While China’s top mobile messaging app WeChat is approaching a billion monthly active users, its closed format makes it notoriously difficult for brands to get their content to go viral. However, brands can take advantage of WeChat’s omnichannel functionality to drive store foot traffic and sales, according to L2’s new Insight: China Omnichannel report. Useful features include store locators, geolocation, and WeChat loyalty programs that work in physical stores.
A growing number of luxury brands are adopting store locators with geolocation to help their WeChat followers easily find store locations, yet adoption of international geolocation is lagging. While 52% of luxury brands have geolocation on WeChat, only 23% offer it internationally.
Luxury brands have also been slow to adopt WeChat loyalty programs that work in their brick-and-mortar stores. Only 13% offer them, and these are mostly accessible labels, including Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade. WeChat loyalty programs can also be used offline for activewear brands like Adidas and beauty brands including 3CE, Etude House, and Fresh.
The Adidas loyalty program is accessed through WeChat’s built-in Cards & Offers section and lets members use points for discounts and pay with WeChat Pay in the brand’s stores. It also has a geolocation-enabled store locator available through the loyalty card section. The activewear brand’s Republic of Sports events, held in giant auditoriums across China this summer, helped to encourage signups. Users completed fitness challenges to receive prizes and shared videos and photos of their feats of strength on their mobile devices. Other brands using WeChat to attract users to in-store experiences include Under Armour and Lululemon, which give users the chance to sign up for offline fitness classes via the app.