GSK Consumer Preps For Independent Future With E-commerce Upgrade

Lisa Johnston
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GSK Consumer Healthcare includes such brands as Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol, and Centrum.

As GSK Consumer Healthcare prepares to de-merge from GSK, the company is investing in its ability to respond to e-commerce market changes to better compete in the expanding digital landscape.

The consumer goods company is teaming with Ascential Digital Commerce for a digital commerce platform it expects to boost visibility of brand sales and performance through multiple data sources. This in turn is anticipated to improve reaction time to market dynamics to fuel brand performance.

GSK Consumer Healthcare, which is nearing the completion of a two-year demerger plan from GSK in July, expects e-commerce growth to reach the mid-teens percentage of the business by 2025. The Consumer Healthcare business is currently a joint venture between GSK and Pfizer, with GSK holding a majority controlling interest of 68% and Pfizer holding 32%.

The new, independently listed business will take the name of Haleon and include such brands as Sensodyne, Voltaren, Panadol, and Centrum in its portfolio.

[See also: GSK Consumer Explores Paper Bottles]

Taryn Marella, global head of digital commerce at GSK Consumer Healthcare, said the investment will provide actionable insights to help it monitor the health of the business and identify growth opportunities. It will also enhance its ability to update messaging and elevate creativity in the digital environment.

"Healthcare today is driven by the digital economy, whether consumers and patients are searching for healthcare information and services online, logging into exercise classes, ordering health and beauty products from their favorite online retailers, or managing prescription medications online," he noted.

Indeed, the e-commerce market receive a fierce acceleration during the pandemic to result in some long-lasting and even some permanent consumer purchase behaviors. A GSK statement cited a 2021 IDC study that pegged the digital commerce applications market as recording double-digit growth through 2025.

“Visibility of data is becoming increasingly vital to businesses every day,” said Filippo Battaini, research manager at IDC Retail Insights, in the statement. “Especially as e-commerce has become a core business capability for businesses around the globe, managing data streams for those businesses has become increasingly challenging.”

E-commerce Upgrades

GSK will launch with Ascential a web-based platform to capture, analyze, visualize, and display marketing data about each brand and competitor so it can monitor key activities. The platform, known as Ascential Digital Commerce Connect, will enable the consumer healthcare company to better understand its brands and sales performance in the e-commerce marketplace, including by stacking it against key competitors.

It will also enable it to compare performance at retail through its owned channels and with such major retailers as Amazon and Alibaba.

[See also: As Consumers Shift Spend, CPGs Focus On Promotion Effectiveness]

As a global company, GSK — soon to be Haleon — will also be able to dissect its view of brand health throughout North America, EMEA, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, and it will more accurately calculate marketing spending as a percentage of gross revenue.

Finally, the new platform is also expected to help GSK navigate potential challenges and outages around the supply chain, R&D, and market disruption.

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