1 hour is the average time Chinese consumers spend on WeChat. There are more than 650 million monthly active users on wechat ( as of 2015 ). Such impressive numbers make WeChat the number one platform for selling to the billions in China. But how does one sell products on WeChat or their web site and accept payments? For official companies and brands put together some of our reflections on how to sell on WeChat below.
1. Do your Homework
What started as messaging APP quickly extended its functions to include payment services. Most users today do not know that the core of WeChat’s business model is actually payment services. As any business online, it has to make money, and ruling the wallet of users is a key to develop a sustainable ecosystem of services.
How does it work
As a seller you can integrate WeChat on your website. When buyers access your website via WeChat, they can use WeChat as a billing system to pay through its “one-click-payment”. Or if you have an app, you can use the WeChat API to connect and accept WeChat payments on your app. No need for any lengthy checkout pages for buyers, payment is completed in under 20 seconds.
Phone = Wallet
Without a doubt, WeChat enables your phone to basically act as a wallet. What this means for a seller is that they can accept payments anywhere without needing a vending machine ( intact WeChat enables you to integrate your CRMs and other customer facing apps ). As a buyer, this means smaller payments can be made more securely, quicker, and reliably ( WeChat, WeChat Wallet account & internet connection is needed ).
WeChat = China
Without a doubt, WeChat is a perfect channel to brand and reach Chinese consumers but only for Chinese. Do your research on your target market and know the types of goods to sell on WeChat in China by law. Many big foreign brands are already selling and marketing on WeChat. More than likely your competitor is already on WeChat or has a plan to get on WeChat to sell.
2. Prepare for Registering for WeChat
Challenges ( if you a foreign brand / seller )
Its an evolving payment system provided by an evolving company, expect some difficulty in finding accurate information on it. For instance dealing with foreign currencies, transaction fees, types of payments ( direct / re-occuring subscriptions ). To help reduce the headaches you will endure, always follow the main WeChat website ( Chinese language skills needed ).
Chinese Business License
You also need a Chinese business license in order to sign up for WeChat payment, there are ways around it but you end up paying more money to 3rd parties to keep your money.
WeChat Payment / WeChat Web Developer
Hiring a local web designer or developer that is well versed with WeChat payment is not easy ( unless you are in China and speak Chinese ). Developers will charge you a premium for customizations needed for the payment system due to how not-well documented the WeChat API is.
Design and Build your Website or WeChat Shop
WeChat require to sell or have an idea of what you will be selling. For this to happen and to avoid getting declined, we strongly advise you to build your website or app prior to registering for WeChat Pay. Its almost 100% guaranteed that they will decline any applications that have not setup a online products web site. Contact us at KOTEBO to build such a web site for you at an affordable rate.
3. Register for WeChat
In order to setup a real WeChat store or accept payments on your website via WeChat pay, your company should first create a WeChat service account. This account will then get verified (which requires you till fill out online application forms and wait for 3-5days for approval ). Next, you will need to apply for and get approved for Tencent payment (which will require further verification and the payment of a deposit). Once this process is finished, you will be able to use WeChat Pay to sell your products as your own brand.
4. Start selling and finding buyers on WeChat
Congratulations on setting up WeChat payments and your online store. You are now ready to make money on WeChat. Because WeChat is not a public app, there is no open market where your customers can find you. This is good because you will have less competition and get a closer connection to your buyers. The draw back is you will need to find your buyers by either sharing on moments ( your private WeChat wall ), join WeChat groups where your buyers may be, and public games such as “throwing a bottle in the ocean”. In the end, you will depend mostly on word of mouth to grow your customer base and your followers ( who you can also market to via posts every once in a while but to most people this is annoying ). We recommend you mix offline events with WeChat to properly sell. Either method you choose, WeChat payment makes a great tool to collect some serious cash very quickly.
KOTEBO is a web agency in Shanghai that produces intelligent and compelling experiences for companies that need greater branding online. We are passionate on creating exciting solutions that make digital platforms both easier and practical.
We are a foreign owned China web agency that delivers design ( apps, android, iOS, web ), coding of web and hybrid apps, wechat solutions through our WeChat manager via JS Bridge and WeChat API, photoshoot and web hosting. KOTEBO also designs for print logos, cards, brochures, hangers, as well as develop web for e-commerce and social networks.
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