From shopping in big malls to shopping online, Chinese people’s lifestyles changed a lot in the past years. Their habits evolved and brands had to adapt to continue selling products as much as in malls or online.
This change concerns every type of brand: sportswear brands, streetwear brands, premium, and even luxury brands! Having a presence online is a must when you are selling in China and luxury brands understand this. That is why they take advantage of WeChat to spread content, sell products and thus be closer to their customers.
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WeChat overview: from a social network platform to a social commerce solution
WeChat is the Chinese Facebook and also the most popular messaging app in China. It recently reached a billion daily users in China! Of course, it allows its users to chat, share text, images, music, follow official accounts, …
Now you are wondering: how a basic social platform can help companies to sell online? Well, it is thanks to the diversity of features WeChat added to its functions.
WeChat Official accounts
Creating your official account is an effective way to establish a follower base and gain visibility. Through this, you will be able to send them to push notifications and share content about your brand and products.
But how do Chinese people find your official account? There are many ways: through ads, online payments, thanks to QR code they can scan or to a friend that shared your account to a specific contact or on his Moments.
Several types of official accounts exist in Wechat depending on your objective:
- Subscription account: Focused on brand communication, this type of account allows you to diffuse content and information to your followers daily. Perfect for a content-oriented company such as a news outlet.
- Service account: This allows you to provide an online service and so better management of users through a quick help. Unlock Wechat pay and Wechat geolocalisation as well as the mini-program feature.
- WeChat Work (Enterprise account): This type of account is more focused on internal communication and management which will help you to improve your office efficiency.
Introduced in 2017, mini-programs are like an app in WeChat in which brands can propose different experiences (like games, registration to an event, e-commerce service, …). Mini programs are an efficient way for brands that want to be creative and are easily accessible for WeChat users. They are increasingly popular as they offer a lot of freedom to brands: from games to food delivery, to shared bikes and taxi,s etc.
Very accessible just as mini-programs, WeChat stores are incredibly convenient for the users: no need to log in since you are linked to WeChat, easy sharing, and the most convenient point, WeChat pay. Creating a WeChat store reduces the buying process of the potential customer since the e-commerce experience is within WeChat and also thanks to WeChat pay that facilitates the payment stage.
Knowing that more than 90% of luxury brands in China have a WeChat account and 60% have at least one WeChat store shows that WeChat became a key platform for brands in China.
What is it and why is it necessary?
This WeChat feature allows companies to give the possibility to users to have access to a simplified web page. WeChat brochures can take several different forms depending on what you want to communicate. It can give a boost to your marketing strategy since you can give your brochure the form that you want. You can add pictures but also animations, games, or any other kind of concept that would make your brochure original. Creating a WeChat brochure is necessary if you want to reach an audience in an original and unique way which will surely make you go viral.
Wechat brochure is also a necessary tool if you are looking for distributors or business partners in China. Simply mass mailing your PDF listing will not work. Chinese business owners/buying agents etc are expecting a WeChat brochure, they are expecting you to already be on WeChat. A WeChat brochure is easy to share and consult multiple times. You can also create a QR code that links to that brochure and display it offline during salons for instance. The success rate will be much higher than handling flyers and less costly.
Live streaming WeChat
A new feature that just has just been launched in WeChat in an effort to stay up to date with competitors but also to offer users and brands what they have been asking for. Official accounts can do a live stream and can even program one by sending live streaming invitations to users several hours before the live streaming.
This warning system allows users to put the live stream in their reminder so they won’t miss it. Thus you can create a live streaming campaign in which a maximum of users will attend. Live streaming has been developing quite a lot in the last few years and is especially important for luxury brands in order to increase their conversion rate. Most of the purchases in the luxury world are done offline but live streaming is changing the game.
Luxury Wechat Case studies
- Hermès collaborated with Apple in 2017 to create Hermès X Apple luxury smartwatch. Chinese customers were able to find it on WeChat through WeChat stores and it was a real success with 16K views in less than 24h. Great communication with a two-week pop-up sale, Hermes and Apple recently renewed this experience with the Apple Watch Hermès Series 5.
The WeChat pop-up store technique is usually used by luxury brands to create a feeling of urgency in a limited time. Bulgari and Dior have also made some WeChat pop-up sales and it worked a lot! Bringing high interest with a huge sales amount it is a perfect suitable operation for luxury brands to take a new product to the next level.
- Burberry opened its 2014 fashion show to its WeChat followers for the opening of one of their flagship shop in Shanghai while Longchamp created a mini-program in which users were able to customize their bag and make a unique Longchamp bag that would match their tastes.
WeChat makes possible for luxury brands to offer to their customers original and attractive concepts. They gain more visibility, get attention from a large audience thanks to their unique and original marketing campaigns and thus boost their sales a lot.
Now that you realized that WeChat is a real sales booster thanks to its features (mini-programs, in-app stores), you should know it can also help you to develop a loyalty program, a pre-order or an appointment service, and even a shop location service. All of these functionalities can help you to develop your business and be more efficient in the Chinese market.
Want to boost your sales in China?
Read our very complete Luxury Guide for China