With the Chinese market's immense value continuing to draw the attention of enterprises from across the West, it's becoming clear that this demographic is still relatively untapped.
As the second biggest global economy, China is primed to support sustained growth in various sectors over the next decade. China's e-commerce sector, in particular, accounts for a more than 37% share of the global market.
If you're a Western business looking to engage with your Chinese customers on a more authentic and nuanced basis, this guide will walk you through some of the ways that WeChat Mini Programs can help enhance your strategy.
Delivering On Customer Experience: Why It Matters More Than Ever
As a market, with its growing economy, digital-first culture and thriving middle class, China has represented a growing opportunity for Western businesses since the 1978 Open Door Policy.
Why then do so many Western businesses fail to successfully penetrate the market? By trying to apply tried and tested Western marketing principles, instead of meeting demand where it stands, with a customer experience strategy that's tailor-made to appeal to a Chinese audience.
With brands now getting savvy to this requirement and starting to find more success, it's essential for all businesses courting this market to raise their game and switch up their thinking. The bar is rising when it comes to customer experience and engagement, so it’s important to keep up to speed with the latest trends for your specific market.
Customer expectations will also evolve as better experiences are delivered in 2023. If you want your brand to stand out, providing exceptional customer experiences is essential.
Now is the time to act and invest, while you'll still stand to benefit from being seen as one of a minority of progressive, proactive brands paying attention to this kind of detail.
The Path Of Least Resistance: WeChat
WeChat has evolved its offering over recent years to provide a more nuanced and dynamic opportunity for brands to engage with their customers digitally. The benefits for brands leveraging WeChat as a channel for building brand recognition, encouraging engagement and driving conversions, can be enormous.
To give some insight into the kind of impact the platform can have when harnessed correctly, French fashion house Estée Lauder achieved over 600% increase in monthly sales (YoY) through their WeChat room. In one day, the brand reached over $219 million in sales from their live streamed shopping channel, broadcast over WeChat. Of these sales, over $52 million came from a single influencer, demonstrating the importance of collaborating with suitable streamers and key opinion leaders (KOLs).
As a primary marketing channel to a Chinese audience, WeChat has no rival: the diversity of marketing capabilities the platform offers, combined with the ubiquitous nature of its daily use amongst its Chinese user base, makes investing in building a presence essential.
Although awareness of WeChat is rising in countries like the UK, the platform is unique in terms of its appeal and familiarity to a Chinese audience; no other platform is favoured more highly. Giving your audience rich experiences on WeChat is the best way to activate ongoing brand loyalty.
Let’s start with a basic overview of all that WeChat has to offer…
As a Western brand entering the Chinese market, properly understanding how your ideal customers engage on prominent social channels determines the success of your customer experience campaign on WeChat .
WeChat has several channels that brands can leverage when courting their audience, and it's important to understand which of these should be used to deliver the various different stages of your marketing campaign.
When building an effective WeChat customer journey strategy, consider the following channels on WeChat:
- WeChat Official Accounts (the equivalent of a brand’s Facebook page.)
- WeChat Articles (organic, long form content, posted by official accounts or individuals.)
- WeChat Mini Programs (highly functional apps that allow users to complete a specific action i.e. form filling.)
- WeChat Channels (a popular public feed of video and photo content.)
- WeChat Groups (special interest groups of up to 500 members.)
- WeChat Moments (a “friends only” feed of status updates, pictures etc.)
Your team needs to understand how content flows through the WeChat eco-system and how potential customers themselves are moved through sales funnels via these WeChat channels.
These contact ‘gateways’ are a key consideration when building a seamless, frictionless customer experience. Mini Programs in particular offer an opportunity for your audience to directly engage with your brand, by completing a specific action, usually resulting in data capture that can help assist conversion or inform future marketing efforts.
WeChat & The Art Of Customer Retention
Once your team has a steady flow of content dispersed across WeChat’s marketing channels (typically through your Official Account) you are able to start engaging wider audiences.
Of course, WeChat does more than just attract new customers; the platform is also incredibly useful when it comes to retaining and informing an existing audience. The platform has built in marketing functions for brands to use, making sharing content to a Chinese audience a streamlined process.
Chinese customers are used to being courted by engaging and authentic marketing campaigns, so we advise that contact be well thought out in terms of design elements and value-added utility; in order to convert your audience, you’ll need to invest in them.
Mini Programs align well with the desire of a Chinese audience for slick, intuitive engagement: they are fast, reliable and can be designed to fill a host of functions quickly and effectively – from form-based inquiries to live chat, e-commerce checkout or document submissions.
In this way, Mini Programs can be leveraged towards the bottom of your marketing funnels, converting repeat visitors into customers through more personalised engagement, encouraging actions such as form completion, sign ups, lead generation and more.
The WeChat Official Account: The First Step To A Successful WeChat Marketing Strategy.
As we’ve seen, WeChat provides an array of practical marketing functionalities. The most impactful starting point is to set up and verify an official business account.
Once set up, this account gives you access to powerful marketing channels on WeChat, which can be used to engage and build Chinese audiences on a solid foundation of a familiar platform and authentic content strategy.
Setting up an official account can be a slightly complex task. For a complete breakdown of the process, take a look through the VIVA CITY WeChat Official Account guide. All VIVA CITY customers are supported end to end through the setup and verification process by a dedicated customer success manager.
WeChat Mini Programs: Activating Powerful Customer Experiences.
WeChat can enhance every step of your customer journey – from discovery to conversion. Many users discover brands through the platform, increasing the importance of making a great first impression.
Your WeChat strategy needs to be capable of delivering frictionless and impactful experiences to your customers. For WeChat, a dependable path to the creation of powerful customer experiences is via lightweight applications called Mini Programs. A WeChat Mini Program (MP) is just like an App, but lives inside WeChat.
When deciding how to invest in the platform for your marketing, consider how Mini Programs' wide-ranging functionalities can help enhance your CX at every stage of customer engagement.
They can be used by brands to offer a highly personalised custom experience, as proven by UK Student Accommodation companies such as iQ Students & Fresh, who use them to elevate customer engagement and increase conversion rates.
You can design your own branded Mini Program to streamline a wide array of functions, such as:
- Location-specific content
- Document sharing
- Form-based enquiries
- Appointments & meeting applications
- QR code sharing
- Chatbot functionality
- Taking payments
VIVA CITY offers a simple to use platform that allows you to customise, create and maintain your own WeChat Mini Programs, giving you hands-on access to content created and data collected.
Leveraging an Official Account (delivering interesting content) alongside a Mini Program (enabling your customers to engage directly with your brand) is always a winning formula for effective customer experiences on WeChat. For more information on how this works (and how VIVA CITY can help) please read our article on WeChat Social Media Marketing..
Improving Your CRM via WeChat Mini Programs
While Mini Programs can drastically improve visitor retention and conversions, they also provide integration capabilities, pulling customer data from forms and enquiries through to a CRM of your choice, helping you store and leverage customer data. VIVA CITY integrates Mini Programs with popular CRM solutions including Salesforce and HubSpot.
Combined with WeChat Mini Program Analytics, these helpful CRM integrations give your team a full scope of your customer base, inside and outside of WeChat. Ease of integration gives your team the upper hand when it comes to measuring sales performance on the WeChat platform. The benefits that Mini Programs bring, by way of superior brand control, far outweigh the initial investment required to set them up.
Mini Program Analytics: Using Data to Make the Best Marketing Decisions on WeChat
WeChat user data can be invaluable when building effective, targeted campaigns.
Mini Programs help your business improve its understanding of a customer base and its sales performance by providing a valuable source of customer data.
Like Google Analytics, WeChat Mini Program Analytics empowers your team with greater opportunities to leverage zero-party data – helping to enhance the future segmentation of your data and increasing the levels of personalization that you can provide in terms of the CX delivered.
Once your funnel starts to guide qualified audiences towards your Mini Program, your team can start to better understand the final steps customers take when converting.
Using analytics, you can track include:
- Number of monthly visitors.
- Which channels new visitors frequently convert from.
- How long visitors engage.
- Where visits come from in terms of location.
- What pages users engage with in your Mini Program
Analytics offers brands the ability to use customer data to deliver lasting, impact-focussed customer experiences to your audience.
VIVA CITY: Your WeChat CX Advantage
At VIVA CITY, we specialise in equipping brands with the tools they need to deliver “best in class” customer experiences through WeChat Mini Programs,
We help you build and employ your own personalised Mini Program, rapidly increasing your lead and sales generation capabilities on WeChat.
VIVA CITY Gives Your Team the Ability To
- Integrate WeChat Mini Programs with Your CRM system
- Manage Your WeChat Mini Program Content Effectively
- Accurately Measure ROI through WeChat Mini Programs
- Gain Customer Insights
- Develop and Maintain your Own Branded Mini Program
Want to see exactly how?