Ground-breaking customer service from Watsons China

Date : 16 January 2020

Jiong-Jiong Yu

Senior Retail Analyst

The health and beauty retailer has partnered with Tencent to bring customer service to a new level through innovative use of social media.

Launch of round-the-clock one to one service

The partnership with Tencent allows Watsons China to launch a new WeChat Work platform and Cloud Stores.

The WeChat platform acts as a new communication channel that customers can add store staff as WeChat friends, who then become their personal beauty consultants.

One-to-one advice from store staff is available at any time and from anywhere. If a product is not available from a customer’s nearest branch, store staff can help order from the Cloud Store system.

The retailer has also introduced an AI chatbot via WeChat Work, called “Wilson”, who is a virtual assistant available 24/7. Wilson can provide customers with personalised advice, an entertaining and useful addition to the shopping experience.

In terms of delivery, shoppers can choose from the following options:

  • Courier delivery
  • Click & Collect
  • One-hour flash delivery service

Each of the retailer’s 3,800 stores in China will be equipped with a Cloud Store, allowing shoppers access to the entire Watsons China network.

Have to be at the cutting edge of retailing

Driven by increasing customer expectation on overall shopping experience, A. S. Watsons is making big investment in shopper insight, big data and AI technology. This enables store staff to provide highly personalised service.

For example, if a customer regularly buys a particular product, the system will send an automatic reminder to the store, so that the customer can be informed about similar products that they might like.  

Kulvinder Birring, CEO of Watsons China says, “… 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. 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.”


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