The Problem
The Consumer Healthcare division of GlaxoSmithKline faced a market landscape that was rapidly changing and it was felt that the chance of being left behind by customers and the competition was a very real risk if action was not taken to bring the company closer to its customers and gain better information about buying habits and to give customers a way to leave direct feedback about products so that GSK has solid and qualified information available to use in future product developments. The decision was made to commission a new eCommerce website: GSK Direct.

Paul Gurnell of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare sums up the purpose behind the new website:

“We have a long-term vision for our healthcare: how do we add value to our products and how do we help support our patients? …this is about us being closer to our customers and understanding more about how they shop.”

There are a number of complications to selling healthcare products via the internet, not the least is the requirement for full tracking of product consignment and actual packet numbers, approval systems for Pharmacists to verify the suitability of particular products and customer ID tracking to ensure that no single sale contains more than the recommended quantities of product. No off the shelf ecommerce system could provide this level control and tracking for the GSK Direct project.

The Solution
No off the shelf eCommerce product may provide this level of control, but the Advansys eCommerce framework is designed to be scalable, allowing new modules to be developed and added to the core system to allow for any new capabilities.

Selling healthcare and pharmaceutical products is much more complicated than selling unregulated products. Products can be identified, indeed must be tracked almost down to the blister pack inside the box. The Advansys eCommerce framework allows this level of detail about the product to be logged and tracked throughout the order and fulfilment process.

Some products require a decision to be made regarding the suitability of the product for the customer and so Advansys developed bespoke controls for these products which allows for a level of automated decision making by the system, passes details onto Pharmacists where required and allows human intervention to be applied at any point for any order. Any action is tracked and stored for future reference making the system a strong asset for a modern responsible business.

Combining this strong technical performance with up to date web design is a mainstay of Advansys work and so GSK direct looks as good as it performs, with products and categories easily found by customers and with a clear journey from discovery to purchase.

The Results
GSK Direct is set to evolve in the coming months to include more pharmacy products and will also become available through mobile internet, to provide even more in depth information about customer’s shopping habits.

As Paul Gurnell comments: “Mobile is going to be hugely important, with developments going on such as the Android platform that open up whole new opportunities for retailers and manufacturers. It is definitely a priority for us.”

The launch of the online shop makes GSK the first UK healthcare company to individually manage its own ecommerce site, from management of the digital technology through to fulfilment of orders.

It is an exciting time and we’re really looking forward to the future of GSK direct and working closely with GlaxoSmithKline to ensure that the site continues to provide more data and good revenue.

About Advansys
Founded in 2000, Advansys is a leading provider of high quality, scalable ecommerce and workflow solutions. Our goal is to provide the necessary professional expertises to provide a one-stop shop solution to improve efficiency and ultimately save you valuable time and money. With offices in the UK, Europe, Asia and USA we are a dynamic company who approaches ecommerce and web development projects with energy and commitment. We work in partnership with our clients in driving projects through to a successful conclusion.

Advansys Limited
Building 4 Millars Brook
Molly Millars Lane
Wokingham
Berkshire
RG41 2AD
Telephone: 0845 838 2700
Fax: 0845 838 2701
Email: sales@advansys.com

Published on: 10:00AM on 10th December 2010