If you are planning on entering the Chinese market, a presence on WeChat and WeChat marketing in China is basically a must. At Tenba Group, we have already published a few WeChat articles – from beginner to advanced topics:
- Introduction to Chinese Social Media platforms
- WeChat Advertising Types – banners, moments, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders)
- WeChat Stickers as a marketing tool
Therefore, this week, we would like to focus on how to develop the best WeChat Marketing Strategy for your WeChat Shop, and how to use these shops to test your ecommerce products in the Chinese market.
Where is WeChat Today?
WeChat (微信, Weixin) literally means micro-message and is China’s universal super app for everything. Started in 2011 by tech giant Tencent, it accompanies more than 1.5 billion monthly active users around the world during their day – from social media and messaging to mobile payment (WeChat Pay), online shopping, ordering taxis and much more.
Amidst the worldwide rise of social media, WeChat is China’s most popular social media platform, and therefore also an important place for brands to connect with their audience. On average, the Chinese spend almost 4 hours every day with digital media.
In 2017, the latest available data, the estimated ecommerce sales value on WeChat reached more than 522 billion RMB (74 billion USD). That’s plus 45% compared to the previous year, and those numbers are only growing. Moreover, despite or rather because of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, online shopping for household items and entertainment goods is booming, including on WeChat.
Now that we’ve caught up on the WeChat phenomenon, let’s dive into the WeChat Stores and how to market your products there!
Advantages of a WeChat Shop
WeChat is the ideal platform to enter the Chinese market – for local brands, and even more so for foreign brands, which are wondering how to sell products online in China. WeChat is an ideal testing environment for your ecommerce products and marketing strategies if you are new to the Chinese market.
At the same time, you are able to reach a large audience in China and around the world, once you have established your product with the respective marketing tools. For your WeChat shop, you can either use existing software or a WeChat Mini Program. We at Tenba Group provide unique solutions, for example, converting your WooCommerce Shop into a WeChat Mini Program.
Setting up your own WeChat store is a complex process as you need to set up the marketplace on your own and integrate logistics and payment options (WeChat Pay, AliPay, Union Pay). This is also something we are able to assist you with.
As you can see, WeChat shops have many advantages. But the 2 main advantages are…
2 main advantages of WeChat shops
You may have guessed it. As simple as true, here they come:
- Potential Reach
- More than 1.5 billion monthly active users around the world (approximately 1 billion in China).
- Cheaper Entry Point
- First of all, WeChat is cheaper than its Alibaba rival Tmall Global. At the same time, realizing the existing traffic on Tmall is easier than first establishing your own audience on your WeChat Store (your own marketplace). But it can pay off!
- The prices for a WeChat shop depend on your setup – if you use existing software or program your own HTML5 or Mini Program solution. In comparison, Tmall charges 50,00 RMB (~7,000 USD) to 150,000 RMB (~21,000 USD) per year, depending on the store type and product category.
Once you have established brand awareness, you can also consider promoting your products on Tmall as it is easier to sell products on this platform once your consumers are aware of your brand and products.
Alternative China Market Entry
If you are hesitant, there’s an even easier way to test and promote your products in the Chinese market – via so-called Daigous:
- Daigous are online traders, who source foreign products and sell them online to their Chinese target audience. They use the cross-border ecommerce trading system and can be compared to influencers. Popular products are fashion luxury brands, cosmetics, products for babies, and (organic) healthy food. The Chinese target audience particularly values the high quality and safety of foreign brands, as well as their exotic and luxurious touch.
- By selling your products to Chinese Daigous in your home market, you can simply and effectively increase your brand awareness in the Middle Kingdom.
In short, a WeChat Shop – whether your own or via a Daigou – can help you significantly with your China market entry strategy. You can test your products and marketing strategy quickly and without much risk. Once you have set up your WeChat shop (or are working with a Daigou), WeChat marketing comes into the picture to boost your WeChat store.
WeChat Marketing in China
Companies and individuals can create “WeChat Official Accounts” to promote their business or brand. These accounts are similar to Official Facebook Pages: anyone can follow them and will receive updates on the WeChat account.
There are three different WeChat for Business account types: subscription accounts, service accounts, enterprise accounts. Keep in mind that overseas companies can only register a service account. For a subscription and enterprise account, you need a company registration in mainland China.
WeChat marketing is an effective tool to increase traffic to your shop. Let’s take a look at the 4 different options to drive more traffic to your WeChat shop and thus increase your brand awareness and sales:
WeChat Content Marketing
- Use original content to engage with your audience. This can be lighthearted, fun, and entertaining. WeChat users recognize unique content with a little icon on the app – the “原创” (original) label.
- Consider developing a creative campaign, which has the potential to go viral – being shared among users, driven by a social impulse or by some financial incentive. Try H5 pages. These animated slideshows let you provide information in a fun, visually appealing, and engaging way. Users swipe or slide through different slides.
- Remember that in the WeChat service ecosystem, your content should also be useful and provide added value for the benefit (for example a makeup tutorial if you are selling cosmetics).
- Video content is a rising trend online, including WeChat. An average user is 88% more likely to engage with a site that has video content.
- The best time to post an update is usually on the weekends and early in the mornings.
- Check out newrank.cn and sogou.com for quality content to re-share (curated content).
- The concept of these banner ads is straightforward: You basically pay each time a user clicks on the banner (cost per click – CPC) or each time a user sees the banner (cost per mille – CPM). CPM refers to the cost for 1,000 users seeing your banner, regardless of whether they interact with it.
- Create a WeChat Group to bring people with similar interests together. Consider issuing e-coupons or virtual VIP cards to convert your followers into members (WeChat membership).
- Alternatively, you and your brand can also be active in existing groups. Keep in mind that consumers have endless possibilities online and need to have a real benefit from your business and content to stick around and engage.
- Influencers play an important role in the Chinese online community. Consumers trust their peers, particularly in a time where official channels and government information is often regarded with skepticism. In China, influencer marketing is therefore considered the most efficient type of WeChat marketing.
- In terms of WeChat marketing, this means paying a KOL to promote your brand and products. Working with these influencers is affordable, it is targeted and provides social-validation for new sellers.
Remember to share your WeChat QR code on your business website, Facebook and in any correspondence with your clients. Not sure where to start? Contact a China online marketing company like Tenba Group to help you with this.
China’s WeChat and WeChat shops are a great way to establish brand awareness. In particular, for a company and its products that are new to the Chinese market.
Are you ready to conquer the China ecommerce market? If you want a helping hand, Tenba Group is the Chinese digital marketing agency of your choice. Test our services with our FREE Consultation today! Check out our blog and website for more topics like Baidu SEO, the Chinese search engine number one, and China digital marketing like social media marketing, PR and B2B.