In this MultiConnexions blog, MCX PR Executive & Chinese Specialist Alice Liu summarises 5 new and innovative WeChat features which can have a huge impact on your business.

WeChat is the number one social media platform in China with regards to usage. Last year, there were 902 million daily users, with  17 per cent year-over-year growth. Marketers are increasingly realising the potential of WeChat’s various functionalities to increase brand awareness and connect directly with audiences as well as generate direct sales.

No.1 WeChat Payments: Converting China into a cashless society

WeChat Pay is a smart way of life that has been embraced by Chinese, especially Quick Pay where you simply scan a QR code to settle a payment. Research suggests that the vast majority – 87 per cent – of Chinese are fine with a totally cashless life. Young and tech-savvy Chinese consumers are converting China into a cashless society.

WeChat Pay can be used in more than a dozen a countries and regions outside of the Chinese mainland and accepts transactions in over 13 currencies. In Australia, Chinese tourist numbers are constantly growing and hit a record 1.33 million in September 2017, with a spending increased by 13 per cent to a record of $10.3 billion.

Setting up WeChat Pay will open your business to reach more than 1.33 million potential consumers.

Chinese Uber equivalent Didi Chuxing facilitates an average of 700,000 bookings per day via WeChat. Didi is integrated with WeChat wallet, so customers can order a ride without downloading the app, which is a great advantage over Uber. Image Source: TechInAsia

 

No.2 WeChat Red Packets: Secret weapon for driving followers

WeChat red packets have become a very popular way to send wishes and luck to friends or relatives. It is the online, modern alternative to the traditional hong bao given during Lunar New Year. In the 24-hour period of New Year’s Eve 2017-2018, an astonishing 688 million WeChat users either sent or received money over WeChat. The CCTV Spring Festival Gala cooperated with Alipay to give out RMB 600 Million in red packets to viewers on Chinese New Year’s Eve this year. This move was calculated to improve Taobao users and attract a wider audience.

This graph shows the growth between 2014 and 2018 of the numbers (in millions) of WeChat users participating in micro transactions (red packets) on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Image Source: WeChat – ChinaChannel


No.3 Official account: Online service platform

At the risk of stating the obvious, number three on our list is an important one. A ‘WeChat Official Account’ is a platform allowing companies to interact with their customers through WeChat. In data up to September 2017, monthly active Official Accounts were increasing 14 per cent year over year and the monthly active users of official accounts were at 797 million, a 19 per cent increase year over year. For some brands, the importance of having an owned account cannot be overstated.

No.4 WeChat Shake: Increase conversation rate

WeChat Shake is a fun functionality built into WeChat mobile, where users can shake their phone to connect with random chat-buddies, play games and more. WeChat Shake can help offline businesses to interact with WeChat users with the iBeacon technology. How does it work?

Global brand L’OREAL China has integrated WeChat Shake into a recent campaign whereby users shake their phone at a store front or outside of a store. The brand’s logo pops up with a click through to the coupon game’s landing page. Users can participate and redeem their voucher as well as share with friends. Image Source: https://www.slideshare.net


No.5 WeChat Mini Programs: Boosting branding and engagement with followers

Mini programs are very light programs which can be added on to, but are not required for the WeChat app.
Such mini programs are at the core of WeChat’s success as an app, as they help users save phone space by eliminating the need for downloading a whole other app, and also reduce the registration process for different apps.

For brands, mini apps increase the likelihood of and time for business to engage their followers via mini app. It is also a great way to increase traffic to their Official Accounts. In data from January 2018, developers had published 580,000 Mini Programs attracting 170 million Daily Active Users.

 

WeChat Mini Program statistics at a glance. Image Source: https://medium.com

For further information on utilising WeChat to connect and engage with Chinese audiences, contact MultiConnexions today.

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