AS Watson has launched a Health Care Zone, both online and in 1,200+ physical stores in 270 cities across China, in response to a surge in consumer interest in health and wellness brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Care Zone offers six categories of health products, including a variety of vitamin supplements, health foods, skin care products and personal care, seasonal care and healthcare offerings. The range currently has almost 1,500 items, but this will grow to 1,800 by the end of 2022. Consumers can browse the zone by theme at physical stores and shop online at MyStore (Cloud Store), where the “Flash” service delivers orders within 30 minutes.
Customers can also obtain personalised health consultation and skin care advice from professional health and beauty consultants via Enterprise WeChat. Watsons China CEO Kulvinder Birring claimed the retailer has 60mn+ members and 200mn+ users on online platforms, covering 90% of metropolitan women aged 18-45 years.
Nicholas Hall’s Touchpoints: “I hope I’m wrong in my suspicion that AS Watson China is launching its new Health Care Zone omni-channel service at precisely the wrong time. Tencent, one of the largest digital businesses in China, last week announced its first ever fall in quarterly sales and a massive 57% decline in profits compared with Q2 2021; and the Government seems to be at war with e-Commerce – just look at how badly Alibaba has been treated!
Not least, the Government seems unconvinced about online health consultations – one of Health Care Zone’s main selling points – and rightly will make sure that only qualified professionals give advice, but with a very high ethical bar on how this advice is delivered.“
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