Watsons’ O+O New Retail Standard Being Recognised Across the Region

Health and beauty retail succeeds by focusing on customer connectivity.

In the past year, maintaining a business during a pandemic is an enormous challenge. However, Watsons has proven its resilience, becoming the top-performing retailer in the Health & Beauty industry. It has won three prizes at the Retail Asia Awards 2021, which recognises the accomplishments and innovations of the region’s retailers.

Watsons has emerged as Health & Beauty Retailer of the Year in Asia due to its customer engagement through its O+O (Offline plus Online) strategy. Watsons believes the new O+O retail standard is not about having physical store and an online store. It’s an ecosystem that is powered by technology, big data and AI. The pandemic situation has created a new normal which has further given rise to this O+O retail model.

#WatsonsHereForYou campaign enhances customer connectivity during a period characterised by strict sanitation protocols and community lockdowns. Apart from providing regular updates to customers, as well as tips to fight the pandemic, Watsons added some fun to this campaign by introducing the “W” greeting, which is done by holding the fingers to form two joint “Vs” with the meaning of “double victory” in the communal fight against the Covid-19 virus.

Furthermore, Watsons’ virtual makeup technology #ColourMe allows customers to try on makeup and hair colouring products in the Watsons App before purchasing which ensures a safe and convenient shopping experience. With their endless support to customers in both online and offline platforms, Watsons becomes the leader in brand equity in the Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand markets and a surge of customer engagement on social media as well as e-commerce sales growth were witnessed.

Secondly, Watsons Hong Kong won the CSR Initiative of the Year Award for its corporate response to Covid-19, which was conducted by prioritising its employees’ and customers’ safety and needs. Apart from providing up-to-date information, face masks and sanitising products to protect its store staff, Watsons has upgraded its eStore with cloud technology to serve the high online traffic for the convenience of its customers. In addition, Watsons donated 450,000 pieces of WatsMask to school pupils and seniors in the city during the most critical time of mask demand. Watsons has also made a continuous effort in recycling bottles of various materials including glass, aluminum and plastic. Recycle machines are placed in stores with incentives to encourage more customers to take action.

Watsons Hong Kong’s O+O retail strategy has made the brand a clear winner of the Marketing Initiative of the Year Award. To ensure a seamless experience to better serve customers’ shopping needs across any channel anytime and anywhere, WatsonsGo, an alternative payment option has been introduced that allows customers to scan product barcodes via Watsons App in-store and complete the transaction on the mobile instantly. Another feature Tap & Shop is a touch screen in store that allows customers to shop and choose either to collect the products in store or have them delivered to their home.

As the world continues on the path toward the “new normal”, Watsons is expected to be a partner that enables the community to maintain its well-being. Such strong customer connectivity, in turn, will be the basis of Watsons’ sustained competitiveness as the leading brand in the health and beauty market.

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