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Watsons introduces new kind of ‘beautiful’

It has also launched innovative solutions and community-driven campaigns to drive brand value.

Health and beauty retailer Watsons has been a trusted brand amongst 100 million loyal customers across Asia despite how the digital economy changed the way customers shop. To continuously consolidate a leading position, it aims to build a stronger emotional bonding with customers.

One of the most pressing issues of today still is how unrealistic beauty standards are being promoted, contributing to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem in individuals.

Watsons realises the need to rectify this, as it believes in a new kind of ‘beautiful’ that is good for everyone. As such, it has launched “The New Beautiful” brand value in 2022 to allow customers to live the best version of themselves, a kind of new beautiful that radiates from within.

Meanwhile, Watsons also accelerates the transformation of retail towards lower-environmental impact stores to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions, water usage and landfill waste, as well as to leverage its scale for good to speed up the global movement towards a more sustainable future through their Greener Stores Framework

In collaboration with the popular Hong Kong boy band MIRROR, Watsons launched the Go Green with Watsons campaign to promote sustainable living and inspire actions to reduce environmental impact.

The company also initiated the “Women in Medicine” programme to allow more women to advance in their medical careers. In partnership with Operation Smile, Watsons encourages women to unleash their potential and to help create a more inclusive and diverse healthcare system.

Setting the retail trend with a new omnichannel strategy

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has altered how, when, and where customers shop and what they buy. Everyone agrees that the pandemic has completely reset the retail game and that e-commerce has become more important than ever.

Having a deeper understanding of consumer needs, Watsons has adopted the O+O (Offline plus Online) platform strategy which reflects how customers shop and what they exactly want today.

All Watsons physical stores are connected to digital platforms, meaning the product offering is never limited by shelf space. With a few clicks, store teams can order products for delivery or pick-up by customers. The company’s loyalty members are also digitally connected with social media and digital platforms, so they can shop online not only on mobile apps and websites but also via WhatsApp, WeChat and phones.

It also upgraded its e-commerce platform to allow more personalisation for customers. They are given tailor-made offers reflected in different interfaces per user and it yielded a better conversion rate. The brand has introduced innovative solutions using AI and AR, such as the Skinfie Lab tool and the Virtual Doctor function launched on the Watsons App.

The Virtual Doctor enables people to get medical consultations without leaving home, bringing convenience to both patients and doctors. Whilst, Skinfie Lab is an innovative skin analysis tool that provides users with a personalised beauty routine by analysing skin qualities through the use of AI. 

Despite the impacts of the pandemic, Watsons’s revenue has increased by 23% in 2022 with the O+O strategy. 

Empowering Everyone Healthier Lives

In Hong Kong, Watsons recognises student-athletes for their outstanding performance and encourages them to strive for their sporting dreams. To help them get through the challenges brought by the pandemic, it has launched the “You Are Star” campaign. The athletes were also offered a professional shooting session, where each of their portraits was then used to mint a unique and personalised NFT Starcert as a recognition of their hard work in sports.

The proceeds of the NFT sales were donated to sports NGOs which support future sports development. In 2022, Watsons also sponsored scholarships valued at HK$500,000 to students. The first physical award presentation ceremony together with the NFT Starcerts exhibition was also organised in the shopping mall so that the public could witness the glorious moment of each awardee, with over 80% of schools in Hong Kong participating in the campaign.

The success of Watsons and its initiatives have been recognised by the Retail Asia Awards as the company bagged the Health & Beauty Retailer of the Year - Asia category win. Its O+O omnichannel strategy also won the Omnichannel Strategy of the Year - Hong Kong title, whilst the You Are Star campaign won the ESG Initiative of the Year - Hong Kong award.

Watsons leverage its influence through this global community to drive and inspire behavioural changes that can make a positive impact on our planet so that together with customers the brand lives up to its promise of look good, do good, feel great.

The Retail Asia Awards is presented by Retail Asia Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2024 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's exceptional products or initiatives in the retail industry, please contact Jane Patiag at [email protected].

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