WeChat Shopping through WeChat Mini Programs
Because shopping is more than just spending money. Just as we in the West are accustomed to strolling through shopping miles and being entertained by the range and new products on offer alone, the Chinese have discovered the game of new product offerings for their leisure time enjoyment. Chinese people spend a lot of time with small games, puzzles, photoshoots, etc. on the Internet. This passion is of great interest to the company Tencent (Founder of WeChat).
WeChat has long since evolved from a simple Messenger app to a social platform that provides many functions. But that’s not all. Tencent plans to expand WeChat to become THE only app that consumers need.
Tencent took the first step in this direction as early as 2017 when the first mini programs were added to the app. Since then, more than 580,000 mini programs have been developed and released. Even big brands like Tesla and KFC have WeChat Mini Programs on the Chinese market. (To stay in comparison to the West, it would be like the Google Play store is not an app in its own right, but runs directly on Facebook).
There are constantly new mini-programs, and they are becoming more complex, sophisticated and elaborate every day. Since development is going so fast, I can hardly present the latest state of the art here. But above all, you need to understand the importance of these mini programs.
Mini-Programs as cloud-based applications
The launch of the mini programs within the platform changed everything for WeChat. Within only two years, WeChat became China’s number one operating system. Insiders already say that WeChat will become the biggest competitor of iOS and Android systems as a mobile operating system.
WeChat mini-programs are embedded in cloud-based applications that operate on the WeChat work platform. However, they cannot be called “apps” because they do not work in the same way as Apple or Android apps. Users can find the mini-apps by scanning QR codes, left-clicking, or searching for keywords. The apps are also sent as Mini Program Cards or included as links in articles. These communication possibilities are not available to our western apps.
In practical terms, this also means that you don’t have to fill up your phone memory with a variety of apps because the mini programs all work as cloud solutions. For them to load quickly (and also work on low-memory phones), the mini-programs have fewer features, but they offer manufacturers and vendors an incredible amount of marketing opportunities. WeChat mini-programs are used to create communities, launch product campaigns, build e‑commerce platforms or promote retail stores.
In my next article I will tell you guys, how to use the WeChat mini-programs and how to use them to sell big. Stay tuned and leave a comment — with whatever thought it may be.