3 social commerce lessons from WeChat’s mini-apps (Part 2)

2019-05-06 4 minute read China; Global

Wechat Miniapps 微信小程序

Highlights

  • Bringing Chinese consumers closer to global exporters
  • Limiting access to brands to solidify brand reputation

WeChat Mini Programs are driving China’s social commerce environment; shaping and influencing the world’s biggest e-commerce market. This time we’re looking into a consumer engagement campaign created by a luxury brand Burberry.

In 2017, Tencent rolled out WeChat mini-programs; light, flexible and native “apps” that co-mingle within the WeChat ecosystem.

In 2019, as Wechat has soared over one billion active users, a recent survey of 8,000 WeChat users reveals that 72% of them have used mini-programs, while 34% used them regularly.

Part one of this WeChat Mini-App series, we looked at how creating mini-programs to make things more convenient for the user opened up a way for brands to gain insights into their demographic.

Not only in terms of location but also spending habits and social currency. Integrating an online store into an already established social media platform with its own payment system expedites the buying process. It also shortens the distance between exporters and their Chinese demographic.

Mini-programs are changing the ways consumers approach social e-commerce. In a rapidly changing sector, we take a look at how scarcity marketing can add value to exporters trying to win over the China market.

Make it limited

Fresh from their success with 2018’s Qixi Festival limited edition bags, luxury brand Burberry launched another mini-app campaign tying in their runway season and WeChat mini-app.

Although Burberry exhibits in London for Fashion Week, the brand’s Chinese consumers were quickly involved in the show’s marketing and sales.

The brand teamed up with Wiredcraft, a digital software company, to create a mini-app to engage Chinese consumers with ultra-exclusive products and brand access.

Wiredcraft calls it ’a campaign to create scarcity’. Implemented in several phases, it involved flash sales lasting 24 hours exclusively through the mini-app, a social game where users could win admission to buy the newest collection (premium customers had direct access), and a live stream of the show in London.

Staggering access to limited edition products or sales opportunities creates buzz and it lessens the distance between your brand and your Chinese consumers.

Exporters can also use push notifications to gain organic visibility boosts through WeChat’s share functions. For user journeys, Wiredcraft used analytics for a “granular level” perspective.

“By analyzing the difference in behaviour between [demographics], Burberry can derive insights on how best to focus their marketing resources to reach their goals – whether that’s driving traffic, engagement, or purchases.”

The flexibility of mini-apps means performance data and consumer behaviour can be closely tracked. In the long-term, it can even be used as a pre-emptive indicator of how your brand’s strategy should grow and develop.

What next

The social integration of mini-apps can lead to direct conversions at a comparatively low cost compared to traditional marketing routes; opening up possibilities for companies while staying ahead of localised market trends.

Setting the right strategy for social commerce is an integral part of any exporter’s key action plan. ACOLINK’s social media services launch brands on social visibility pathways to optimise sales and accelerate growth through these Chinese e-platforms. Contact us to find out how to make WeChat mini app marketing work for you, and don’t forget to sign up for our Let’s Do China workshops.

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