A New Business Model that Seamlessly Integrates Social media and Retail is Built to Enhance Online and Offline Interaction with Customers
CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (“CK Hutchison”) announced a strategic alliance with China’s leading image processing and social sharing platform, Meitu Inc. (SEHK Stock Code: 1357). Striving to combine beauty with social media, Meitu will partner with CK Hutchison’s retail division, A.S. Watson Group, and Hong Kong telecom subsidiary, 3 Hong Kong, to build a brand-new business model integrating social media and retail. This cooperation will bring together the many facets of user experience, user system, technology research and development, precision marketing, and big data with business strategy. Leveraging Meitu’s artificial intelligence technology and CK Hutchison’s expertise in retail and telecom, the alliance will bring a refreshing and interactive online and offline shopping experience to customers of the millennial generation.
Canning Fok, Group Co-Managing Director of CK Hutchison, said, “This partnership further enhances our customer connectivity, improving CK Hutchison’s online and offline interaction with customers. Meitu users can try beauty products virtually on their mobile phone and get product recommendation through advanced artificial intelligence. In addition to expanding the customer base in Mainland China and Hong Kong, Watsons aims to provide the best shopping experience for its patrons. 3 Hong Kong customers can design personalised products and enjoy a new, one-stop mobile shopping experience through our cooperation with Meitu. We are confident of this partnership and believe that it will create a three-way win for customers, Meitu and CK Hutchison.”
Bryan Cheng, Chief Operating Officer of Meitu, added, “With a huge number of female online users from Meitu and strong female customer base from CK Hutchison, the partnership can further improve the value of Meitu’s user platforms while combining beauty with social media, strengthening the connection and interaction with our customers as well as making them look more beautiful.”
Meitu and CK Hutchison’s 3 Hong Kong will partner to introduce “MeituDIY” customization service to Hong Kong, and 3 Hong Kong’s customers will be the first to experience this one-stop value added service to create personalised products. After editing photos through the Hong Kong version of the Meitu app, users can print their photos directly on mobile phone cases, clothes, umbrellas, cloth bags, cups and mouse pads, creating unique personalised products and presenting them as gifts to relatives and friends.
CK Hutchison’s Watsons Hong Kong will take the lead in introducing Meitu’s “Magic Mirror” which offers around 600 makeup products from international makeup brands. Backed-up by big data technology, customers can try different makeup looks, download the previews, try-on products while enjoying the online and offline shopping experience anytime, anywhere. “Magic Mirror” offers a variety of fashionable makeup styles recommended by beauty advisors, helping customers to choose their favourite makeup style for work or dating.
Meitu’s “Magic Mirror” will first be launched in Watsons Hong Kong’s Mongkok Bank Centre and Cameron Road branches in late-October this year, and then will be introduced to around 30 more Watsons stores in the first half of 2019. With Meitu’s facial recognition and AI analysis technology, users will be able to apply real time makeup virtually. Through big data technology, Watsons can recommend the right products based on customers’ habits and behaviour in the Meitu app, which will eventually enhance customer connectivity.
Meitu’s BeautyCam app has also been upgraded with the feature of making product recommendations via skin analysis, helping to match users with the right products that are available at Watsons. This feature will be activated in Mainland China by late-October this year while Hong Kong users can enjoy the feature in the first quarter of 2019. The BeautyCam app is a professional one-stop-solution for beauty enthusiasts to know the needs of their skin, and at the same time effectively increase the transaction value of Watsons customers.
Furthermore, Watsons China will begin its cooperation with Meitu Social Media in late-October, enabling the retailer to get closer to their target customers by delivering tailor-made messages. The cooperation not only helps Watsons reach the right audience, but also helps bring an innovative social media experience to them.
Watsons China will launch an official account on Meitu social media in November this year. When customers edit their photos using features like “face-lift” and “acne-removal”, Watsons will recommend products that suit each customer’s needs. This allows the retailer to match customers with the right products available at its stores, driving consumer conversions. Through Meitu social media, Watsons can interact with users by encouraging word-of-mouth recommendations on Watsons products. As a result, users can browse hot items and related information online.
The cooperation between Watsons China’s loyalty programme and Meitu will bring mutual benefits to both parties, riding on the collective network of Meitu’s 350 million monthly active users and quality customers from Watsons online and offline channels. The strategic alliance unfolds opportunities in recruiting new loyalty members, and brings more transaction by recommending the right products according to big data and user habits and behaviours in the Meitu app. To attract more new members, Watsons China will promote their joint membership card through its online and offline platforms while the Meitu app will encourage its users to become Watsons members.