strong performance to a transformation of the company’s ecommerce platforms which was completed in the second and third quarters.  With it, the company rolled out a new auto ship program that has proven popular with consumers.

Digital transformation

“After just a few months, Subscribe and Thrive already represents about 25% of our monthly orders, and we continue to see steady growth in the number of people join the program each month,” ​Morehead said during an earnings call with stock analysts.  A transcript of the call was posted on the site

Several years ago Nature’s Sunshine, which is based in Lehi, UT, had stumbled with a software implementation that affected business results.  Sales stagnated and the company actually reported losses in 2017 and 2018.  But Morehead said those days are over, and Nature’s Sunshine is entering a new era of online competence.

“Ongoing enhancements to the platform, we're focused on improving and strengthening the user experience, as we continue to strengthen Subscribe and Thrive functionality, Google search parameters, and our website content in areas like product ratings, customer reviews, and sourcing transparency,”​ he said.

Good results achieved despite falling sales in South Korea

The financial results, reported last week, bear out Morehead’s rosy take with the company reporting $101.7 million in net sales, representing an 11.7% year over year increase. This was achieved even as the company’s biggest market in Asia, South Korea, took a hit because of strict pandemic-related lockdowns in 2020.  For the full year Nature’s Sunshine recorded $385.2 million in revenue and notched a profit of almost $23 million.

Net sales in Asia were flat to declining, depending on currency calculations.  But sales in China rose 24% in the fourth quarter, and sales in Japan grew by as much as 30%.  Sales were up 7% in North America and rose in Europe and Latin America as well.

Nature’s Sunshine shares hit a 5-year high after the earnings announcement.  Shares are now selling at almost $19 a share, compared to about $9 at this same time in 2016.

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