Like other social media platforms, WeChat ( https://adstochina.westwin.com/who_we_are/index.shtml ) also has official accounts for businesses. In 2017, WeChat launched mini-programs that can link business accounts and offer features like loyalty programs, transactions, and additional content. The users loved mini-programs as they can find and purchase products without the need to download other apps or being redirected to another site, saving memory and time on their phones. There are over 1 million WeChat mini-programs across more than 200 industries, with 200 million monthly active users.
Mini programs allow new types of WeChat e-Commerce
The functionalities of mini-programs went beyond an in-app purchase and leveraged for multiple transactions.
Scan-and-go and Omnichannel experiences
Shoppers can use a retailer’s mini-program to scan products and check out without waiting in the queue. More than 40 percent of the in-store transactions are done through Scan and Go functionality in the top retail outlets across China and allows customers to choose the home delivery option.
Users can shop online and can pick up the products in-store. For instance, a top retailer allows customers to use the mini-program feature to buy online and ship to the store within 2 hours for pickup. If any product is out of stock at the retailer’s location, shoppers can scan a QR code for the product for home delivery.
Group purchasing and social selling
Various companies offer discounted rates such as 30 or 40 percent discount to shoppers if they convince enough people to buy. The original buyer shares the product with a discounted price with their social network on WeChat, and if enough people purchases, everyone will get the item at the discounted rate. In this way, the WeChat e-Commerce ( https://adstochina.westwin.com/WeChat-e-Commerce ) becomes profitable. A beauty and health retailer includes social selling into their mini program where users can recommend and sell products to their own WeChat groups.
KOL (Key opinion leader) sales and Unattended stores
KOL also referred to as influencers, puts product tags in their content that lead users to the product details page and can buy within WeChat. Several of KOL’s posts sponsored content to their feed on their official WeChat account, and these posts link to mini-programs that direct customers to the product’s purchase page.
Unattended stores do not have any frontline staff or a cashier, and retailers use mini-programs to allow shoppers to enter a store, walk out with their products, and get the bill details in their WeChat account. The products are equipped with RFID tags scanned when a customer exits, and payment is made through WeChat Pay.