It’s not just those practitioner brands

Internet sales of dietary supplements continue to exhibit enviable annual growth—14% in 2013 to reach $2.0 billion—but what once seemed like the future of direct-selling in nutrition now carries a richer subtext. As the future of online retail comes into better focus, a counterintuitive truth has emerged: You can’t get to the future without keeping one foot, maybe two feet, in the past.

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