The healthcare giant hopes that GSK Direct will help cement and improve its market-leading position in the UK healthcare sector.
]It will use the website, which currently sells the GSK brand range, including Aquafresh, NiQuitin and Beechams, to collect transactional information.
Data will be collected about the types of products bought together, what parts of the site customers use to make their purchases and what promotions are most attractive.
GSK will also present this data to its retail partners in order to advise them how to market, display and promote its products better.
GSK ecommerce controller Paul Gurnell, says: “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 [website] gets us on the journey to that and may also have a halo effect on brand sales too.”
He adds: “This is not about stealing business from our retail partners, this is about us being closer to our customers and understanding more about how they shop.”
Gurnell says the idea was inspired, in part, by Procter & Gamble’s US ecommerce shop which works in a similar way.
GSK Direct is set to evolve in the coming months to include pharmacy products and will also become available through mobile internet.
Gurnell says: “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 autonomously manage its own ecommerce site, from management of the digital technology through to fulfilment of orders.