Winning new customers on WeChat

In this arti­cle I want to explain you guys how to enter a mar­ket with WeChat (or win­ning chi­nese cus­tomers). Either you can enter the Chi­nese mar­ket, or you look up for Chi­nese Cus­tomers in the inter­na­tion­al mar­ket. In the fol­low­ing, I hope to give you some answers on how to catch new cus­tomers on WeChat.

Winning customers in the Chinese market

The Access to the Chi­nese mar­ket is not easy for inter­na­tion­al brands and com­pa­nies that are not based in Chi­na but want to address Chi­nese con­sumers with their prod­ucts. As a first step, they should work close­ly with Chi­nese influencers.

Influ­encers have dif­fer­ent ways to pro­mote their cus­tomers’ prod­ucts. The eas­i­est way is for them to pub­lish the brand and prod­ucts on their offi­cial accounts. This is usu­al­ly done through arti­cles or prod­uct reviews. They can also share links to oth­er online sales plat­forms or the address of flag­ship stores.

The sec­ond option is for the influ­encer to open his WeChat Store and place his cus­tomer’s prod­ucts there. An impor­tant part of this cam­paign will then be the vouch­ers and cards that he dis­trib­utes to his fol­low­ers to make them aware of the spe­cial offer.

I can only rec­om­mend to every­one to only think about open­ing their shop or offi­cial account when their brand has already gained a cer­tain lev­el of aware­ness and the first cus­tomers have already bought the prod­uct and giv­en it a pos­i­tive rating.

 

Winning Chinese customers in the international market

Chi­nese peo­ple do not only live in Chi­na. Cer­tain com­pa­nies have many Chi­nese cus­tomers who do not live in Chi­na. This cer­tain­ly applies to Lon­don, Cana­da, and Amer­i­ca. But also in Europe, many Chi­nese immi­grants or tourists com­mu­ni­cate with each oth­er using WeChat. This means that it may well be inter­est­ing for hotels, restau­rants or tourist resorts using WeChat.

They should set up offi­cial accounts to estab­lish a clos­er rela­tion­ship with their cus­tomers. How­ev­er, it is impor­tant to note that there is a dif­fer­ence between the inter­na­tion­al and the Chi­nese ver­sion of WeChat. Chi­nese tourists use Weix­in, while Chi­nese per­ma­nent res­i­dents are more like­ly to use WeChat. Depend­ing on which Chi­nese peo­ple belong to the cus­tomer base, dif­fer­ent instal­la­tions are needed.

Advertising on WeChat for international brands

Since 2017, inter­na­tion­al brands are also allowed to place ads in Chi­na. How­ev­er, only the “Region­al Moments Ads” are avail­able to them. This means in prac­tice that only Weix­in users who are in the select­ed region will see the ad. The regions are dis­trib­uted by WeChat with cer­tain con­di­tions. Both the pos­si­ble ad for­mat and the price depend­ing on the region in which the ad is to be published.

Anoth­er option that WeChat offers to get in touch with Chi­nese peo­ple is the dig­i­tal vouch­ers (cards) that are pub­lished via arti­cles on the Offi­cial Account pages. If you are bet­ting on chance, you can also dis­trib­ute your vouch­ers via “WeChat Shake”. This means that cus­tomers who shake their smart­phones at the same time as the provider any­where in the world can get in direct con­tact with the provider. Vouch­ers should have a long valid­i­ty so that users can col­lect the vouch­ers at home and redeem them dur­ing their stay.

WeChat Pay for international users

Today, WeChat Pay can also be linked to inter­na­tion­al cred­it cards, mak­ing WeChat Pay avail­able to all users. The biggest advan­tage for Chi­nese peo­ple to use WeChat Pay abroad is that they can pay in RMB (Yuan). Via WeChat, the exchange rate of the sum is then deduct­ed from the account in RMB in real-time. For unsup­port­ed cur­ren­cies, the trans­ac­tion can also be made in USD.

 

Have you already had some mar­ket-entry expe­ri­ences with WeChat? Let me know in the com­ments below!

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Nora

Nora Holtmann is a passionate platform hacker: She loves to discover new platforms and explore their technical possibilities for new businesses. Her specialty is developing new digital business models for social media platforms and reporting on them in books and blogs. That you are reading about her here is the best proof that it works. As a lecturer, she trains online marketing managers and helps them to develop creative opportunities for their companies. Her passion is traveling. When she is not traveling with her backpack, she travels the world via the internet. This way she has made contacts all over the world. She lives in Berlin and also loves to travel culinary to the countries where she is currently mentally active (currently China and Korea are on the menu). Nora Holtmann can be booked for lectures and seminars. Also check out her books on Amazon!

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