Welcome to WeChat
Selling to China via Wechat allows you to access millions of shoppers whilst building and maintaining control over your brand in China.
What is WeChat?
WeChat, launched by internet giant Tencent in 2011, now has 1.4 billion monthly active users. It has transformed China's digital habits; the average user there spends 70 minutes a day on the app, according to a report by KPCB analyst Mary Meeker. It blends aspects of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. It also has an integrated payment system, and people use it to book taxis, order takeout, settle electric bills and pay the cashier at shops from KFC to the Gap.
Increasingly, it's also a place where retailers, brands and ordinary people sell things online, either inside WeChat or by moving people seamlessly to outside shopping platforms. In a report in April, McKinsey said about 31% of users initiated purchases on WeChat, twice as many as a year ago.
Mini programs are light apps built on top of WeChat. They were originally called ‘App accounts’ but in the end Apple did not allow WeChat to use the word ‘app’. So WeChat mini-programs are “sub-applications” within the WeChat ecosystem.
The concept is a simple but powerful one. Normal apps have a lot of problems. They need to be searched for on the app store, downloaded and installed. You might need to register an account to use the app; it will require to be updated regularly. If you want to buy something you’ll have to input your card information.
All of this is done away with when we use mini programs. One tap to open and you are there. One more tap to use your WeChat ID to login if the program requires. Use it and go. No install, no updates. They enable to provide advanced features to users such as e-commerce.