WeChat mini program has been a useful feature of the ‘super app’ in terms of online shopping and entertainment. With over 3.9 million mini programs and 450 million daily active users, no wonder mini programs are believed to be ‘more convenient than traditional apps.’
For WeChat users, it has indeed lived up to its promise, providing far-fetched handiness and accessibility. Moreover, the ‘app within an app’ runs whether you’re an iOS or Android user.
Now, for developers and business owners, it is viewed as an opportunity for growing sales and brand awareness. Over the years, mini program has become ‘one of the key channels through which brands can reach prospective customers through WeChat’.
Not to mention how it simplified the cost and process of constructing a full-blown app, it has truly helped big brands monetise mini program in many ways.
WeChat Mini Program for E-Commerce
Among all categories, e-commerce topped the list of the most frequently used mini programs in China in 2019. For instance, one of the first campaigns took place during the 2018 Qixi Festival – the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day.
Luxury brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Dior saw an opportunity to run online sales campaigns by establishing a mini program.
In fact, Dior rose to the occasion by offering a Qixi edition of the Dioramour handbag on its WeChat official account. Through its mini program, the luxury brand then offered a limited number of Lady Dior handbags. While the campaign earned fame among Dior fans, it also sold out its handbag.
Top 5 WeChat Mini Program Ideas for E-Commerce
Now that you know a few mini program benefits, it’s also fair to know how you’re going to stand out from your competitors on WeChat. With millions of mini programs out there, where do you find inspiration for your app?
Fortunately, we’ve found a few WeChat mini program ideas from top high-end cosmetics brands in China. In the list below, you’ll find app screenshots highlighting unique components to help your app stand out.
First established in 2001, Chando is a beauty brand from China known for its environment-friendly skincare products. Their notable items include Chando Pure Nutrient Eye Cream and Chando Aging Resistance Activating Eye Cream.
Let’s dive into Chando’s mini program and see what makes it stick out from the app.
The cosmetic brand made sure its homepage is consistent with its branding while maintaining visual continuity.
To urge visitors to take immediate action, the brand placed vouchers at the beginning of the homepage. When clicked, it directs to a detailed voucher page.
In the mini-app home feed, Chando spotlighted products, providing high-quality images, product name, brief description, price, and a clear call-to-action (CTA).
Categorised home feed
Apart from visual continuity, it also divided its home feed into four sections. Doing this gives visitors a quick glimpse of what they are about to see in your home feed.
Unlike other mini programs, the share button is instantly visible at the initial app open. This makes sharing with friends easier and faster for WeChat users.
Similar to other e-commerce platforms, Chando’s detailed product page consists of basic information. This includes image carousel, product name, price, variations, share button, store information, customer reviews, vouchers, and many eye-catching banners. Chando also included how-to visuals and Q&As by the end of the product page.
Here are more screenshots of Chando’s e-commerce mini program.
Maybelline New York
Maybelline New York is an American-based multinational cosmetic brand best known for its makeup products like mascara, foundation, and lipstick. It also has skincare, fragrance, and personal care products.
Despite having an established presence in Tmall, Maybelline still strived to maintain its mini-app on WeChat to expand its audience scope.
Now, as we look at Maybelline’s mini program closely, let’s find out how it separates the program from other beauty brands on WeChat.
New product and promotion highlights
In the mini-app home feed, Maybelline started with new product and sales promotion banners.
The makeup brand kept its homepage short but sweet, ending with category banners (i.e. face, lip, eye). Having such banners allows shoppers to easily find what they need with just one click.
For long-established brands like Maybelline, the brand story is an important element to uphold brand identity. This is why on its WeChat mini-app, it added a ‘Brand Story’ component with brief brand identifiers of Maybelline.
Since lipstick is one of Maybelline’s bestsellers, it included attractive visuals on its available lipstick shades in relevant product pages. Even the initial product photo showed an image of several lipsticks, proving Maybelline has many options to offer.
SK-II is another longstanding cosmetic brand that dates back to the early 1980s. The Japanese beauty brand owned by Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a popular premium skin care solution in East Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. It is most well-known for its Facial Treatment Essence called PiteraTM.
Like the above-mentioned brands, SK-II is also massive in China with a solid loyalty program running across multiple platforms. This includes SK-II’s brand sites, WeChat, Tmall, and physical stores.
Speaking of WeChat, check out how SK-II stays competitive with its mini program.
The skincare brand divided its mini-app into four sections, namely products, events/sales, new products, and history. Again, this is a good technique if you want your online store to be easily navigable by shoppers.
Considering SK-II’s positioning, no doubt its store layout often goes for simplicity. For high-end beauty brands, sophistication is always the key to store layouts. Indeed, SK-II aimed for simple and clutter-free creatives while providing ample product information.
Comprehensive product categories
If you have plenty of product sets, it’s good to group them in comprehensive categories like how SK-II did. To do this effectively, the brand placed the promoted products on top as separate categories, followed by several other product sets. Of course, don’t forget the search bar for customers with specific intentions.
Every store visit counts, and so you must supply all the information your customer needs in a single visit. Like any successful product page, SK-II also provides a helpful guide on how to use their products. This speeds up the process of persuading your customers to try your product. In e-commerce, giving your buyers immediate information without leaving your page is a huge conversion factor.
Reviews are powerful, especially for skincare products. This is why SK-II managed to add at least one consumer review in its detailed product page. Having this makes the product more authentic, thus, most likely to be purchased in the long run.
Cross-channel loyalty program
It’s not enough to have a loyalty program that doesn’t run across all your channels. If you find it a good strategy for your brand, make sure your shoppers can access it throughout your established platforms – both offline and online. Take SK-II as an example. It also brought its program to WeChat with a dedicated membership page.
Owned by Amore Pacific, the South Korean beauty brand Innisfree also runs in the cosmetics race in China. Only founded in 2000, the brand is indeed younger than most of its competitors. However, due to its emphasis on naturalism, it vastly appealed to young skincare enthusiasts who prefer eco-friendly beauty products.
While the brand has its main official store on RED, it retains its WeChat e-commerce mini program. As an example, let’s explore Innisfree’s mini-app and how it puts up with other skincare brands on WeChat.
Known for its naturalism-oriented products, Innisfree stays consistent with its trademark by implying eco-friendly colours in its online store. Likewise, it also sticks to its bubbly theme to appeal to the younger market. If you’re also targeting young people like Innisfree, having a creative and consistent design like this makes it more compelling and easier to recall.
Having a good product image also plays a big part in persuading your customers. For instance, Innisfree invested in excellent product shots and coherent image layout as shown below. It only highlighted the most important details, such as the product, original and sale price, and its eco-friendly identifier ‘Green’. Furthermore, they included the text ‘8th anniversary’ to let the shoppers know that there’s an ongoing sale.
In the world of luxury fashion and makeup, Dior is a name you’ll almost frequently hear. In fact, in 2018, the LVMH-owned brand ranked 10 in Gartner’s top beauty brands in China (2018) mainly due to its WeChat mini-app adoption.
Back then, it ran a standard gift card format mini program, enabling users to buy virtual ‘gift cards’ and share with their friends via WeChat. This app then links to a second mini-app, which is being used for e-commerce.
As we’ll focus on e-commerce, we’ll break down Dior’s second mini program for online retailing.
Dior recognised the importance of video marketing for e-commerce. With that, they incorporated a product video in their home feed. It’s the first thing you’ll see once you pop in the mini-app.
As Dior is a luxury brand, people will expect to see elegance in its online store. Hence, Dior stays true to its branding with its store layout likened to a high-fashion magazine. From the homepage to the product page, it kept its classiness down to the finest details. Take a look at the screenshots below.
Product sample giveaways have been creating wonders for many beauty brands like Dior. Luckily, it can be done in plenty of ways. For example, the cosmetic brand is giving away free exclusive gifts to the first 10,000 customers who purchase any product from the online store. Moreover, the promotion appears in a CTA popup box the moment you open the mini-app.
From the above examples, we can conclude that every WeChat mini program is unique on its own. From design to function, it differs from app to app depending on the goal, target audience, product, and branding.
While a mini-app can have as many compelling sections as you want, always keep in mind that every detail must stay consistent with your branding across all sections.
That is to say, a homepage must be filled with creatives that hold visual continuity. This way, customers will find your mini-app visually satisfying at first sight.
Likewise, your homepage also needs to highlight your bestselling products. To further spice it up, add attractive vouchers or a sampling promotion at the beginning of the homepage to urge visitors to take immediate action.
Moreover, be sure that each product spotlight includes the product name, brief description, price, and a clear call-to-action button to complete the offer. More importantly, use a high-quality product shot for added genuineness.
Other cited techniques you can use are categorised home feed, share button, detailed product page with product instructions, user reviews, new product highlights, category banners, comprehensive product categories and variations, and video marketing.
With all these in mind, you are now more confident to build your own WeChat mini program. All you have to do is combine these ideas and create your unique mini-app for e-commerce.
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