Travel retail remains an untapped growth platform for many brands. To that end, WeChat is expanding its capabilities to target Chinese travelers in the US, opening new opportunities for prestige fashion and beauty labels.
The multi-purpose platform has garnered over 900 million active monthly users, an increase of 29% in the past two years, according to L2’s WeChat report. The app works cross-functionally as a social media network, e-commerce and mobile wallet platform, messaging app, and customer service touchpoint. Additionally, parent company Tencent recently aggregated an advertising hub that leverages both domestic and international traffic to target travelers in the US, inherently filling gaps for cross-border targeting.
Prestige brands, especially those with higher awareness in Asian markets, recognize the power of WeChat targeting to drive revenue growth for US operations. In March, Clé de Peau Beauté US launched a brand-owned WeChat account, joining its China counterpart and the rest of the brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: China Beauty, which all have WeChat accounts. Given the high brand awareness in Japan and China, the team told the Daily it hopes the account will make it easier to connect with Chinese consumers who travel to the US.
Clé de Peau Beauté’s first message to users (available only in Chinese), fields questions about the product assortment and highlights the brand’s “beauty secrets” content. The team plans to deploy content on an ongoing basis in order to drive traffic to the site. For example, the app currently drives consumers to the brand’s existing concierge service on cledepeaubeaute.com, where customer service agents are available during business hours to field any requests.
According to the team, the launch aims primarily to increase site traffic and participation at brand-held events, as well as to support beauty specialists at department store counters in driving in-store sales. In the longer term, as WeChat cascades app functionalities to the US, the team plans to localize campaigns through influencers and integrated CRM, as well as omnichannel efforts that bridge the gap between online and offline.