As the world’s largest international health and beauty retailer, AS Watson Group has strived to be ahead of the market when it comes to service and experience, both in store and online. Alongside the launch of “Watsons Pay” in Taiwan and “Watsons Mini Store” in China, the Group has also announced a partnership with Meitu, the image editing software company. These launches are a testament to the business’ commitment to innovating in the e-commerce and social eCommerce area as well as enhancing the online and offline customer experience and connectivity.
Watsons has just announced a partnership with Meitu, to upgrade the online and offline customer connectivity in Hong Kong and China. Watsons will maximise the use advanced image technology to offer customers tailored product recommendations and promotions alongside a number of services including a Meitu x Watsons electronic membership card in Watsons China and Magic Mirrors in Watsons Hong Kong which provides a skin-analysis service and product recommendation. Customers will benefit from tailored product recommendations, as well as trend led suggestion including everything from party looks to dating looks.
In China, Watsons has also introduced a new technology to help create a better online and offline experience with the launch of “Watsons Mini Store”, a WeChat Mini Program which shows a leap from traditional retailing to social eCommerce.
“Watsons Mini Store” is a brand new social e-commerce model that allows customers to recommend and sell Watsons products to their social media followers. The service also allows users to share instore experiences, helping to generate better customer satisfaction and customer service. “Watsons Mini Store” has quickly attracted a large number of registrations, with over 10,000 customers selling on the platform to-date.
In Taiwan, Watsons has been offering health and beauty for 30 years and to strengthen its digital presence, it recently introduced Watsons Pay. Watsons Pay has been developed to capture those customers looking for the convenience of mobile payment both online and in-store. This is in conjunction with the launch of an official Watsons LINE account, enhanced personalised marketing and the upgrade of the Watsons APP 2.0, which work together to talk to the five million members of its loyalty programme. This year sees ten years since the launch of Watsons iMember physical card.
According to Nielsen’s latest survey, 90 per cent of internet users (19 million in total) in Taiwan use communication platform LINE and up to 80 per cent of users add official accounts. Watsons launched its official LINE account “Watsons Taiwan” in September offering incentives and bonuses for customers to sign up. These include eight stickers from Miss WOW, a humorous virtual internet celebrity. The sticker had more than 1.7 million downloads in its first month. Other incentives include money off, prize draw entries and membership points.
The Watsons APP launched in 2011 and accumulated more than 2 million downloads. Revenue from the APP in 2017 grew by 150% compared to the same period last year. To offer a refreshing online shopping experience to customers, the Watsons APP 2.0 has launched with a new online customer text service, fingerprint recognition log-in and allows searching by pictures.
Further updates are planned for this year and for additional convenience Watsons Pay is incorporated into the new Watsons APP 2.0. Watsons Pay’s user interface is simple and easy to use offering customers a faster shopping experience.
Malina Ngai, group chief operating officer of AS Watson Group, says: “Customers in today’s digital world have high expectations, and if a company can’t satisfy them, they will churn and move on to one that can. From awareness, product consideration and purchase to loyalty and advocacy it is of strategic importance that we use technology smartly to connect with customers at micro moments to provide relevant and enriched experiences.”