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benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands

Daxue Talks Transcript #113: The benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands

Watch & listen to this episode to explore the benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands:

Hi, I’m Jason Shen. I’m the creative director of Mobile Now Group. We help brands with their digital strategies and lately, we have worked a lot with creating WeChat mini-programs for brands.

Why should a brand create a WeChat mini-program? What are the benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands?

Jason Shen: One of the benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands is that they’re very effective in terms of affecting and engaging consumers. They’re much lighter than a native app and have a lot of functionality. They’re very accessible to people and they are easy to share because they’re all held on China’s biggest social platform, also this means they can put out targeted notifications to potential customers.

Another of the benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands is that they can scale much faster. Often brands will sell 30 or 40 times as much through their WeChat mini-program store than they will sell in an offline store. The lower maintenance cost of one WeChat mini-program online store compared to multiple offline stores means it makes sense for brands to have a WeChat mini-program.

What companies should and shouldn’t create WeChat mini-programs?

Jason Shen: It depends on the brands’ strategic aims. It can be quite costly and takes 4-5 months to deliver so the costs may outweigh the benefits of WeChat mini-programs for brands that are quite small but, of course, you want to invest ahead of the curve too.

Who are the main users of WeChat mini-program and can you tell us a bit about their habits?

42% female, 58% male. 72% android, 28% IOS. Most are between 20’s and 50’s. 30-38 makes up 27.4% of users. Distribution is fairly even across Tier 1, 2, 3, and 4 cities. For the Tier 1 cities, Beijing, then Shanghai, then Guangzhou in terms of users.

Most people use them for purchasing, interacting with brands, booking appointments in stores, availing of coupons, etc. but it depends on what services the brands offer through their WeChat mini-program.

There are also now mini-programs available on Baidu, Alipay, ByteDance (TikTok and Kuaishou). Is it worth it for brands to start looking into launching mini-programs on these platforms, too?

We’ve been watching these areas for a while. Using certain software frameworks, it is possible to have the same infrastructure for WeChat mini-programs as for mini-programs on other platforms, so you won’t need to build separate mini-programs for each platform. In terms of effectiveness, Douyin (TikTok) is starting to show really strong potential. For brands that rely heavily on visuals, Douyin mini-programs would definitely be something worth looking at. Currently, the other platforms are just not opened as much or engaged with for as long as WeChat or Douyin would be, probably because they lack the social aspect and ability to share, so for now mini-programs on other platforms are probably not worth it, but this may change in the future.