The platform encompasses messaging, social networking, plus an e-wallet and even more. It is a true lifestyle platform in China, and it is estimated that the app accounts for almost 30% of mobile usage in the country.
WeChat appeals to users because they can get lots done with the app, such as shopping, paying bills, buying tickets, reserving restaurant tables and more, all without leaving the app. It appeals to brands because of it’s strong organic traffic, plus a suite of powerful marketing tools that allow marketers to generate new customers as well as creating customer loyalty. For overseas merchants looking to get a foothold in China, a presence on WeChat is absolutely essential. We think the best way to do this is to have a WeChat Official account, to develop a WeChat mini app, and to launch an HTML5 WeChat store.
This acts like a corporate portal, similar to a company facebook page. These official accounts are all verified by WeChat, to show consumers that this is a page they can trust. On the Official account, brands can publish useful content in order to engage with their followers. Another interesting feature is a customisable menu bar, which allows brands to provide a unique and bespoke service to their customers. To create a WeChat Official account, brands can choose from a subscription or service account. The subscription account allows for basic marketing & content management, but a service account has added features such as
Essentially, this is a native B2C ecommerce interface, which is an integrated with the WeChat Official account. It allows retailers to use 3rd party templates for their store, or to create a fully functional online store within the app. Customers like WeChat Stores because they are simple to navigate, and they are seamlessly integrates with WeChat Pay to make payment quick & easy. For foreign businesses, it is also easy to set up, as no local entity or certification is needed. It should be noted that WeChat only provides the interface, and that retailers still have to take care of their own international logistics, fulfillment and customer service.
A new feature, WeChat now allows developers to create an app within WeChat with all the functions of a regular app, but without login details, upgrades, passwords or downloads. This has been a very popular function for ecommerce, loyalty programs and ride hailing apps.