The 5 keys of the Pierre Fabre Group’s omnichannel strategy

13 May 2019

Digitalization, data usage, user experience... distribution circuits are changing. To keep up with its market, Pierre Fabre has begun a move toward the omnichannel strategy. 
For this international Group, which places people at the heart of its activity, this transformation is above all a continuation of its core values. It is an ambition that requires new activities and new skills. Let’s take a look at the keys to an ongoing process that is paving the way for tomorrow’s talent.

visuel article e-retail


1/ Responding to new consumer behaviors
Keeping up with patients-customers is not just about creating effective products. It is no longer enough to have multiple distribution channels. The omnichannel approach is clearly the ideal path for Pierre Fabre, because it places the consumer at the center of the process. The Group strives to satisfy omniconsumers, who use all the channels simultaneously in their purchasing journey.  
Where is the patient-customer found? Looking for information on social networks, listening to the views of an influencer, testing a product in store, and doing research on the internet to buy online or in a pharmacy. This is where the Pierre Fabre Group’s approach really becomes valuable: adapting fast to respond equally to all of these new expectations. 
Whatever the place, time or medium, we now need to support all connected generations. In other words:    

Delivering expert content, on a product for a perfectly targeted consumer, and supporting their transaction via a smartphone anywhere in the world has become a necessity.

The audience for the Pierre Fabre Group’s brands (Eau Thermale Avène, Klorane, Ducray, Dexeryl, Eludril, Elgydium, Naturactive, etc.) aspires to high quality content that offers added value. They are certainly demanding, but they are also curious, and even experts in their subjects of choice. By collecting their data, the Group is now staying ahead of demand. Thanks to the omnichannel strategy, this new consumer approach can be continually adjusted.


2/ Drawing on and developing new expertise 

 For employees, these activities are a chance to build new skills. By developing existing profiles, the Pierre Fabre Group helps its committed employees to progress and offers them new opportunities. Welcome to the One Program.  
Among other things, this program combines the development of direct and indirect e-commerce, consumer insight, and the associated digital communication. The aim is to put these activities into practice, but also to plan appropriately for the human change required (allocation of activities, skills building, etc.). Once again, people are key to this process.  New possibilities that appeal to employees who are keen to explore new professions, and that enrich the Group via new profiles. It is a fact: the omnichannel approach requires development of online skills. It would be pointless embarking on this kind of activity without ensuring we have all the necessary human resources. E-merchandising cannot be improvised. It is one of the new skills sought by the Group. 
Data management processing is equally affected. We need to ensure that existing assets can be maintained, while allowing the evolution of data collection, production and analysis activities. Through its transformation and analysis, data becomes smart. The consequence? The company is now hiring Data Analyst roles, for example.


3/ Investing in the quality of the service and content
In the health sector, the choice of e-retailer partners and the reliability of information are also at the heart of the omnichannel transformation. To maintain good control of its quality, Pierre Fabre focuses on two complementary elements:  

  • Negotiation with online sales platforms that are aligned with its values 
  • The quality of the content that is transmitted and understood by the e-retailer

 Based on the pharmaceutical culture of the Pierre Fabre Group, agreements with platforms are very rigorous. Specifically, the expectations are: adherence to a selective distribution model that is devoted to pharmacy and personal care, as well as real added value from partner sites. 
Another essential is product knowledge.  When a patient-customer asks the e-retailer about a product or how to use it, the answers must reflect the Group’s expertise.  

We need to replicate the white coat in an e-retail context, to provide continuity between the quality of Pierre Fabre products, the content and the associated services.

Marie-Aline Hantz Veloza 
Chief Digital Officer - Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics

 To achieve this, training is provided for the online sales platforms. This means that the Group’s discourse also becomes omnichannel. The technique is subject to quality testing. To perfect the customer journey, partnerships are based on intuitive browsing of brands, an optimized user experience and an easy purchasing journey. Again, these criteria put the consumer at the heart of the Group’s approach. 


4/ Transforming the constraints of the purchasing journey into opportunities

 The figures speak for themselves: conversion in the form of a purchase is 80% in pharmacies compared to 2% in e-commerce.  
What are the advantages of physical commerce? The pharmacist is there, ready to advise and support their patient. Being able to physically touch, test and experience a product is an advantage reserved for pharmacies and drugstores. The Pierre Fabre Group’s concept: to turn e-retail into an additional opportunity to revitalize the customer experience. 
E-commerce enables precise targeting of consumers: proposing the right product at the right time becomes easy.  
Online, there is no physical contact with the product, but there are unlimited possibilities to consult product information. The experience is also enriched by demonstration videos, tutorials and customer opinions. By generating very high quality content, the Group increases the added value of each of its products. 
For the patient-customer seeking advice at any time, e-retail also suggests associated products that are perfectly suited to their needs. By then sharing their tests and opinions on social networks, patient-customers generate a virtuous circle for content. 
This means that the different distribution channels become highly complementary. With its omnichannel strategy, Pierre Fabre creates a rich physical and digital experience that is reinvented every day. 

 5/ Staying connected to customers

 This is one of the founding principles of the Group and one of the main advantages of the omnichannel strategy: communication with the patient-customer. The consumer is able to share an opinion about a product, comment and interact, so they therefore become a contributor to this strategy in their own right. The Pierre Fabre Group is transforming discourse into dialog.  
From the moment a parcel is received, valuable data can be collected. The shipping time, the packaging quality, the product packaging, its texture, its use, its effectiveness… this information is shared at the consumer’s initiative, via their chosen channel. It can be analyzed, to allow effective adjustment of the offer. From the point of view of the audience, this open communication confirms the total transparency of the Group. Within this win-win process, the customer experience is constantly renewed and refined. 
The omnichannel strategy also offers new possibilities for expression. Through influencers and health or dermo-cosmetics experts, that brands remain connected with their consumers.  


infographie sur la stratégie e-retail Pierre Fabre