Wechat is the largest social media platform in China and it has become a powerful marketing channel for brands to engage with customers. In this blog post, we will explore how to use WeChat as a sales channel from opening your own Wechat Store to Promoting it to potential customers.
What are the Benefits of Selling on Wechat?
Just the fact that WeChat has over a billion users is a good enough reason to want to start selling on WeChat but having a Wechat Store also allows brands to:
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- Sell their products on the same app they do their advertising and communication. For instance WeChat enables merchants to integrate their store with influencer accounts. Because of its ease-of-use, WeChat enables merchants to have extremely high conversion rates. It’s easy to share social posts through the app and use it for viral campaigns or group buying.
- Have access to Wechat pay and allowing purchase in 1 click. In terms of offline WeChat Pay, In 2019, 42 percent of the QR code scanning transactions in China on WeChat Pay were retail-related. By the end of 2020, there are 782 million people in China had purchased goods online, and reach to 57% penetration rate next year.
- In the first half of 2019, about 38 percent of WeChat users purchase some beauty products recommended by KOLs according to Statista.
- Collect information on their customers to target them more efficiently with their marketing effort
- For foreign companies, WeChat handles the currency conversion and transfers money across borders automatically. Same as Shopify, WeChat can automatically upload your products, orders, and inventory in real-time.
- It’s cheaper to sell on Wechat than it is to sell on Tmall for instance
What is a Wechat Store Exactly?
WeChat stores are integrated mini-apps. They do not require users to install the app as it works directly within WeChat. Those stores are linked to a company’s official account. When purchasing from a Wechat a user never has to live Wechat, nor has he/she to enter payment information or address as all these information are already provided during the initial personal account set up
1. What are the Steps to Open a WeChat Store
Your very first step to opening a WeChat Store and Selling on Wechat is the registration of an official account. Learn how to open a Wechat Official Account here.
Nowadays within 3rd party WeChat e-commerce platforms, you can open a WeChat store within 5 minutes, which will be additionally well-designed. There are various types of WeChat stores you can build:
- Mini-program Mini shop (Wēixìn Xiaodian)
- Mobile H5 store.
Mini-program e-commerce (Wēixìn Xiaodian)
By the end of 2019, WeChat has over 1 million mini-programs across 200 industries. On average, consumers use the mini-program four times per day, and 72% of WeChat users use it. Mini-ecosystem has more access points than Mobile H5 stores and marketing options such as group buying, live streams, games, and social sharing to friends and moments(including KOLs and KOCs).
Learn more about WeChat Mini-Program for eCommerce
China’s largest retailers JD.com, Alibaba, and Taobao are already on WeChat having a mini-program version of their e-commerce platforms.
Pinduoduo, a Chinese e-commerce company with 233 million monthly active users on WeChat in 2019, is one of the successful examples of monetizing through mini-programs. It grew its users to 300 million for three years with its WeChat mini-program.
Mobile H5 Store
A content-driven website can be accessible within and out of WeChat that is linked within your official account. Once clicking on official accounts, users can access the H5 stores and make purchases. For businesses, you can push notifications such as new products and promotions to followers.
You can also set up your store by using third-party e-commerce platforms similar to Shopify and Taobao. Third-party sites can be a choice for small businesses on a budget to start a WeChat shop fast.
Use a Third party CMS to Open a Wechat Store
A free WeChat shop creating platform available directly registered by foreign companies. However, China bank account is required to withdraw the earnings. It enables companies to create Saas stores connected to WeChat and use features such as live streams.
2. Youshop – Weidian (微店)
Youshop is one of the biggest 3rd party WeChat store platforms. YouShop’s clean interface and various options to set up promotions, including the function to track shipping make it popular among consumers. You can open a WeChat store account with them and put down a deposit in order for your products to be under a warranty. This sets apart YouShop from other platforms
Youshop provides an English version to its Wechat store, which is very convenient for foreign customers. In terms of requirements, you need a valid phone number and business license in order to use the personal shop option.
There is no fee to open a Wechat Store with Youshop. Moreover, payment methods include offered to your customers are Credit card, Debit card, WeChat payment, Caifutong, liandong youshi, although it doesn’t support Alipay.
The drawback of Youshop when it comes to design a store is that you won’t be able to customize it as much as you would like. Because it uses templates, most WeChat stores generated by Youshop will look similar in structure.
3. YOUZAN (有赞／口袋通)
Youzan is another platform that is used to design WeChat stores and provides plenty of WeChat store templates. Companies can enjoy a variety of functions. The design is customized including slide introduction, menus, and music.
In order to create a store using Youzan, you have provided a valid phone number. You can payment methods, includes WeChat pay, cash on delivery, Credit card, and Debit card.
In 2019, over 400 million companies created WeChat stores through Youzan due to more features and templates for businesses with a customized online presence. Higher pricing for wide-ranged services including promotions, group-buying, lottery draw, coupon, and order management. Plus, cross-platform presences on Weibo and Alipay.
Youzan also provides various functions which enable companies to set up customized options and improve users’ experience. These specific functions include food delivery, physical store pick up, and specific time delivery, store pick-up which can let companies benefit from multiple physical locations and save delivery costs. For instance, the function of a specific delivery time is important for such services as restaurants or flower shops.
Youzan is one of the best platforms for creating a customized WeChat store. Users don’t need to have any IT experience since all content can be easily edited and used, including customizable slideshows with large pictures, magazine cover pages, product display pages, custom buttons, and menu bars.
The only disadvantage of Youzan is that it doesn’t support Alipay.
4. JD.COM WeChat Store (京东微店)
This one is a great option for brands that already have a JD store. Indeed, with JD Kepler’s mini-program, Brands can now use their existing presence on JD.com and open a WeChat mini-program shop. There are a few benefits in doing so:
- Your JD Store Design and listing will be synchronized on your Wechat Store
- The comment function and ratings in WeChat stores are automatically synchronized with the JD.com comments.
It is obvious, but JD.COM WeChat Store requires to have a JD.com seller account, a completed set of Business licenses.
Payment methods include WeChat payment and cash on delivery, however, doesn’t support Alipay. In terms of pros and cons, it is a trusted platform, but you also need to set up a store on JD.com, and it has a limited type of industry. For instance, the store cannot be opened by the restaurants.
Read more: Open Online Store on JD Global
Process to open JD.COM WeChat Store:
- Your company needs to open a website version JD.COM store. Consequently, submit a completed set of legal documents for operating business in Chinese.
- Products of your company should meet the requirements of the category of the list of industry
- The code of conduct of JD.COM has to be strictly followed by your company.
- The monthly fee is 1000 RMB and plus 10% commission.
- Annual inspection
- The company should meet the customer satisfaction rating above 8.5 out of 10 and meet the minimal sale quantity requirements.
In terms of drawbacks of the JD.COM WeChat store, design customization is not allowed. in order to differentiate yourself from your competitors, in this case, the most efficient way is to have good sales quantities and customer reviews.
Furthermore, customers for the purpose of getting the authentic product, are willing to pay a higher price, since JD.COM is one of the most trustful e-commerce platforms. JD.COM WeChat store is a great choice in case if your company has the budget for a 24/7 customer service agent and if you have enough resources to manage multiple platform e-commerce channels.
How to Attract Visitors to Your WeChat Store?
- Keywords optimization
Keywords searching in Search and Mini-program let WeChat users discover through brands and information. Within Search, results such as relative official accounts, moments, and channels(videos) can guide users directly to relocate to those platforms.
Expansion of your digital presence gets you more chances to be discovered. It allows users to search keywords via mini-program from The Red Book, Weibo, and Zhihu(discussion forum) to Himalaya(podcast) as well. Within Mini-program (mini-app in WeChat), users can find the recent popular mini-programs, and searching relative articles and videos by searching keywords.
In terms of keywords, 10 Keywords must relate to the features or brands. The ranking algorithm considers the quality of the mini-program, user usage, and keyword relevance, etc. 7-day performance can be check in the admin area.
WeChat Index is a daily-updated mini-program operated by WeChat. It allows you to discover the popular searching topis and the searching index within 30 days. It also enables you to compare the index of keywords.
Click here to see more strategies selling on WeChat.
Sell on Wechat: Conclusion
Conclusion paragraph: Wechat is a huge opportunity for businesses looking to expand internationally. The first step in starting any business on the platform is determining which store type you’ll use and how it will fit into your goals and budget. You can open a WeChat store with either Weidian, Youzan, or Mini-programs, all of which have their upsides and downsides depending on what you want to do with them. If this sounds like an interesting option for your company, contact us today!