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A.S. Watson invests USD70 million to build big data capabilities

Health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group is partnering with Toronto-based Rubikloud to build big data capabilities. The group will invest USD70 million (approximately HKD540 million) in the coming three years on big data, to further enhance customer experience and operational efficiencies using machine learning and data visualisation applications.

A.S. Watson will invest USD70 million to harmonise all corporate databases into single data architecture and enhance customer experience and operational efficiencies. Photo: © Mciek / shutterstock.com

A.S. Watson will invest USD70 million to harmonise all corporate databases into single data architecture and enhance customer experience and operational efficiencies. Photo: © Mciek / shutterstock.com

Over the next three years, A.S. Watson will partner with Toronto-based Rubikloud to deploy RubiCore, the company’s data enterprise platform built for easier artificial intelligence applications plug-in, as well as two of its machine learning applications, namely Promotion Manager and Lifecycle Manager, in A.S. Watson’s network of 13,300 retail stores across 25 Asian and European markets.

The ASW-Rubikloud partnership began in 2015 at one of A.S. Watson’s European operations. According to the retailer, in just 10 months, the Rubikloud’s machine-learning application Lifecycle Manager successfully generated incremental sales from direct-to-customer CRM campaigns by more than 8%. This initial partnership led to the deployment of Rubikloud’s Promotion Manager application for A.S. Watson’s UK flagship brand Superdrug.

Rubikloud’s RubiCore will help enhance operational excellence within A.S. Watson, by rapidly integrating many legacy databases from across business units and sources, into a single, elastic cloud enabled database. This exercise is expected to shorten the roll-out lead time of current and future machine learning tools by 50-80%,” explains A.S. Watson in a release. “By harmonising all corporate databases into single data architecture, it is expected that the impactful machine-learning-driven solutions provided by Rubikloud will allow tailor-made promotion strategy recommendations. Rubikloud’s total solution will allow A.S. Watson’s retail brands to provide the right offers to the right customers, enabling truly customer-centric and optimised marketing promotions.

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