Major beauty retailer steps up app offering as web traffic soars

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Major beauty retailer steps up app offering as web traffic soars

Related tags Asia

One of the leading health and beauty retailers in the Asia region is stepping up its investment into its app offering in response to shopper demand for digital interactivity.

AS Watson Group, which describes itself as “the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia & Europe​”, has just appointed a dedicated ‘mobile solution partner’ in Asia, Mtel, which will deliver nine apps for the company in Asia over the next three years.

Malina Ngai, JP, Chief Operating Officer of A.S. Watson Group explained the move towards mobile: “Our global web traffic has increased by 98% last year to over 568 million, and 40% of the traffic is from mobile. It is of utmost importance that we accelerate to enhance the mobile experience for our shoppers​.”

Digital revolution

Market experts believe tapping into digital, and mobile in particular, is crucial for beauty retailers and brands, both in the Asia region and globally.

Speaking recently to CosmeticsDesign, Mintel’s beauty and personal global president, Jane Henderson, pulled out some key platforms brands should be focusing on.

Our research shows that apps such as Instagram and Snapchat have seen huge growth in recent years because they rely largely on imagery that is easy to take in. In line with this, beauty companies are targeting these types of visual communication tools as a means of engagement,” ​Henderson said.

The Watsons apps

In Asia, the Watsons brand in particular is the most trusted health and beauty retailer brand, and our core customer groups across the region are increasingly mobile savvy​,” Ngai explains of the motivation behind the partnership.

The nine mobile apps under development will all have mCommerce and mobile loyalty card functionality, the company explains, responding to the ongoing and rapid shift in consumer spending habits towards mobile retail.

“I am pleased to create a long-term partnership with a successful international retailer like A.S. Watson who sees mobile as more than a one-off project. Our initial scope is in Asia and I am confident that we will help A.S. Watson to make a difference in the role mobile plays in their business​.” Willy Wong, CEO of Mtel, has said.

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