Let’s have a quick view of the last and the coming year of WeChat.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Mini Program to be a part of our daily life, the four-year-old feature of WeChat is now playing a key role in the restoration in the post-Covid era. The number of active MP and MPs with transactions has grown by 75% and 68% respectively last year.
Inside Mini Program, physical goods transactions grew by 154% and merchant self-operated GMV improved 255%. Industries such as FMCG, retail, and fashion have also gained significant growth through Mini Programs.
Last year, many FMCG brands established direct connection channels with customers through QR-Codes of MP printed on goods. As for the whole FMCG industry, the annual growth of GMV inside MP reached 490%. Mini programs on the B-side are also empowered to digitize the distribution system for the brands. In addition, we have witnessed a 216% annual growth rate in the fashion industry of the overall GMV inside MP.
In 2021, there will be more action for MPs to jump out of the WeChat ecosystem. The function of redirecting to MP from URL is just the beginning. There are standardized Mini Store modules and Cloud Development tools for small business owners to have better business efficiency and lower cost.
The keyword for WeChat pay is trust for 2020. The number of users of WeChat Pay Score has exceeded 240 million, saving users over 200 billion RMB in deposits, and more than 10 million users have used the shipment-before-payment service when ordering express delivery.
Let’s take a look at the coverage of WeChat Scoring Model across industries.
No-deposit Rental: Applicable to item rental industries, such as shared power bank, shared umbrella, online rental platform, etc. Users have the opportunity to get the rights and benefits of no-deposit when their WeChat Pay score reaches the score threshold set by the merchant.
No-deposit Hotel: Applicable to the hotel industry, users who reach the score threshold set by the merchant have the opportunity to check-in without deposit or prepayment of room fees.
Enjoy First & Pay Later: Applicable to scenarios that require prepayment, such as e-commerce, online taxi, express delivery, electric car charging, shared massage chair, etc. Users who reach the score threshold set by the merchant will have the opportunity to enjoy the service first and pay later.
Smart Retail: Applicable to unmanned retail cabinets, users who reach the score threshold set by the merchant will have the opportunity to open the cabinet for shopping.
Currently, WeChat Pay Scoring Model has covered more than 1,995 brands in five major categories, including shared rentals, shopping & entertainment, transportation, lifestyle services, and accommodation booking. The following picture indicates how the scoring system minimizes the rate of bad accounts.
The Scoring Model is also revolutionary for online retailing. The traditional steps from asking about the size to calling for returning express has been removed. What the customers need to do now is ordering with WeChat Pay Score for try-on, then decide whether to make the deal.
Nowadays, the influence of traditional search engines for Gen-Z’s decision-making has been increasingly weakened by various social media. As the aborigine of the digital era, 69% of them find online ads disruptive(Vision Critical), in other words, the classical way of SEO marketing is less effective on them.
According to Morning Consult, more than 76% of Gen-Z says they follow an influencer on social media. Meanwhile, one of the main things Gen-Z searches for on social media is brand information. Aside from searching for and discovering new brands, Gen-Z is also likely to continue certain aspects of the customer journey on social media platforms, as reported by Business Insider. For example, they might also use their favourite platforms to find reviews, unboxings, demos, or video content about a product.
WeChat is certainly chasing other social media platforms like Douyin, RED, and Bilibili in this area. Started from March 2016 as an Official Account finder, WeChat Search has now evolved to “Scene Search” which connects more than 500 million users with contents and services in multi-scenes every month.
One of the key advantages of WeChat search is its accessibility. Different search modes have been introduced according to different scenes, such as Chatbox Search, Tag Search, Moments Search, etc. For example, when the user encounters a knowledge blind spot during a WeChat chat, he or she can long press on the chatbox bubble and tap on “Search” in the menu to use WeChat Search.
With “People Rank”, the big data engine developed by the WeChat team, the value of people is again emphasized, users have access to professional information and view in different fields provided by specialists through WeChat Search after desensitization of the data.
In the future, WeChat Search can be used directly in the chat to search for content, images, and videos, without interrupting the chat scene.