HEALTH and beauty chain store, Watsons Philippines, recently staged its first health symposium for its Watsons Advantage Program (WAP) members.
The WAP is a rewards and engagement initiative under the SM Advantage Card program (SMAC) where members who are on maintenance medicines and health supplements are updated and notified via text or e-mail of promos on certain medications or whether they need to re-fill their prescription.
Other privileges include SMAC rewards points and free delivery of the medicines with a minimum purchase anywhere in Metro Manila.
The WAP was introduced in 2016 and currently has 160,000 members.
The health symposium, entitled “Watsons World of Wellness,” which was held on June 23 at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City, focused on proper management and detection of lifestyle diseases.
Topics included how regular physical activity can prevent obesity and its complications such as hypertension and diabetes; symptoms of stroke; good and bad cholesterol; misconceptions about Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and the relation of sex and the heart.
“Depending on the reception of our members, hopefully, we can stage another next year with a different topic,” Danilo Chiong, health business director at Watsons Philippines, told reporters on the sidelines of the event.
He said the symposium was a dream of theirs in order to provide a “personal touch” and engage with their members.
“We felt this was a way for us to meet our Watsons members,” he explained.
The symposium also included a one-day fair featuring Watsons suppliers.
The event also served to promote the brand’s own generic medicines which currently has 150 standard keeping units (SKUs) and growing.
Mr. Chiong claimed that Watsons generic medicines — many of which are dispensary maintenance medicines — can help customers “save up to 80%” compared to branded medicines.
The Watsons Generics line was launched in 2014 and is “growing at a faster rate than Watsons itself,” said Mr. Chiong before adding they plan on introducing more SKUs soon.
Though much of Watsons’ store space is dedicated to beauty products, Mr. Chiong said the pharmacy section contributes 40% to the business — a healthier proportion than in the rest of Asia where Watsons is better known as a beauty store. — Zsarlene B. Chua