The impact of digital transformation: Simon-Kucher’s 3rd European Consumer Healthcare Strategy Forum

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How to successfully manage consumer healthcare in light of changing sales channels, the potential of eCommerce, and the value of customer relationships: Expert insights and best practices.

Bonn/Munich – Over the last decade, nothing has disrupted well-established industries as drastically as the rise of online sales channels. At the same time, this has been an opportunity for companies to implement innovative business models for profitable growth. The Consumer Healthcare (CHC) market is also under pressure to adapt to the new circumstances and remain competitive.

At the 3rd European CHC Strategy Forum, hosted in Munich by the global consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners, experts shared their insights and presented case studies on how to successfully manage CHC in light of changing sales channels. Speakers and topics were:

  • Dr. Clemens Oberhammer, Partner & Head of the Global CHC Practice at Simon-Kucher & Partners: Welcome note and introduction; Digital transformation: Key trends and challenges in the CHC market; Closing remarks: Key takeaways and lessons learned
  • Christian Rebholz, Partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners: Levers to grow the CHC business in the online/multi-channel world
  • Alexander Bilsing, Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners: Marketing effectiveness in a multi-channel environment
  • Jan Merkel, Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners: Managing international pricing and multi-channel trade terms

Leading CHC companies from all over Europe explored the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation can bring to CHC companies’ sales, pricing, and marketing strategies. “Their strong interest and attendance at our strategy forum show that digitalization is a hot topic and one of the most important trends in the CHC industry”, says Dr. Clemens Oberhammer. In his presentation, he pointed out that customer searching and buying behavior is changing. For example, 48 percent of millennials go online to find a physician, and 70 percent of health-related online searches start on a mobile phone.

His conclusion: “Digitalization will change the way CHC companies interact with customers.” They should see digitalization as an enhancement rather than a substitute for traditional CHC marketing and sales channels. “In personal care, a huge increase in eCommerce sales is expected in the coming years, so CHC companies should use online data to better understand their customers and quickly acquire or build eCommerce capabilities.”

During his presentation, Christian Rebholz pointed out how digitalization is becoming the “new normal”. Over 90 percent of CHC companies are already investing in digital initiatives, as the figures of Simon-Kucher’s Global Pricing & Sales Study 2017 reveal. But growing in the digital era is not only about digitalization. What leads companies to success is a combination of technology, product, channel, and customer relationships. “Successfully monetizing digital products, services, and digital channels requires new ways of thinking about the consumer and a sound understanding of value and willingness to pay. Nowadays price is the most important reason to buy online. In the future, it will still be important, but convenience will be the other key driver”, Rebholz says.

Another topic of the 3rd European CHC Strategy Forum focused on the management of international pricing and multi-channel trade terms. Several global trends, such as growing online business as well as internationalized brands, key accounts, and end consumers increase the risk of unaligned international pricing and multi-channel trade terms. As optimized international pricing is a journey that has to be systematically prepared and executed step by step, CHC companies need to act now, starting with transparency and aligned consumer prices and trade term systems.