WayfindHealth+Wellness

Retailization of Healthcare

Addressing Change in the Health + Wellness Industry


When more than 5,000 Americans were asked to grade the U.S. healthcare system overall, 44% of Americans gave the entire system a poor or failing grade.1 Meanwhile, the wellness market is growing quickly with 50% of consumers reporting wellness as a top priority in their day-to-day lives.2 Clearly, in a post-pandemic world, there is much room for improvement in the accessibility and delivery of healthcare and tremendous opportunity to bring a new perspective to a traditional and innovation-resistant market. Major players in the retail industry have taken notice and believe their consumer needs-driven approach can help move healthcare into new directions. Thus, 2022 has brought further retailization of the healthcare industry through mergers and acquisitions in the retail space.

The retailization of healthcare is a concept that WD’s Health + Wellness expert Dan Stanek has been writing and speaking about for the last 5 years. In a recent Q&A with Dan, he dives into the various milestones of this past year and how they are setting the stage for retail healthcare disruption now and for years to come. In addition to the game-changing plays being made by retailers, providers and major healthcare systems, consumers have become a change agent in the industry. Consumer demands and preferences have forced the healthcare industry to evolve. “Healthcare is being forced to adapt to the new sheriffs in town. We have to put things in consumers’ hands,” Stanek said. According to a presentation Dan gave at HealthSpaces recently, we’re moving from a business-to-business model to a business-to-customer model, which means all healthcare providers have to fundamentally change how they view things.

Dan Stanek Presenting The Retailization of Healthcare at HealthSpaces 2022

One of the biggest retail brands driving massive change in the industry recently is also almost everyone’s favorite online retailer, Amazon. With the recent acquisition of One Medical and Iora Health, Amazon seems intent to make their mark on the healthcare industry. The union of One Medical with Amazon gives Amazon access to more physicians, Medicare, and insurance payers while providing them with more legitimacy in the healthcare space. On the other side, One Medical, with the financial backing of Amazon, finally has the means to expand at the rate they need to and that would lead them towards overcoming their losses and generating revenue. In this POV we dive into how Amazon is a set up to be a prime disruptor in the industry.

Another sector of the healthcare industry that has been rocked by the consumer and how they do or don’t respond to their needs, is the primary care system. The primary care provider has always been a fixture in the healthcare landscape and the key gateway to services and specialties consumers need to maintain their health and be treated for episodic or chronic conditions. However, this bedrock system is in the midst of a massive upheaval that is likely to shift consumer choice, and in the process, shift how healthcare is defined and delivered. Physician shortages, massive wait times, the growth of retail clinics, and new innovative alternatives have all lead to pandemonium in the primary care system. Explore more about these causes that brought us here how a departure from the traditional physician-centric model is a win for consumers in this POV.

Physician shortages, massive wait times, the growth of retail clinics, and new innovative alternatives have all lead to pandemonium in the primary care system.

The Urgent Care industry is in a similar situation to Primary Care, responding to disruption by either evolving to the needs of their consumers or falling out of the consideration set as a healthcare provider. Dan spent some time last year discussing these issues with an expert in the industry, Brian Standage, on a WDCast episode. Brian is currently the CEO of Banner Health Urgent Care & Retail Services (Ambulatory) and has a unique career background, building his foundation in the retail sector before diving deep into the world of healthcare at Banner Health. In this episode, Brian and Dan enthusiastically discuss how new and unexpected retailers can change the game for the patient experience including what services can be offered, how the services are consumed, how they can integrate with their current products/services, and how retailers can benefit by expanding into new markets.

We are at the precipice of exponential change in healthcare. There has never been a more crucial time for providers and retailers to respond to the major disruptions taking place in the industry as outlined above. WD Partners has a reputation for delivering innovative solutions and driving scale in the customer experience industry, helping clients to transform their patient/customer experiences and bring sophisticated brand and retail practices. We can help create or transform your current model as well as optimize and scale your brand experience. Ready to make your move and explore your options for innovation at scale? Reach out to our EVP and Leader of our Health + Wellness Practice, Dan Stanek at dan.stanek@wdpartners.com.

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