Colgate Pro: a one-of-a-kind B2B marketplace tailor-made for dentists

Colgate Pro’s story from a 3-month implementation process to reaching 75% incremental dentists in one year.

100-day

go-live preparation

75%

dentists database expansion in one year

44%

conversion rate in customized products

Challenge

Colgate Brazil’s story with VTEX is one of innovation. For Colgate Pro, having a marketplace was mandatory for the project, and Colgate made the most out of VTEX native marketplace capabilities to build a B2B marketplace ecommerce website. In that way, the TCO would be lower, as well as the implementation time. On top of that, Colgate was looking into customization features and overall scalability, which is really fundamental for B2B ecommerce. 

Colgate has its own 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. To reach regions that weren’t completely covered by consultants, the solution was going online.

By bringing this process to the online world, there were a couple of things Colgate needed to guarantee:

  • A special login system to recognize the registry number for certified dentists;
  • A large product offering, ranging from customized toothbrushes to heavy dentistry machinery;
  • Integration of fulfillment partner and distributor to the online sales platform. 

Solution

With these needs in mind and other commercial requirements, Colgate started developing the platform while leveraging native and out-of-the-box VTEX capabilities. After scoping the project and hiring the partner agency, the entire developing process lasted 100 days, an incredibly fast time-to-market considering Colgate’s needs for customization, specific promotion models, and catalog migration.

Colgate’s project is innovative, 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 project as a benchmark. In Brazil, it’s the only one in the oral care industry. Its ecommerce architecture’s main feature is the 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 — while also avoiding channel conflict: as the distributor is also benefiting from this new online sales channel.

Beyond the marketplace, Colgate invested in two strategic solutions to improve sales: a cashback promotional module and a loyalty program. Both are native VTEX functionalities and have been implemented alongside b8one, a VTEX partner agency.

The loyalty program is valid for every dentist, with different layers and various perks – the accumulated 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 the joint venture with Phillips, with the goal of selling more electric toothbrushes. 

Results

“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, dentists have received the initiative fairly well, making the website a success when it comes to customer experience. With initiatives like product personalization, the average monthly sell-out value has increased 496% YoY*, according to Colgate. Also, the DTC channel experienced more than 45% in incremental units sold* and an increase of 908% YTD in first-party data acquisition* through the platform.

Many dentists see value in giving gifts to patients, especially toothbrushes with the dentist’s name and contact information on them. By making this personalization easy for dentists, it is more likely that they will do it all in one place – shop and customize.

This project, led by the Brazil team at Colgate, contributed significantly to the digitalization of the connections between the brand and the dentists. Also, the customization capabilities implemented in this project are seen as something very innovative for this niche of B2B customers, adding considerable value both to the final product and to the shopper experience. It’s certainly one of the most important ecommerce projects in the field for oral care professionals.

With this project and its initial great results, the team at Colgate has an even bigger smile on their face.

*DISCLAIMER: Every information and numbers seen in the above text were provided and approved by Colgate (VTEX's customer).

Solutions Used

  • Marketplace
  • B2B