In China, where the cross-border e-commerce market is said to be expanding, the “WeChat program” is now attracting attention as a very popular business method.
This time, for those who are considering using cross-border EC in China or who do not know much about the WeChat Mini Program, we will introduce in detail what the WeChat Mini Program is, why we recommend the WeChat Mini Program for cross-border EC, and some points to note about the WeChat Mini Program. We will introduce the WeChat Mini Program in detail.
What is the WeChat Mini Program?
First of all, what is the WeChat Mini Program in the first place? We will introduce you to the WeChat Mini Program.
Chinese Messenger Application
WeChat Mini Program is a Chinese application released in 2017 and operated by Sentent. Technically, there is an application called “WeChat” and its function is called “Mini Program”.
In other words, a mini-program is an app within WeChat, an “app within an app “. Normally, for iOS and Android OS, you need to install the apps you want directly on your smartphone, but once WeChat is installed, you can easily install e-commerce sites, hotel reservation sites, used car sales sites, etc. within the mini-program.
About 1.2 billion people use it.
If you have never heard of the word WeChat Mini Program, you have no idea what it is when you hear the term WeChat Mini Program. As we mentioned above, there is a messenger application called WeChat, and one of its features is a mini program.
LINE” is the closest analogy to LINE in Japan, which is installed by almost everyone who has a smartphone, right? WeChat in China, like LINE in Japan, has been installed by almost everyone who has a smartphone, and approximately 1.2 billion people in China are using WeChat.
LINE” + “Facebook” like application
WeChat is a platform used by approximately 1.2 billion people on a daily basis, but why is it loved by so many people? In the above, I mentioned that WeChat is positioned like the Japanese equivalent of LINE. However, to put a finer point on it, it is like a Facebook function added to LINE.
As a messenger application, chat functions are available as well as EC sites, games, lifestyle services, travel tools, financial products, image and video services, and SNS functions are available as mini-programs.
The convenience of “just WeChat and you can get everything done” is the reason why many Chinese love it so much.
Why is the WeChat Mini Program recommended for cross-border EC?
Next, we will explain why the WeChat Mini Program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce.
In the past few years, the market for cross-border e-commerce in China has been expanding, and it is expected to expand further with the WeChat mini-program.
Low initial investment and running costs
One of the reasons why the WeChat mini-program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce is that the initial investment and running costs are low.
When people think of starting a cross-border EC business in China, the first method that comes to mind is probably opening a store in an EC mall such as TianNeko or JingDong Shopping Mall.
This method is very attractive, however, because it directly benefits from the influence of an order of magnitude greater customer attraction such as Tianxue.
However, initial costs, as well as fees and running costs, are too high for individuals and small businesses to bear.
Another method is to open one’s own website, which requires a smaller initial investment than opening a store in an e-commerce mall, but running costs are higher.
The WeChat Mini Program requires the lowest initial investment of the above two methods and also has the lowest running costs.
There is a trial period.
One of the reasons why the WeChat Mini Program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce is that it offers a trial period.
When starting cross-border e-commerce with the WeChat mini-program, of course you need a preparation period before opening the store.
Since it is a preparation period, no products are sold and only running costs have to be paid, but in the case of the WeChat Mini Program, the preparation period can be used as a trial period, which is a good deal.
If you want to start cross-border EC at a reasonable price, we encourage you to take advantage of the WeChat Mini Program to make the most of the trial period.
Huge customer base and easy to familiarize yourself with.
One of the reasons why the WeChat mini-program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce is that it has a huge number of customers and is easy to familiarize yourself with.
Almost everyone who has a smartphone in China has WeChat installed, which is estimated to be as many as 1.2 billion people.
If you run an e-commerce site with a mini-program within WeChat, you are automatically targeting 1.2 billion Chinese people.
Giant malls such as Tianyao and Jingdong Shopping Mall also have a large number of members, but even Tianyao has less than 70 million members.
Chinese people tend to be very fond of Japanese products, and WeChat is an application that they use on a daily basis, making it a very familiar method.
If you want to target as many Chinese people as possible, the WeChat Mini Program is for you.
Excellent after-sales support functions
One of the reasons why the WeChat mini-program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce is that it has an extensive after-sales support function.
When conducting cross-border e-commerce in China, one of the most important aspects is support after the product has been sold. Chinese people are very demanding about the speed of support, including returns, refunds, and inquiries about how to use the product, and they will select stores and products based on this factor.
In other words, they like Japan’s attentive after-sales support.
In the case of the WeChat mini program, since it is originally a messenger application, its messenger function can be used to contact customers, which is very convenient.
This is recommended because it is easier to provide full after-sales support than opening a store in an e-commerce mall or opening your own website.
Notes on the WeChat Mini Program
Next, we will discuss some points to be aware of when using cross-border e-commerce with the WeChat mini-program.
While the above mentioned advantages of using cross-border e-commerce with the WeChat mini-program have been introduced, there are actually a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
No choice of payment method.
One point to note when using cross-border e-commerce with the WeChat mini-program is that there is no choice of payment method.
When opening a store in an e-commerce mall, such as the giant mall TianNexo, you can choose from more than 10 different payment methods.
In addition, if you are setting up your own website, you can choose the payment method of your choice because you build the site from scratch to your own specifications.
However, in the case of the WeChat mini program, you can only choose “WeChat pay”, a payment system exclusively for WeChat.
From the customer’s perspective, the more payment options they have to choose from, the more helpful they are.
Keep in mind that cross-border e-commerce with the WeChat mini-program has only one payment method option.
One point to note when using the WeChat mini-program for cross-border e-commerce is that there is a screening process.
Although it is easier to pass the screening process than when opening a store in an EC mall, please note that if you fail the screening process, you will not be able to use cross-border EC through the WeChat Mini Program.
We introduced in detail what the WeChat Mini Program is, why the WeChat Mini Program is recommended for cross-border e-commerce, and some points to note about the WeChat Mini Program.
The Chinese cross-border e-commerce market is expanding at a tremendous pace, and with the introduction of the WeChat mini-program, this speed is expected to accelerate even further.