Watsons Taiwan setting trends for O2O

Back in 2011, Watsons, the biggest cosmetics and pharmacy retailer in Taiwan, started its online business on Yahoo Shopping Mall platform. In 2014 they are ready to start a new chapter of their online retail strategy – building their own online store and mobile app to better understand their online clients as well as creating an edge for itself.

Although faced with a heavily saturated cosmetics & pharmaceutical retail market, Watsons was able to capture a decent portion of the online market by working with Yahoo. The encouraging online revenue growth to date and the aim to further that online wallet market share (one in 6 female shoppers in Taiwan is a Watsons member) has propelled Watsons to form it’s own online platform.

Customer Loyalty

Members of Watsons loyalty program purchase 25% more than non-members. This gap shows the high brand loyalty of members, and for this reason Watsons promotes their membership card. By enlarging  and building their membership databases, Watsons will understand more about shoppers behaviors and anticipate their interest.

In the past, it was difficult to collect all these information at their store location, but now Watsons can easily mine the data from it’s websites. After a series of analytical processes, they can customize sales promotion events for certain groups and send coupons and eDM to notify them.

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Mobile Commerce

Aside from the online stores, Watson has made a concerted push into mobiles commerce.  Customers can now store their membership card the mobile app and check their credit on their smartphone. This solves the inconvenience of having too many cards in their wallet. In addition users get sales promotion and new product information via the app, and are able to share it with their friends or add it to their shopping list.  Watsons customer can also scan products through their cell phone camera, powered by Viscovery visual search technology, to find information and buy things at home, at work, or anywhere, anytime!

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Bricks and clicks

At most retailers, the in-store shopping experience remains remarkably outdated. Most shoppers and retailers alike are frustrated with the amount of time and manual work required to get to the final step. Lacking ways to deliver the convenience and selection found online, independent retailers are unable to deliver an experience that makes shoppers want to get off the couch. Watsons, however, has addressed this by integrating and offering it’s shopping experience both online and offline.

According to Retail Systems Research, 42% of retailers say a top inhibitor of achieving the omni-channel experience is that inventory and order management are not integrated and accessible across all channels. In the future, Watsons plans to introduce tablets as part of their inventory management chains. This can simplify employee working procedures, giving them up to 85% more time to serve their customers.