For an international brand, selling to China on WeChat can be a great way to tap into the massive market of Chinese consumers.
What Is WeChat and Why Does an International Brand Need It?
WeChat is a popular social media and messaging app developed by Tencent, a Chinese multinational conglomerate. It is used by millions of people in China and around the world for messaging, social networking, mobile payments, and more.
For an international brand, selling on WeChat can be a great way to tap into the massive market of Chinese consumers. Having a presence on WeChat is essential for several reasons:
Huge user base: WeChat has over 1.2 billion monthly active users, making it one of the largest social media platforms in the world. With such a vast user base, WeChat offers businesses an enormous potential audience.
Chinese market access: China is the world’s largest market, and having a presence on WeChat allows international brands to reach Chinese consumers directly. The app is widely used in China for everything from messaging to shopping, making it an ideal platform for businesses looking to break into the Chinese market.
E-commerce capabilities: WeChat is not only a social media platform but also a full-fledged e-commerce platform with features like WeChat Pay and WeChat Store, which allows businesses to conduct transactions and sell products directly through the app.
Strong engagement: WeChat users are highly engaged with the app, spending an average of over 70 minutes daily on the platform. This allows brands to connect with their audience and build customer relationships.
Brand awareness: By having a presence on WeChat, international brands can increase their awareness in China and beyond, as users share content and engage with the brand on the platform.
How to set up for your brand selling on WeChat:
As a international brand who wants to expand and sell to China via selling on WeChat, how to start? Here are the step-by-step instruction:
Step 1: Register a WeChat Official Account
This is the first step to take as it allows you to create a presence on WeChat and have access to a variety of features such as WeChat Pay, which is essential for conducting transactions.
A WeChat Official Account is a type of account on the WeChat social media platform that is designed for businesses, organizations, and celebrities to create a presence on the platform and communicate with their audience. There are two types of WeChat Official Accounts:
Subscription Accounts: Subscription Accounts are designed for content-based accounts such as media, bloggers, and influencers. They allow you to send one message per day to your subscribers and appear in the subscription folder.
Service Accounts: Service Accounts are designed for businesses and organizations to provide customer service, conduct e-commerce, and more. They allow you to send four messages per month to your subscribers and appear in the chat folder.
Service accounts are more service and function focused, with all menu functions available, such as text conversations and external links. They also support advanced application programming interface (API) and custom functions development, such as WeChat Pay, WeChat Mini Programs, WeChat Stores, etc.
Brands that are more sales-oriented and want to offer excellent customer service to their customers tend to choose service accounts. Service Accounts are also available to international businesses. Hence most businesses that sell on WeChat choose service accounts over subscription accounts.
For example, Canadian global athletic apparel retailer Lululemon is using WeChat Service Account and WeChat Mini Program to leverage their service for Chinese consumers.
They take advantage of menu functions, which allow followers to directly go to the Lululemon WeChat online store for purchases and find nearby offline stores. They also design online campaigns for special occasions such as Chinese New Year. After receiving content push notifications, users can read the article and tap to receive red packets of coupons, leading them to LuluLululemon’shat online store directly. The whole experience is smooth and effective for purchase conversion.
Creating a WeChat Official Account is free, but there are certain requirements that must be met, such as a business license and a local phone number. Once approved, businesses can use their account to interact with customers, promote products, and build their brand on the WeChat platform.
Step 2: Apply for WeChat Pay
After registering the WeChat offiial account, you can then apply for WeChat Pay to conduct transactions through your WeChat Store.
Step 3: Create a WeChat Store via WeChat Mini Program
Once you have been approved for WeChat Pay, you can create your WeChat Store via on WeChat Mini Program.
WeChat Mini Programs, also known as 微信小程序, are “mini-applications” built within the WeChat platform, which allows 3rd party companies to develop mobile-app-like Mini Programs for users that can run within the WeChat app.
If you want to customized your Mini-Program store, you can either have a dedicated, Chinese-speaking, development team in house. Brands who want to have complete control over and very specific requirements for their mini-program shop.
Or you can use a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) WeChat store provider which will enable you to launch a WeChat store faster and at a lower cost. Just like western brands would rely on solutions such as Shopify instead of building an e-commerce store from scratch.
The easiest way is to work with 21YunBox. We provide store solution focused on international brands who want to sell to China via cross border e-commerce. We help you take care of all the heavy lifting in China. Get In Touch with us to open a WeChat Mini Program store for your Brand!
Step 4: Marketing for Your WeChat Store
Once your WeChat Store is set up, you can promote it through your WeChat Official Account by creating engaging content such as articles, videos, and graphics that showcase your products and drive traffic to your store.
You can also collaborate with influencers and KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) to reach a wider audience. There’s also WeChat paid advertising as an option.
Of course, don’t forget to provide excellent customer service. Chinese consumers value customer service a lot, so make sure to respond to their inquiries promptly and offer helpful support to maintain good customer relationship.
By following these steps, you can effectively sell products to China via WeChat and tap into the enormous potential of the Chinese market.
21YunBox offers all the services in the whole process, including:
- Set up a WeChat official account for your brand
- Manage your brand’sWeChat content
- Create a customized WeChat Mini Program shop for your brand
- Customized marketing strategy and execution to promote your store
- Customer service in Chinese
If you are not sure where to start, Contact us today, and get your questions answered quickly!
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