WeChat mini-programs have been taking China’s ecommerce industry by storm.

WeChat is the first information channel and means of communication preferred by the Chinese. With this application, you can do almost anything. 94% of Chinese users who have WeChat use it every day. They visit it on average 10 times a day. They can send messages and call their contacts. But also pay directly with the application, in stores or online. Sending documents to WeChat is now more convenient than using your mailbox.

The application has more than a billion users in China, we could almost say that all Chinese people use WeChat. Thanks to mini-programs, WeChat has now become an e-commerce platform in addition to being a means of communication and payment.

What is the WeChat mini-programs?

Built on WeChat’s existing platform and computer interface, mini-programs are mini-applications that customers can access and use without even leaving the WeChat application.

But what are they used for? Mini-programs allows users to book movie tickets, order food, buy beauty products, access information… They are substitutes for an application and increasingly important detail to engage customers.

Ease of access and social sharing features have been key to the success of mini e-commerce programs. 18% of mini-programs are dedicated to e-commerce and foreign brands have been slow to seize this golden sales opportunity. Despite two years of existence, only a few major global brands have started selling WeChat mini-programs to China.

Benefits of WeChat mini-programs

Transactions on mini-programs can be performed in a closed loop by users who can discover, browse and pay for items or services without downloading an application or even leaving WeChat.

Mini-programs allow brands to be independent of a website and benefit from the WeChat user base. They can design their user interfaces as they wish and control their customers’ data. Their small size allows users to load them and share them very quickly.

Why should brands use all these mini-programs?

WeChat’s social nature leads Chinese consumers to share these mini-programs, promotions, and items that interest them with friends and family. Such elements are more visual and attractive. Indeed, it’s better to share a mini-program, rather than a simple link.

35% of users access these mini-programs through sharing them. The possibility of direct sharing between users reduces acquisition costs for new customers because brands no longer have to spend large amounts of money on advertising.

Examples of international companies that already use this WeChat mini-programs

Leading brands such as YSL Beauty, Dior, and Sephora use WeChat mini-programs to sell directly to Chinese consumers. Pinduoduo: It is a group buying platform that has increased its user base to more than 300 million in 3 years thanks to its very popular mini-program on WeChat.

Today Pinduoduo is listed on the NASDAQ and has recently raised another $1 billion to compete with Alibaba and JD.com.

YSL Beauty: On the occasion of the last Chinese Valentine’s Day on August 7th, YSL Beauty launched a mini-personalization program to buy and send personalized gift boxes. To promote it, the company used WeChat Moments ads (which can be compared to Facebook News Feed). The clickthrough rate was 280% higher than the industry average and according to Tencent Data, YSL Beauty sold its two most expensive gift boxes in half a day.

Feelunique: The British beauty brand has launched a 6-day group buying campaign on its mini WeChat program. Customers could benefit from a 37% discount if they used a friend to buy the same product at the same price.

After confirming their order, customers had to share a promotional picture with their friends that allowed them to access a QR code to benefit from the discount.

90% of the participants were new customers. Thus, this group buying promotion allowed Feelunique to reduce the costs of acquiring new customers without spending money on advertising.

Online shopping is one of the major objectives of mini-programs

Of the 2.3 million mini-programs available on the platform, 18% are dedicated to e-commerce, making WeChat the most widely used shopping application in 2018 according to data provider ALDZS.

Indeed, all online shopping stores on WeChat benefit from the WeChat user base, which has more than a billion registered users who can use the payment function integrated directly into the application: WeChat Pay.

The convenience of WeChat and its all-inclusive ecosystem is part of the reason why Chinese Internet users spend a third of their time online on WeChat on a given day.

What to remember:

  • In China, the importance of social networks cannot be overlooked if we want to conduct an effective marketing campaign to reach Chinese consumers.
  • Social networks are the ideal place to offer these loyalty programs and recommendations to this highly connected generation of Chinese people.
  • In 2018, 18% of the programs were devoted to e-Commerce.
  • They become important if a brand wants to develop its reputation in China and gain the confidence of Chinese consumers.
  • These features allow you to perform transactions without leaving the WeChat application.
  • Brands can design their user interfaces as they want to engage their users and have control over customer data.


Our Marketing-China website is intended to be informative and useful for professionals wishing to develop in China. Our Agency sets up services to carry out your projects in this booming market.


Creating and managing your official account requires specific steps. The complexity of the Chinese Internet ecosystem makes it difficult to use WeChat and create mini-programs for foreign companies. We must be able to create content adapted to Chinese consumers. Our teams are made up of Chinese and international employees who are responsible for communicating the values and information of your brand in this market. We ensure interaction with your consumers in order to create and build a real community around your brand.


The Chinese attach great importance to the reputation of a brand, but they do not trust them much because of the many problems of transparency and counterfeiting. Online branding and reputation have become essential for the development of brands in the Chinese market. We provide solutions adapted to your project to achieve the expected performance.

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One Comment

  1. Very good article. I love mini program. Who are the beneficiaries of the WeChat of Mini-App?
    We can classify the companies that currently benefit from WeChat Mini-App into 4 groups: Tencent, traffic managers, off-line giants and “thinkers” of social networks, which can themselves be divided into two main categories, daily services and retail.

    But how do merchants organize themselves in terms of WeChat Mini-App? According to a recent ranking of the 100 most popular Mini-App published by ALD (aldwx.com), online sellers represent only 11% of the first 100 Mini-App. In addition, when we are interested in e-merchants, their performance on Mini-App is not really positive. Still according to the ALD report, only 9 of the 100 Mini-Apps included in the ranking are e-merchants, including JD.com and Pinduoduo, both benefiting from Tencent capital. The other prominent categories are clothing and food delivery services.

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