To sell baby products in China, building trust with parents is crucial, as the industry has been rocked by multiple safety scandals. In order to calm concerns about quality and authenticity, brands are turning to mobile apps like WeChat as well as baby-focused platforms.
Baby community sites such as PCBaby and Babytree have become indispensable resources for Chinese parents. Available on both desktop and a mobile app, Babytree surpassed US site Babycenter.com to become the world’s largest parenting website in 2013. With over 200 million monthly active users, its app ranks fifth out of all health and fitness-related apps in China’s iOS App Store. The brands seeing the most engagement on Babytree and similar platforms include Enfamil, Friso, and GOO.N, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: CPG China.
In order to increase visibility on these platforms, brands are teaming up with key opinion leaders (KOLs) and launching promotions such as product sampling and UGC campaigns. On Babytree’s mobile app, S-26 launched a gamified campaign around developing babies’ intelligence, while Friso created a UGC campaign focused on treating postpartum depression. Meanwhile, Pampers teamed up with Qinbaobao—the sixth-most popular health and fitness app in China’s iOS App Store—for promotions, while Aptamil hosts sampling and UGC campaigns on the mobile app for Mama.com.
Inspired by the high demand for parenting advice on mobile apps, brands are also launching WeChat functions to draw Chinese parents to their accounts. Wyeth and Mead Johnson both created WeChat mini-apps focused on pregnancy and birth, offering free advice from experts including video content. Wyeth’s even contains a feature that allows moms to upload their medical reports in order to receive specialized content for each stage of pregnancy.
WeChat is also helping infant formula brands overcome Chinese parents’ fears due to recent counterfeit formula scandals in China. One of the brands affected, infant formula maker Beingmate, offers a QR code scanner through its WeChat account that allows parents to immediately verify that the package is real. Friso and Nutrilon also offer WeChat features that allow users to confirm authenticity by entering a serial number.