If you thought researching and purchasing on smartphones was becoming super quick and easy in Australia, you haven’t tried China’s WeChat!
According to a Bloomberg report, about 90% of internet users in China go online using mobile devices, and spend around 30% of their time on WeChat – doing everything from researching and shopping to chatting with friends and making taxi or concert bookings.
And no wonder – WeChat is making it all so easy with its one-stop shop approach to daily life. While WeChat started out as a social platform, it has grown into more of a mobile ecosystem. You could say using WeChat is a bit like a visiting a giant mall with access to just about anything you can think of – shops, businesses, taxi ranks, restaurants, gyms, gaming centres, banks, theatres, telephones, social clubs and more – all within a single app.
How people are using WeChat
So what are people doing when they use WeChat? The app allows users to:
- Add bank accounts or credit cards (for instant payments).
- Pay gas and electricity bills.
- Top up phone credit.
- Purchase goods and make in-store payments.
- Send red lucky envelopes to friends at Chinese New Year (or anytime).
- Split bills in restaurants using individual QR codes (a boon for anyone who’s ever visited a restaurant in a group!)
- Book and pay for a taxi or ride-share.
- Book tickets for entertainment.
- Buy tickets for public transport.
- Book appointments.
- Make restaurant and hotel reservations.
- Order groceries.
- Do some investing.
- Donate to a charity.
- Play games.
- Send messages for free.
- Interact in real-time with television shows.
There are also a number of special features that facilitate m-commerce in WeChat – here are some of them.
If you’ve ever used a site like eBay, you will have noticed that you have to exit it to pay using PayPal or your online banking system. With WeChat Wallet, payments become instant, and don’t require the user to exit or enter credit card details. Users can often pay by simply tapping on a QR code – without the need for anything else to be entered.
WeChat Wallet can also be used by companies as a CRM (customer relationship manager), enabling better connections as well as marketing and targeting of customers.
This feature means that users do not need to have multiple apps on their phones, but may have a host of apps inside the WeChat app itself. Businesses can also set up their own apps within WeChat rather than having to develop their own, making use of them for marketing, promotions, interacting with customers, selling products, offering discounts and so on.
QR or quick response codes are very popular in China. They are essentially a two-dimensional barcode that can be used to store up to 3Kb of information. A few of the things QR codes can be used for include providing instant access to websites and online stores, sharing contact details, providing access to special deals, and making instant payments.
WeChat provides huge opportunities for m-commerce in China. Our China marketing team can get you set up in WeChat – contact us for more details.