Health and beauty retailer Watsons has partnered with Tencent’s WeChat Work platform to establish an online presence and launch cloud-based WeChat stores this quarter.
Watsons China’s launch on WeChat Work and the establishment of cloud stores will enable the brand to provide more personalised, round-the-clock services to its more than 65 million-strong customer base shopping at Watsons’ 3800 physical outlets – each of which will have a corresponding cloud store under the new system.
“To retain our over 65 million loyal members as well as appeal to new customers, we have to be at the cutting edge of retailing, and find a way to stay close with them,” said Watsons China CEO Kulvinder Birring. “With big data technology, these social-commerce platforms add another dimension to our relationship with customers, enabling us to connect and interact with them, and ultimately become the most-loved brand of our customers.”
“We’ve been working very closely with Watsons,” said WeChat Work senior industry director Hau Lu. “Combining the advantages of both parties, we will further cooperate and jointly search for more business opportunities.”
The new Watsons China’s WeChat Work platform will establish a communication channel in which customers can add store staff as WeChat friends, who then become their personal beauty consultants. Customers can seek advice from store staff at any time, from anywhere, and enjoy one-to-one customer service. If a product is not available from a customer’s nearest branch, store staff can help to order the item in the cloud store system. Customers can also choose to have their order delivered via courier, “click & collect” or the “one-hour flash delivery” service.
“WeChat Work helps us nurture a closer relationship with our customers,” said Wanda Plaza ZhengZhou Watsons store manager Ellen Shen. “They can now contact us any time for personalised service and advice. We’re glad to be able to earn their trust and become their friends. Since its launch, we’ve received very positive response from customers who have added us as friends to enjoy this one-to-one service.”
Watsons has also introduced an AI chatbot called Wilson, who is a virtual spokesperson for the brand available 24/7 via WeChat Work. The bot can provide customers with professional and personalised advice, aimed at providing an entertaining and useful addition to the shopping experience.