GSK prepares to relaunch direct selling channel

GSK is preparing to relaunch its GSK Direct ecommerce platform to implement the insights gleaned from the trial over the past two years.

GSK Direct
GSK to relaunch direct selling format.

The platform, which launched in 2010, was wound down last year and the format is currently in review.

GSK is planning to launch further direct selling channels for its consumer healthcare brands incorporating the lessons learned from the initial GSK Direct trial and expertise and strategic understanding from the direct selling operations of the Maximuscle brand it acquired in December 2010.

Maximuscle began as a direct mail business and has been selling directly to consumers online for around seven years. Now almost a third of its revenue comes from direct sales while the rest is through retail partners.

Gareth Foster, director of ecommerce and direct at Maximuscle, says one of the reasons GSK acquired Maximuscle was its expertise in ecommerce and digital direct marketing.

Foster adds direct selling provides the brand with an opportunity to add value beyond a transaction with content. It offers training and diet plans and advice from expert nutritionists.

The initial GSK Direct platform was the first direct to consumer service set up by an FMCG brand-owner in the UK. It was designed to be a way to gain insights and a better understanding of its customers’ online shopping habits with a view to improving marketing.

The news comes as Kimberly Clark launches its first ecommerce venture to sell Kleenex online.


Secret Marketer

Is operations central to marketing success?

David Coveney

I was amused and intrigued by the number of comments to my column a few weeks ago where I hypothesised that customers were less worried about customer service execution than the blood, sweat and tears that our efforts as marketers warranted.


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