Thinking of doing business in China? You need to be on WeChat.
WeChat and mobile ecommerce in China are two trends that are slowing coming together. With over 1 billion registered users and over 440 million monthly active users, WeChat undoubtedly has become the largest social network in China. Whether you’re sourcing products from China or doing any kind of business there, WeChat is where you need to be.
What is WeChat?
WeChat combines the messaging aspects of WhatsApp and Viber with social network qualities of Facebook and Twitter, adds in the ecommerce functionality of Amazon and eBay as well as the friend matching qualities of Tinder. You can use different features in WeChat to send images, voice, video messages, live chat, and video chat. And did we mention all the features in WeChat are completely free?
Who can use WeChat?
WeChat can be downloaded in 20 different languages. It doesn’t matter if you are tech-savvy or not, you will find yourself addicted to using WeChat. I never expected my mum to be able to use WeChat, but once she has downloaded the app, she started checking on me everyday… and I kind of regret showing her how to use it…just kidding! If she can use WeChat, anyone can. 🙂
How to get started on WeChat
- Set up your WeChat personal account.
- Set up your WeChat official account admin platform to attract followers.
- Build up your own online store without purchasing inventory beforehand.
WeChat Official Account Admin Platform
The WeChat Official Account Admin Platform is a cooperation and promotion service launched for media, enterprises and individuals. Official accounts can promote their brands to billions of WeChat users through this WeChat channel, thus reducing cost, raising brand popularity, and building up more influential brand images.
Enterprises or individuals can choose to register inside of China or outside of China. Users of the Chinese version of WeChat, Wei Xin, do not have access to WeChat Official Accounts registered outside of China. In contrast, non-Chinese WeChat users have access to both Chinese and non-Chinese Official Accounts. So if your target market is located in mainland China – you might as well register for the same official account admin platform as Chinese companies or individuals.
The registration process is entirely in Chinese. To begin, head to the WeChat Public Platform website and click on the link in the top right corner, then follow the instructions to register. If you do not understand Chinese, no worries – there will be step by step English instructions available in future blog posts.
Why China prefers to buy on WeChat
The advantage of WeChat over other online shopping platforms is the ability to communicate directly with customers. They can simply send you a picture of a product, say “I want this,” and then transfer you the money inside WeChat. Chinese consumers prefer shopping on WeChat because it’s quick and easy, and they can shop with just a touch of the finger.
The essence of WeChat for Ecommerce
WeChat brings people together. People is the fundamental element for successful businesses in China. People prefer to engage in conversations with people they know so they feel safe and trusting. You can add anyone you know or you don’t know to your friends list, and your friends will send your WeChat business card to their friends. Quite often now I am dragged into different groups by my friends which is a perfect opportunity to grow the audience base. Word of mouth has a huge impact on business in China. So by the time you have a certain amount of friends in your circle – they will become your customers. Unlike other social platforms where you need to constantly design campaigns and advertisements to keep your keywords rank at the first 3 pages on Google, even if you do none of these with Wechat, you will never lose your customer base as they have already become personally connected with you.
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.