Selling on WeChat is not easy, yet we keep hearing stories about brands that sold millions in a day through WeChat store. How did they do it? Today, we will dive into 3 case studies to see how brands make money on WeChat.
WeChat ID: xxbmm123
Content: review articles of baby products
WeChat Followers: 2,000,000
Followers demographic: 90% female, mostly mothers of 0 to 6-year-old child
WeChat Store Revenue: 30,000,000 RMB per month
Products: baby related products (toys, books, food and other consumer goods)
Secret Methods: Group buy, limited time offer
Xiaoxiaobao was one of the first WeChat Official Accounts to set up a WeChat store. It started in April 2014 as a pure content provider for childcare related articles. By the end of 2014, it already had 200,000 WeChat followers. That’s when the account launched its WeChat store. Today, Xiaoxiaobao has 290,000 customers on WeChat; average conversion rate per article is 15%; and monthly sales volume reaches 30 million RMB.
How did they do it?
Besides producing interesting and useful content that provides value to moms, it also uses a few tricks that other companies can learn from.
- Limited number of group buying deals
If you take a look at Xiaoxiaobao’s WeChat store, you will be surprised to find that it doesn’t list any product. Most of the time, the WeChat store displays a messages saying “we are sold out”. In fact, any followers of Xiaoxiaobao would tell you to check at the WeChat store at 7:30 am, when the group buying deals of the day are published. The morning WeChat shopping starts around 7:30 everyday, Xiaoxiaobao would push a message with 2-6 nested articles. The first article is usually non promotional. It is usually useful information about how to take care of young children. The second and to the last articles would each promote one specific product, with “group buying” in the title to notify followers.
Both the limited time and quantity of the deals create urgency for the users to make a quick purchase decision. It matches the WeChat reading behavior, since the most crucial time for a WeChat article to be noticed by a reader is within the first half hour after it’s been published.
- Preview of the week
Another great way Xiaoxiaobao attracts mothers’ attention is through a weekly deal preview. At the end of each promotional article, you can always find out about the upcoming deals of the week. It’s easy to miss a message on WeChat. But if you tell users every day about what’s coming next, this incentivize them to dedicate time to check your channel on the next day. A preview also gives mothers more time to do research or build up the craving.
Xiaoyu Private Kitchen
WeChat ID: xiaoyusichu
Content: recipes and cooking tips
WeChat Followers: 80,000
WeChat Store Revenue (April – August 2016) : 8,000,000 RMB
Secret Methods: Pre order / videos / limited time group buy
Xiaoyu Private Kitchen is followed by a bunch of cooking fans. This is still a relatively small/medium size account, but the conversion rates it amazing. It sold almost 600 pressure cookers (unit price is 1,480RMB) with an article with merely 20,000 views. Even for unattractive products such as food containers, the account can still make 65,000 RMB revenue with an article of only 13,000 view. The secrete of the high conversion rate is the following:
- Native advertising
A majority of the content is focused on one thing: short cooking tutorial videos. The followers know what kind of content to expect from this account and they build trust for the account through reading informative content. That’s why when Xiaoyu includes a pressure cooker in her video, her followers are likely to make an impulse purchase right after watching it. They trust her endorsement.
The account uses different promotion methods such as limited quantity and limited time offers to create excitement for shoppers. These strategies are very similar to the ones we just studied from Xiaoxiaobao Mama and definitely contribute to the extremely high conversion rate.
WeChat ID: youshucc
Content: monthly reading list and book recommendation
WeChat Followers: 7,000,000
Secret Methods: WeChat reading groups / collaboration with JD.COM
You Shu is a WeChat account that recommends books. The Official Account was only launched in February, and it now has over 7 million followers. The concept is like a book club: read one book in a week, and submit reviews in a WeChat group. But how did they grow virally on WeChat and how does a “book club” sell on WeChat? Here is the trick:
- WeChat Group is the key to viral content
Ever since WeChat restricted incentivized sharing, producing viral content and adding WeChat followers became harder than ever. Brands sometimes take the risk to offer prizes when users share content, but you never know if anyone is going to report you. The way You Shu did it is through WeChat group. The followers can get a group QR code to join a “reading club”. The first thing users have to do after joining the WeChat group is to share a piece of content requested by You Shu on his or her WeChat Moment. The content is a text to invite friends to follow You Shu and with a picture of QR code attached. After sharing this message, the user will get a summary of the monthly book reviews.
Asking users to share content in exchange of providing electronic content is a great way to initiate viral spread at 0 cost. WeChat regulation do not apply here since the shared text content is not linked with an Official Account, thus 0 risk to get blocked by WeChat.
Companies can build several active WeChat groups and interact with group members. They could be the best way to spread your content.
- Make a sell through group activities
How did You Shu make money? The obvious answer is that they sell the books that they recommend. The WeChat Official Account menu takes users to its JD store where users can buy books from selected vendors.
Book publishers are partnering with You Shu to sell books. For example, a book called “Chinese Philology History” sold 917 books in one day after You Shu listed it in their Reading List of May. It sold more than 3,000 books within a week, that’s the amount the publisher would have sold in 2 whole months without the promotion.
While not every company can use this tactic to attract followers to purchase its products, many brands can motivate users to participate to group activities such as exercise groups, makeup learning sessions, childcare sharing groups, problem solving groups and more. Through activities, users would learn information about a brand more casually and eventually make a purchase.
There is more than one way to skin a (We)c(h)at. Often times you will need to try and fail several times with different marketing methods to find the one that’s best for your brand. Don’t be afraid to do AB testing about your content and method until you find the one!