Colgate Pro: a one-of-a-kind B2B marketplace tailor-made for dentists
Colgate Brazil’s story with VTEX is one of innovation. For Colgate Pro, a marketplace was a must-have for the project, and Colgate made the most out of VTEX’s native marketplace functionality to build a B2B ecommerce website. Leveraging a pre-integrated system meant TCO and implementation time would be lower. Additionally, Colgate was looking for an SaaS platform that could be customized to meet their and their clients’ specific business functions. Although it is difficult to accommodate this level of complexity in the B2B digital commerce world, it is also fundamental.
Colgate has oral care consultants that work as B2B salespeople throughout Brazil. These consultants are responsible for visiting and talking to dentists about the newest products and their benefits. The company has decided that digital commerce was the most effective way to reach regions that consultants didn’t cover.
In order to transform this process digitally, Colgate needed to guarantee a few things:
A special login system that could identify the registry number of certified dentists.
A large product assortment, ranging from customized toothbrushes to heavy dentistry machinery.
Integration of the fulfillment partner and distributor to the online sales platform.
With these needs in mind and also taking financial sustainability into account, Colgate leveraged native and out-of-the-box VTEX capabilities to build the platform. After scoping the project and hiring a partner agency, the entire developing process lasted 100 days—an impressively fast time to market, considering Colgate’s needs for customization, complex promotion models, and catalog migration.
The project was innovative for Colgate, as it is a one-of-a-kind marketplace catered for dentists. It was originally created, developed, and designed by Colgate-Palmolive’s ecommerce Brazil team and then rolled out to other countries around the globe, having Brazil’s results as a benchmark. In Brazil, the Colate Pro marketplace is the only one in the oral care industry.
The main differential advantage of the ecommerce architecture is a marketplace layer that integrates the distributor’s products to the website. By integrating the distributor’s own ecommerce catalog and inventory, Colgate Pro was able to scale its operation without additional logistic and fulfillment costs. Likewise, Colgate has been able to avoid channel conflict: the distributor views the marketplace as a new online sales channel, instead of a threat.
Beyond the marketplace, Colgate invested in two strategic solutions to improve sales: a cashback promotional module and a loyalty program module. Both are native VTEX functionalities and have been implemented alongside b8one, a VTEX partner agency.
The loyalty program is valid for all dentists, with different tiers and perks. Loyalty points can be traded for discounts on specific products. As for the cashback initiative, it is going to be used as a promotional strategy. The most recent example was a joint venture with Phillips, with the goal of selling more electric toothbrushes.
“We are putting considerable effort into technology to deliver the best oral care marketplace for dentists, and we believe that the continued focus on product customization adds a lot of value to our dentist customers. The amazing part of this project is also the availability. Now, dentists can order any product they want, at any time. We have a broader range of delivery and covered areas, and dentists are making more orders, more frequently.”
Danilo Turbiani, Ecommerce Director at Colgate-Palmolive Brazil
Beyond availability, the initiative has been received well by dentists, turning the store into a customer experience success story. With initiatives like product personalization, the average monthly sell-out value has increased 496% YoY. Besides, the DTC channel experienced an increase of more than 45% in incremental units sold* and of 908% YTD in first-party data acquisition* through the platform.
Many dentists think it is worth giving gifts to their patients, especially toothbrushes with the dentist’s name and contact information. By making this personalization process easy for dentists, they will be more inclined to do everything —shop and customize—in one place.
This project, led by Colgate’s Brazil team, helped connect the brand and dentists digitally. The project’s customization capabilities also added value to the final product and the buyer experience. It’s certainly one of the most important ecommerce projects for oral care professionals.
With the great initial results, Colgate’s team has even bigger smiles on their faces.
*DISCLAIMER: Every information and numbers seen in the above text were provided and approved by Colgate (VTEX's customer).
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