Watson’s hands are hungry?

Are you hungry? Watson’s counterattack line

Recently, Watsons, an international retail chain under the Yangtze River Hutchison Co., Ltd., announced that it has reached an in-depth cooperation with the online take-out platform. In this cooperation, Watsons officially entered the hungry platform, through which the consumer provided the “online one-hour lightning delivery” shopping experience.

According to the relevant person in charge of Watsons, Watsons attaches great importance to the interactive experience of customer shopping. Based on the special needs of the consumer groups for “emergency and seasonal” products, Watsons sells more than 10,000 SKUs from the online APP platform. More than 1,700 SKUs have been carefully selected for sale, covering a range of areas such as beauty care, daily emergency, and toiletries. At the same time, Watsons will regularly monitor the data performance of the shelves and make timely adjustments to the shelves.

According to the “Electronic Business Daily”, the two sides have started planning related work on the line since March of this year. In June, Watsons and Hungry will dock the platform systems of both parties, and open orders, logistics status and inventory. Data and other online and offline integrated intelligent systems; in the middle and late July, the two sides officially started pilot cooperation in Guangzhou.

According to data released by Watsons, after more than a month of exploration and operation, the pilot stores increased their turnover by more than 115% in September. So far, it has successfully launched more than 1,600 stores, covering 230 cities in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, etc. It is expected that 2,500 stores will be completed online by the end of the year.

It is not difficult to find that Watson’s choice to cooperate with Hungry, in addition to its excellent lightning delivery service, there is huge user traffic behind it. In fact, as an internationally renowned retail chain brand, Watson’s E-Commerce impact in recent years is not small, so Watsons is constantly seeking more marketing methods and layout to consolidate its market share.

In June of this year, Watsons officially launched a shopping concept store called CKC18 in Hong Kong. Unlike previous stores, it has a variety of consumer experience areas such as food area, beauty and health area, and video game trend area. It is worth mentioning that the store through the App to book merchandise, to the store to pick up the goods, but also support mobile phone scan code payment, people can not help but doubt, Ma Yun’s new retail concept has been “burned” to the Pearl of the Orient.

In addition to the continuous innovation of the store format, Watsons launched the “Watson’s Shop” small program in August this year, trying to save money by selling money online, and attracting more consumers by selling the concept of social E-Commerce. The so-called “Watson’s small shop” is actually a bold attempt by Watsons to realize the three popular concepts of real marketing under the low-cost store +0 cost maintenance + line to seize the social E-Commerce track in advance.

In mid-October, Changhe Group announced a strategic alliance with Meitu to introduce AI “Meitu Mirror” for Watsons of Hong Kong, providing real-time virtual test makeup services. It is not difficult to see that Changhe Group is constantly adding technology elements to Watsons to cater to the tide of new retail consumption. Watson’s various strategies and fresh attempts, combined with recent business conditions, have revealed the cruel facts of slow development and difficult performance.

Business shrinks, Watsons can’t sit still

Since its official entry into the Chinese mainland market in 1989, Watsons has ushered in a period of rapid development, and the rapid pace of expansion has been shocking. In 2016 alone, Watsons added 446 new stores in the Mainland, bringing the total number of stores to 2,929. However, unfortunately, the explosion of the number of stores has not brought about a leap in performance, but the first time the performance growth has experienced negative growth.

What is even more shocking is that the slowdown in performance growth has been going on for three years. From 2013 to 2016, Watson’s market growth in the Chinese mainland has dropped from 23%, 14%, and 9% to -3.82%. With the growth of E-Commerce in recent years and the rise of Haitao, Watsons is the first to be a retailer with cosmetics retail as its main sales item.

As of 2017, Watson’s interim financial report released at that time, as of June 30, 2017, Watson’s China revenue was about 9.046 billion yuan, a year-on-year decline in store sales of 6.2%. Watsons, who was shrouded in dark clouds of performance decline, seems to have finally realized the crisis and has to accelerate the transformation to save himself.

In August of this year, Watson’s parent company and the group released unaudited interim results. As of June 30, 2018, Watson’s China’s 3,377 stores had a total retail sales of approximately 10.8 billion yuan, and China’s operating income increased by 16%. Last year’s 4% had a big increase. In addition, the number of stores in the Chinese market has increased by 15% to more than 3,040.

In addition, although Watson’s same-store sales are still declining, its comparable store sales fell to 1.4% in the first half of 2018. Watsons China’s year-on-year sales in the first half of 2018 increased by 2.0% after adjustments were made to include sales from nearby loyal members of the new store.

For the follow-up plan, Changhe Group revealed in its earnings report that Watsons will continue to enhance its E-Commerce capabilities and invest in digital platforms while continuing to open new stores, emphasizing that Watson’s retail sector has more than 130 million loyal members. The largest retail loyal customer base.

In addition to testing new retail and combining black technology to increase consumer attention, Watsons is further improving its membership system. As early as 2010, Watsons launched a membership program in several operating markets around the world. In addition to throwing $70 million as a fund to develop and strengthen customer relationship management, E-Commerce and mobile shopping experiences, Watsons has even launched a men’s membership card that is more suitable for men.

In September of this year, Watsons announced the launch of the VIP Premium Membership Program worldwide to enhance contact and interaction with customers and prepare to expand the program to 24 operating markets by the early 2019. The ultimate goal of the program is to give back to high-spending customers and invite them to become VIP members, in order to further consolidate the current consumer groups.

Although Watson’s official online store was launched in the Chinese market as early as 2010, the effect of Watson’s E-Commerce is not obvious. In March last year, the former chief operating officer Gao Hongda officially took over the Chinese business, and Watsons embarked on a journey of exploring new retail roads. At that time, Gao Hongda also said, “Based on the background of the three pillars and retailers, including the constantly improving store style, quality service and high-end products. More than 80% of Watson’s sales come from members, for customers. We know very well.”

As far as Watson’s current new retail layout is concerned, in addition to the online and offline omni-channel operations, the offline shopping experience is also constantly improving, which is quite relevant to the core concept of new retail. However, under the current situation that the major E-Commerce giants are kings and the underground invaders, Watson’s winning face does not seem to be much.