WeChat e-commerce – What is it and How it Works

The Dawn Of A New Era: WeChat e-Commerce

An increase in disposable income and the expansion of the middle class in China has definitely changed it from an exporting country to an importing country. When we talk about imported goods, one thing’s for sure: luxury goods have been flowing in more than ever. Last year, imports into China exceeded over $183 billion USD! Cross-boarding has definitely risen to become a valid channel for foreign product sales-no doubt, and thanks to the online shopping market constantly expanding and finding ways to become better, the sky’s the limit when it comes to e-commerce.

When it comes to the internet market in the world, China represents over 21% of worldwide consumption- but this is hardly an alarming statistic. Due to the enormous population and the fact that Chinese customers love shopping online, it only makes sense that using digital marketing techniques will prove beneficial. Chinese customers like to use social media platforms to find products and services pertaining to a particular industry. They are also known to entrust their choices of purchase to the word of mouth or influencers. This was what gave birth to the idea of the social media marketing that uses social media platforms to promote businesses, that in turn help increase sales and brand visibility. It is in this very context that the concept of WeChat e-commerce fits in.

WeChat e-Commerce: Stores or e-Shops?

Wondering how to set shop on WeChat? Whether you land on cross-boarding or not, making direct sales in China requires you to be able to import your products into China, which in itself, is a whole other process. The gist includes holding an import license and a sales license. Of course, once this part is taken care of, you have two options. Either open a WeChat store on an already existing platform, such as Youzan, or open an e-shop using a mini-program. But we won’t get into much detail.

WeChat e-Commerce: What Are The Popular Products?

Thinking of what kind of products your new target audience would respond best to? Well, considering a major chunk of your target audience comprises of millennials, you can never go wrong targeting their needs. They are interested in foreign goods but stick to certain categories, like cosmetics, beauty products, child care products, food & drinks, and fashion & jewelry. These are the categories that have had the most success with weChat e-commerce.

WeChat e-Commerce: Digital Marketing Techniques?

Now that we have a grip on WeChat e-commerce, let’s address the burning question: how does one go about advertising their goods and services? There are many options, but here, we will discuss the two main types:

WeChat Advertising

An effective way to drive traffic to your WeChat account or store is using WeChat advertising. It is a very expansive means of advertising, so rest assured, you will reach your target audience effectively. There are a few types of WeChat advertising, like WeChat Moment ads (which appear on the user’s social history). Moment ads are actually a very powerful branding tool today. Of course, then we have WeChat banner ads- a more marketing-driven approach that includes banners at the bottom of articles (resembling a banner on a website). These are much more economically feasible but doesn’t have quite the effect Moment ads do. If you have an e-shop using the mini-program, you can advertise on the program, that shows up on the third-party programs. These include banner ads, videos, and pop-up ads that start automatically.

Key Opinion Leader (KOL) Marketing

If you want to launch a new store and create immediate engagement, your best shot is using influencers. WeChat e-commerce works best with KOL marketing. Of late, live streaming has been extremely successful with KOLs. Connecting your e-shops with influencers is very easy. Therefore, when it comes to converting followers to buyers, there’s nothing quite like KOL marketing. Keep in mind that influencers play a huge part of brand marketing strategies in China: so milk it! It is also important to note that KOL campaigns are quite expensive; however, ROIs have been noted to be between 100-800% of your advertising costs, so it won’t be a waste of money.

Is WeChat e-commerce the right platform for you?

At the end of the day, what works for one business may not be the solution for yours. The answer to this question depends on your brand goals. Keep in mind that there are larger, more nice-specific e-commerce platforms than WeChat, but if you’re willing to take this risk, WeChat e-commerce can open doors you never thought possible with its massive customer pool. The sky is the limit with WeChat e-commerce!

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