Insights for brands: Watsons China establishes new centre to gather consumer data

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Watsons has launched a Health Care Zone in its offline stores in China. ©Watsons
Watsons has launched a Health Care Zone in its offline stores in China. ©Watsons

Related tags Watsons wechat retail sales

Retailer Watsons China has established a brand centre which uses multiple offline plus online (O+O) touchpoints, such as its store outlets and Enterprise Wechat, to gather consumer insights for partnering health and nutrition brands.

Known as the OPTIMO Brand Centre, it is targeted at helping supplier brands better understand and respond to customers’ needs, in turn, grow their market share.

Enterprise Wechat would be one of the tools used to understand consumers’ needs, Kulvinder Birring, CEO of Watsons China said in response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia.

“We will leverage online touchpoints like Enterprise Wechat to conduct surveys or launch video interviews to help supplier brands understand their target customers’ preference, shopping behaviour and pain points so that they can better design their marketing plans when they launch a new product,” ​he said.

As of June 30, A. S. Watson operates 12 retail brands with 16,244 stores in 28 markets, according to the retailer’s parent organisation CK Hutchison’s unaudited results for the first six months of this year.

However, in the same period, the retailer reported a net store reduction of 154, mainly in the Mainland.

Currently, Watsons China has more than 60 million members and more than 200 million users on online platforms, covering 90 per cent of metropolitan women aged 18 to 45.

Health Care Zone  

Watsons China also launched a Health Care Zone in both online and its offline stores to cater to growing consumer interest in health and wellness due to COVID-19.

The offline presence will cover over 1,200 physical stores in 270 cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chongqing, Chengdu and Wuhan.

The zone offers six categories of health products, including vitamin supplements, health foods, skin care products, personal care, seasonal care and health care products.

During the launch, the zone offered almost 1,500 health care items and is expected to grow to 1,800 by the end of the year.

“With the launch of health care zone, customers can quickly find the health products which best suit their need.

“Meanwhile, customers can enjoy one-on-one exclusive consulting service on Enterprise WeChat, instantly connecting with professional health & beauty consultants to get personalised health consultation,” ​Birring said.

Apart from the health care zone in store, Customers can also shop the health care products on MyStore (Cloud Store) and have the products delivered to their doorsteps within 30 minutes.

Last year, Mainland China’s health care products market was estimated to have been valued at 500 billion RMB. Citing data from CBNData’s “Youth Health Consumption Trend Report”, Watsons pointed out that 97 per cent of post-90s consumers cared deeply about this subject.

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