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.
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.
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!