WeChat is among the world’s largest Social networks, with over one billion month-to-month energetic customers and over 900 million day by day energetic customers. For international entrepreneurs, this can be a distinctive alternative to show your model to the world’s largest single market.
Extra so, WeChat isn’t just social media software program. Because it was first launched in 2011, it has developed into an online of companies which are interconnected by its core social media options. Some name it a ‘Tremendous App’. I’d prefer to go one step additional, WeChat has developed, over the previous a number of years, into what can solely be described ‘Social OS’. I’ll clarify what I imply by this time period.
In China, WeChat is used for nearly all the things, day-after-day, by virtually everybody that has a cell machine. They’ve centered their service design round facilitating on a regular basis wants of the Chinese language public. Apart from social sharing, speaking to associates, colleagues, clients and purchasers, WeChat can be used as a cell pockets – and in contrast to Apple Pay – it has widespread adoption. WeChat pay is accepted in every single place in China, out of your native vegetable market to road buskers.
What does all of the above imply for companies seeking to goal Chinese language shoppers? Effectively, it’s nice information, as a result of China and WeChat are the one nation and platform the place you may service your clients by means of your entire person journey, in a single place, from consciousness to advocacy. It’s even attributable from On-line to Offline (O2O) actions. Think about the advertising and CRM potentialities!
Different options – on the patron aspect – embody in-platform O2O companies, equivalent to investing your cell pockets funds, retail and restaurant integration, preorder/reservations, splitting payments, ordering taxis, sensible residence distant, even ordering a canine groomer while you’re at work. And – on the enterprise aspect – group chat and file sharing, day by day time sheeting, provide chain administration and gross sales CRM, suppose Salesforce, SAP and Slack.
Apart from these main companies, WeChat has additionally been pushing Mini-Applications. That is what makes WeChat a real Social OS. Mini-Applications are basically apps that may be saved inside WeChat, completely. Similar to apps on iPhone/iOS. So Mini-Applications opens an virtually infinite variety of new options to the WeChat ecosystem.
We’re additionally seeing Western web giants copying this mannequin. Amazon are positioning Alexa because the core Social OS with apps or, as Amazon calls it, Abilities. It’s the pure step – how does a service design tech large make themselves indispensable within the day by day lives of their customers? By integrating extra important companies, in fact.
Now that we’ve got some context, I’ll undergo every of the important thing WeChat bulletins from the current Tencent annual convention.
1. WeChat is changing into much more indispensable to day by day lives
New collaboration with Chinese language public transport to allow ticket buy with a easy QR code scan.
This integration will begin with public transport in Tier 1 cities and is initially just for buses. However this can be a large step in direction of a greater public transport expertise – as anybody who has been to China would know – the infrastructure is nothing wanting superb, however buying tickets is usually a nightmare, and it’s even worse for overseas guests. For instance, the Underground in SH stays one of many final locations that you may’t use WeChat pay. The extra important companies in WeChat, the extra buyer behaviour information turns into accessible. And nice campaigns are all the time primarily based on robust insights.
2. WeChat cements its domination over enterprise communications
Strengthening the Enterprise model of WeChat as a platform for companies to speak successfully with its clients.
WeChat Enterprise is the third account sort launched just a few years in the past – serving to companies to handle inner communications – constructed from demand of WeChat’s natural adoption by enterprise customers, changing emails normally. This replace will take the Enterprise account one step additional and allow buyer/provider higher communications and administration.
The opposite two WeChat account sorts are purely constructed for manufacturers. WeChat Service account has full tech and API integrations, higher presence and attain, however you may solely submit 4 instances per 30 days. Consider it as e-mail advertising on an prompt messaging platform. WeChat Subscription account has no submit restrictions however has restricted attain and virtually no tech/API integration choices, all subscription account content material is arrogated into one feed for the person. A better option for publications.
three. WeChat as the brand new Workplace 365 in China
Inner collaboration instruments for companies equivalent to in-platform workplace merchandise with co-authoring, group convention calls, automated reporting and extra.
Linked to level two, not solely is WeChat dominating enterprise communications in China, it clearly has the ambition to turn out to be an built-in resolution, too. Enterprise and B2B WeChat options are the largest bulletins at this yr’s Tencent annual convention.
four. Simplifying the age previous drawback of issuing Fapiao in China
Actual time storage and distribution of receipts/invoices built-in with WeChat pay to assist with fraud and ease the expense course of for companies.
So Fapiao in China is each an bill and a receipt, which is the place the confusion comes from for many overseas companies. It’s additionally a really conventional system primarily based on mechanical machines and paper data. It’s simple to control and unreliable. Integrating the method on WeChat (on high of different enterprise options) additional reinforces the platform as an important enterprise software while making a extra sturdy and safe bill and receipt system.
5. Mini-program retailers acquire higher information analytics and advert integrations
Customers will be capable of collect, attribute and analyse buying information from retailers for each natural and WeChat paid media.
The third and ultimate main class of bulletins. WeChat has been pushing for each Mini-Applications and social commerce options. In addition to being apps, Mini-Applications will also be retailers. You possibly can already accumulate information by asking customers to offer consent earlier than they use a mini-program. However attribution of gross sales towards WeChat Natural and Paid Social information has been poor. That is will likely be a particularly welcoming replace for social sellers on the WeChat platform – and entrepreneurs alike.
In conclusion, this yr’s Tencent annual convention has made a number of the greatest bulletins for WeChat in recent times. They’re aiming at doing three issues: reinforce WeChat as an indispensable platform for its customers, offering extra built-in options for enterprise customers, and at last, bettering e-commerce efficiency for social sellers. Huge bulletins, large future, and even larger market dominance for Tencent’s WeChat – thrilling and considerably scary instances.
Arnold Ma, Founding father of QUMIN