Why develop Direct to Consumer sales on WeChat?
Brands should also not overlook the development of brand-owned direct-to-consumer sales in China, even if active on big e-commerce platforms such as Tmall or JD.com.
As you know in China, WeChat is your Website, therefore DTC e-commerce should be implemented on WeChat. Chinese consumers are not using website for e-commerce.
WeChat is the leading platform in China with more than 1,2 billion monthly active users.
The main features are:
- Official accounts which push feeds to subscribers, interact with subscribers and provide them with contents
- Mini-programs are really apps within an app. It is possible to do business through a mini-program while users can enjoy other functions
- Channels, the new feature of WeChat launched this year, where people can enjoy short videos shared by their network and other business owners
“A WeChat DTC business offers brands multiple touchpoints to engage with consumers proactively and repeatedly, maximising the lifetime value of a single brand,” says George Xie, Planning Head of CPG Industry at Tencent Marketing Solution.
WeChat has touchpoints spanning the entire consumer journey from awareness to loyalty, then brands have a greater opportunity to engage with and reactivate client profiles once they are part of the brand’s WeChat database.
DTC or traditional e-commerce platforms have both advantages and disadvantages, depending on business profile, brand milestones, range of audience….
Brands should not rely only on DTC or only on traditional e-commerce platforms, but develop a mix of both.
However at the time of China market entry, we advise to start with DTC only if you address the consumer market. It is cost effective way to test the market and start the sales.
With the development of cross-border e-commerce, WeChat shops are also a good solution to connect Chinese consumers with foreign brands.
Activating WeChat Stores
There are 2 ways to activate WeChat store, as explained below:
It is important for brands to create scarcity through campaigns and marketing initiatives to generate sense of urgency for consumers to shop on WeChat. They must give a reason to visit and shop directly on WeChat.
Brands also need to ensure that the quality of content on their WeChat Stores is proper to excite consumers. Besides making sure that the store is constantly updated with the latest campaign products, brands should leverage visually trending formats such as videos or animations on this channel as well.
It is also possible to launch new or exclusive products only on WeChat store to differentiate from other marketplaces. This is usually the strategy of some luxurious fashion brands.
Brands are also starting to explore other entertaining methods of shopping within the WeChat ecosystem, such organising raffles to give consumers a chance to purchase limited edition products.
Driving Traffic to WeChat Stores
One of the most effective ways a brand can drive traffic to its WeChat Store is through content published on its Official Account. A brand can push content directly to its followers’ WeChat inboxes up to four times a month, and these content pushes should be fully leveraged with relevant product links and calls-to-actions embedded within articles to drive consumers to the WeChat Store
Brands can also drive traffic to their WeChat Stores by designing specific user journeys.
And it is also possible to use advertising or other social media platforms to generate traffic.
For more information about the Chinese market, do not hesitate to contact us.