Mini Program Ads
The first move of Wechat in 2018 is to test the Mini Program Ads at the Moment. What does it mean? Wechat is exploring and embracing monetization after nurturing users for a long time.
The initial word-of-mouth promotion of Mini Program relies on the keyword search and traffic led from service or description accounts.
The nearby function benefits the geo-location based Mini Program. For example, when you walked into McDonald's, its Mini Program will detect your location and sign in the closest store. You can order the meal from the Mini Program while waiting in the queue. It gives you an option of dine-in or takeaway. If you make a remark if you require the invoice. In this way, it saves your waiting time also increase the ordering efficiency.
Mini Program had been a gooseberry for Wechat users for a good while, as service account seems to do the same job while keeps users updated on its new move. The biggest problem of Mini Program by then is that it doesn't push notification, so users forget the Mini Program they tried once or twice when their list is crowded with new ones.
Ad creates the exposure of new Mini Program and boosts the users for a period of time. The ads runner hope that users get hooked and become a frequent user to reduce cost per acquisition. Wechat has been testing various forms of Mini Program Ads since July 2017. Within the public account article, the promo image can be inserted and linked to Mini Program. Later on, the bottom banner of the article can be an entry of Mini Program as well.
Before the New Year, Mini Program has released a new function that the most recently used Mini Program can be found in the drop-down menu on top of the chat feed. Within the first week, the users from drop-down-menu-entrance jump to 43.8%.
The newly tested Mini Program Ads enriches the Moments Ads from Html 5 to a more functional channel. Engaging content is no longer the determining factor, but the journey to capture the users and make them returned users is more important. It presents a big potential not only for the service providers.
Wechat Boutique Store
The battle in e-commerce has never died down in China. Alibaba and JD.com fought over the Single Days campaign and even developed a new concept of 12.12. As the prominent social media ecosystem, Wechat stays quiet on e-commerce until now.
Wechat quietly released Boutique Store just before the new year. By searching brand name, users can find the store on top of the "search" result. The menu has three headlines as an entry, which can be the entry to the store, official account or promotional services to a specific landing page. It looks and functions like a simplified e-commerce mobile site, where you can browse the items, put items into Wishlist (which is linked to your Wechat Pay!) and complete the purchase. Wechat only invited the top 12 consumer brands, such as LV, Zara and MK, as pioneers.
Alibaba's Tmall Pavilion was launched in Aug 2017, aggressively establishing luxury brands' e-commerce presence and reshaping the China marketing strategy. How much impact Wechat Boutique Store will bring to the table is yet to be rolled out, but Alibaba's e-commerce model has been tested and optimized over the years. It would be interesting to see whether Wechat Boutique Store will grow into another phenomenal function as the public account that brings in direct conversion and advertisement, or it will remain a cherry on top of the cream as Mini Program.