How Does a Foreign Company Sell on WeChat?

WeChat is China’s super app, combining multiple functions into one incredibly popular app. WeChat brings messaging, social media, and mobile payments all under one umbrella. It can be connected to users’ bank accounts and credit cards and used to pay bills, shop for goods and services in the WeChat shops, transfers money to other users, as well as to pay for purchases in-store (similar to Apple Pay). Social commerce drives WeChat shops’ successes.

WeChat, developed by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, boasts over 1 billion active monthly users. It is the 5th most popular messaging app in the world. In the 4th quarter of 2019, 1 billion WeChat Pay commercial transactions were completed. WeChat is growing exponentially, and the trend doesn’t look like it is going to slow down anytime soon. WeChat Shops are helping to open China’s huge market to the world.

How do you tap into this incredibly fast-paced market and open your own WeChat shop?


1) Create an Official Account

Just like most social media apps, WeChat requires users to have an official account on their platform. Think of your favorite brand’s Facebook page. A WeChat official account is similar. This is the space to build your brand, collect followers, and link to your WeChat shop.

Building a strong brand presence within the WeChat app is important for the success of any WeChat shop. Creative promotion and social media optimization are key.


2) Create a WeChat Shop

Creating a WeChat shop is similar to creating other e-commerce sites. It is possible to build your own, but most companies choose to partner with a 3rd party that has the knowledge and experience in that department. Companies like Westwin have expertise in Chinese e-commerce and monetizing WeChat.
WeChat shops are generally quite visual, relying on images rather than text to sell their products. Product information should be visually appealing and share-worthy to increase traffic to your WeChat shop.


3) Advertise Within WeChat

There are a few ways to get your WeChat shop in front of as many eyes as possible. The traditional WeChat advertising, including banner ads and moment ads, are options. Many retailers choose to use social media influencers and bloggers to promote their brands, especially when they are new to the market. Westwin can help you to plan a marketing strategy, enact it, and follow the data to chart the success of your WeChat shop.

While it is similar to the rest of the world, there are some differences for foreign companies conducting business in China. Setting up a WeChat shop can have some challenges for a foreign company, but they are not insurmountable. Partnering with a team experienced in Chinese e-commerce, like Westwin, provides guidance in areas like cross-border taxation and policy, payment options, logistics, and warehousing.

Tapping into the exploding and exciting Chinese marketplace through a WeChat shop can be incredibly prosperous, but it can also be complicated. Make sure to hire an experienced partner like Westwin to help your business succeed. Contact us for more details.


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