Cardinal Health is dedicated to providing its customers with the best experiences possible and encompasses every part of the customer journey – from identifying the need, to evaluating to purchase and ultimately ordering/fulfillment.

Cardinal Health Medical segment customers have been able to order products online through two eCommerce platforms for many years. However, the platforms were built based on aging technology and opportunities existed to improve the customer experience and internal efficiencies. This prompted the development of a new eCommerce site that would meet changing customer expectations and positively position Cardinal Health for future growth.

Cardinal Health began the process of creating its new eCommerce platform by taking an outside-in approach. This began with surveying current customers regarding their experience as well as discovering what was missing. The more than 1,000 electronic survey responses collected identified the top five most important customer priorities and needs were: 1) ability to find and evaluate products; 2) view complete product content; 3) view products on backorder; 4) understand order status; and 5) match purchase orders and invoices. Additionally, Cardinal Health completed significant research regarding eCommerce best practices in addition to consulting with many industry experts.


Once Cardinal Health Market (Market) was in its final stages of development, Marketing Works and Cardinal Health partnered together to develop the launch strategy. The teams leveraged the SOSTAC planning model to identify the current Situation, define the Objectives, build the Strategy, define the Tactics, executive the Actions and Control the measurement and refinement of the launch.

The goal for this project was defined as: Launch is positively received by internal and external stakeholders, resulting in increased adoption and sales of Cardinal Health products.

The objectives were set as the following:

  • Customers are satisfied with launch communication, transition and the platform
  • Sales will embrace the launch and leverages it as a new tool
  • Employees are aware of the new platform
  • 60% customer adoption by end of 2018
  • Existing sites retire by end of FY2019 (June 30, 2019)

The external audiences were defined as: current eCommerce customers (primary), prospective customers (secondary), distributors (secondary) and suppliers (tertiary). The internal audiences were defined as: sales (primary), product managers and marketing (primary), customer service and IT service center (primary) and all Cardinal Health employees (tertiary). Key messaging for each audience was defined during the planning stage as well as the tactical roadmap for success.


The plan and tactical roadmap set the stage for pre-launch activities to begin in early 2018. The pre-launch activities included: a series of teaser videos [links to video 1, video 2 and video 3], internal and external email announcements, internal training materials, announcement at the national sales meeting, customer service team training/launch and sales team training/launch. These activities generated a lot of interest surrounding Market’s launch and the videos received the best engagement of any Cardinal Health video series to date.

Cardinal Health Market was launched in March 2018 to a controlled group of customers. The external launch activities included email announcements to customers, distributors and suppliers. The Cardinal Health sales team also actively promoted the new eCommerce site to customers. A number of internal launch activities were executed to build excitement including: environmental signage (elevator skins, floor decals and banner stands); intranet messages; company-wide voicemail from leadership; emails to specific stakeholders; branded gift drops to sales and customer service teams with FAQ scripts; and, custom email signatures for customer-facing employees.

Significant post-launch activities also were executed, including: a robust adoption email series to customers, suppliers and distributors; lunch and learn sessions for customers and suppliers; and, surveys to gauge success and ask for new feature ideas.


Throughout the last year, customers have been migrated to Market in waves and as of March 2019, 20,000 out of the total 27,500 external customers (73%) are exclusively using Cardinal Health Market as their eCommerce experience. The balance of customers (7,500) will be migrated to Market in April 2019.

Positive feedback is being received regarding the customers #1 need, which is the ability to find and evaluate products quickly through a robust search experience. Customers are also excited about the rich product content (images, descriptions, features & benefits) and overall ease of use.

Engagement is strong for customers using Market and continues to grow:

  • 780k+ page views in December 2018
  • 55% of page views are product/search related
  • 77% of all site visitors performed a search
  • 13,000 orders transacted through Market

Cardinal Health also expects to exceed its FY2019 Revenue and Gross Margin targets by 1.5x. Perhaps the most important validation of success has come from the customers using Market.

“It is easy to navigate and get familiar with. I love the pictures of products. This is a bonus for my requesters to be sure we are ordering exactly what is needed for the patient. I also like the ability to click on Resources and then click on a specific type of resource for assistance.”
– Buyer for large hospital system

We are honored that this work was recognized as the PRism Award winner in its category at the 2019 PRSA PRism awards.