Another Chinese New Year is coming (16th, Feb. 2018), and along with it is the new round of the Chinese New Year Campaign on WeChat. In 2017’s Chinese New Year, Chinese people were immersed in the campaign of ‘Red Packet sending and receiving’ on WeChat during the Spring Festival. This year, Chinese New Year Campaign will be bracing for the coming of a new member: WeChat Mini Program.
What Online Users Do in Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) is one of the most important Chinese festivals celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar.
During Chinese New Year, Chinese online users are also busy with a range of New Year activities and celebrations, including New Year wishes sending, Red Packets transfer, online shopping, WeChat Moments posting, and Weibo’s posts browsing, the use of WeChat Mini Program, and so on.
Even, some online activities gradually replace the traditional offline activities of Chinese people in the Spring Festival. For example, most WeChat users prefer to sending New Year wishes by using the message, combining texts, images and memes, and transferring Red Packet through WeChat. Also, according to Shanxi Daily (陕西日报), no longer consuming in physical stores, online shopping on various websites, such as Taobao, Jingdong, WeChat, etc., in Spring Festival is the main way for people to purchase new year goods. In addition to these, online users are also keen to post WeChat Moments and browse Weibo’s posts to share New Year activities and know what other people do during the festival.
Therefore, with the development of online software and apps, Chinese people’s online behaviors and activities will be increasingly enriched in Chinese New Year.
Huge Range of Red Packets Transferred on WeChat in 2017’s Chinese New Year
According to the Data Report of ‘WeChat Spring Festival’ in 2017 (2017微信春节数据报告), around 46 billion Red Packets were transferred among WeChat users during 2017’s Chinese Spring Festival, specifically between the New Year’s Eve and the fifth day of the Chinese New Year. In other words, WeChat users were awash with such a splendid online campaign within 5 days. To some extent, the trend was inspired by the emergence of online transfer functions on WeChat, gradually replacing the use of red packet in our offline life.
However, due to the increasing development of WeChat’s multiple functions, no one can guarantee who will always be the protagonist of Chinese New Year Campaign. In 2018, we are going to be introduced a new vital member in the New Year Campaign: WeChat Mini Program.
What is WeChat Mini Program?
You may ask what is WeChat’s Mini Program? In simple terms, launching on 9th Jan. 2017, Mini Program is a new kind of online application without the process of download, installation and uninstallation, and users can connect with it everywhere and anytime by scanning its QR code or searching it on WeChat. For the developers, the procedure of creating and launching a new mini program is quite easier than a new app but it can meet the simple requirements of an application. Furthermore, Mini Program is also regarded as a kind of super-online-application, which can provide the services like message notification, offline QR code scanning, and inter-associations with official accounts.
Influx of Variety of WeChat Mini Program Categories
Up to 15th Jan. 2018 so far, about 0.58 million mini programs are finished, and averagely about 0.17 billion people use them each day. Such a high amount to a large extent can indicate that Mini Program can fulfill our various needs and even full our online life on WeChat. It can be mainly divided into 5 categories, including retail sales, travel and traffic, tools, foodservice, and public life of service, which respectively occupy 17%, 0.4%, 18%, 11%, and 21% of the whole amount and whose percentages of visit are respectively 24%, 21%, 18%, 14%, and 11%. Besides, the entrance of mini programs also multitudinously accounts for 48, and ‘finding’, ‘official account’ and ‘sharing’ are three of the most popular entrances, which respectively attract about 22.2%, 20.1% and 26.2% users of the whole (aldwx.com). In other words, WeChat Mini Program almost covers all directions of our life, and its entrances are ubiquitously enriched. Even, the total amount of Mini Program could reach more than 3 million with the greatest possibility in 2018. Predictably, no longer the Red Packet, Mini Program could be the strongest contender to lead the Chinese New Year Champaign on WeChat in 2018.
Further Step: Mini Program Expands Itself to Mini Game and Physical Store
Mini Program will never stop its pace. On 28th, Dec. 2017, a new kind of mini program was launched on WeChat, that is Mini Game. Also, no download, no installation, and no uninstallation. Play everywhere and anytime. In fact, WeChat introduces 15 mini games at the first round, covering many types. For instance, recently, WeChat has been awash with a mania, as millions of users play a popular mini game – ‘跳一跳’, whose users has reached to 0.9 million until now (for more information about ‘跳一跳’, please click here).
In addition to online life, Mini Program also expands itself to our offline life. On 19th, Jan. 2018, a new pop-up physical store ‘WeLife 微信支付·无人快闪店’ was launched in Shanghai, China. It is designed as a self-service store like Amazon Go store where there is no physical staff and users can only pay for the items by using a mini program on WeChat. Specifically, users only need to scan the QR code of this shop firstly, add the related mini program into the WeChat account, use the self-service machine at the store to scan the chip of the item users like, and then re-scan the QR code of the shop to pay for the item by using the mini program. No shop assistant, no cash, and no other methods of payment, but Mini program decides everything. By the way, the opening time of the shop is between 20th, Jan. 2018 and 4th, Feb. 2018.
New Business Opportunities Brought by Mini Program
The popularity of Mini Program results in a new situation that more and more business opportunities are brought to WeChat users. For example, ‘Mini Program Nearby’, one of the functions of Mini Program, can promote the development of nearby physical stores, like restaurants and supermarkets, only if they cooperate with the related mini programs. Users can find the nearest physical stores through using their cooperative mini programs. Also, an airplane company can cooperate with the specific mini programs for people to quickly and easily checking and purchasing flight tickets. In addition to these, official accounts can also promote themselves by associating with mini programs for normal users to follow the accounts and view their contents. Hence, we can say that the popularization of Mini Program in China is benefit for the developers and official account managers as well as each normal WeChat user.
Recommend to You – Luxury Branded and Travel Mini Programs
Here are the mini programs I personally recommend to every reader of this article. These ones may simplify your shopping and travel process and provide high-quality and handy service.
- Luxury Branded Mini Programs
Recently, some popular and famous international luxury brands work with WeChat Mini Program for providing better and more convenient services to consumers, and thus a great number of luxury branded mini programs are introduced and launched on WeChat, like Longchamp, Burberry, Gucci, Dior, Michael Kors and so on. Here, we will specifically show you how Longchamp, the first luxury brand works with WeChat Mini Program, operates its mini programs for promoting sales and building a global brand network with consumers. Longchamp, a French luxury leather goods brand, has two separated WeChat Mini Programs, ‘Longchamp线上精品店’ and ‘Longchamp巴黎进行时’.
The first one ‘Longchamp线上精品店’ seems to be designed as a kind of ‘easy-to-go’ online brand shopping channel, as a list of all categories of goods are orderly displayed in the home page for users to purchase online., including backpack bag, cross-body bag, handbag, shoulder bag, etc. These category columns with well-designed images and highlighted titles are clear at a glance. Go to any page of these categories, the most popular and best-sale items as well as collections are showed at the top, and slide down the page, all sales are introduced.
As for the second one ‘Longchamp巴黎进行时’, it is designed as a kind of image-shared online platform, based on the location of consumers. It mainly divides the locations into three ones, Paris, Shanghai, and Tokyo, and in each location, WeChat users can share the images with other Longchamp fans and consumers. As a result, a big social network is built in this mini program for consumers to connect with each other, no matter who you are and where you are.
- Travel Mini Programs
For travel enthusiasts, a range of travel-related mini programs, like ‘穷游智能攻略’, ‘携程攻略’ ‘去哪儿旅行’, ‘途牛游’, and so on, may assist them to have a good and enjoyable trip through providing online local maps and travel plans, rating the travel sites and local shopping sites, selling sites tickets online, cooperating with air plane or train companies for ticket sale, etc. Considering my personal travel experience, such the mini programs simplify the complex process of travel, especially the trip to foreign countries. Firstly, before the travel, we can use these programs like ‘携程攻略’ and ‘去哪儿旅行’ to quickly purchase flight tickets with a great number of guarantees and insurance, more importantly, the most suitable time with the cheapest price. Secondly, programs like ‘携程攻略’ and ‘穷游智能攻略’ can also provide multiple travel plans in each destination, depending on the routine you like, and rate the local sites according to the reviews of other travelers, who have ever visited these sites. For me, when I travel to foreign cities, like Paris, Amsterdam, Roma, Brussels, Barcelona and so on, these kind of travel plans and ratings help me save a lot of time for deciding to visit which sites in limited time and enjoy the travel process with high quality since every phase is properly planed, such as best travel routine, popular restaurants recommendation, and tips in each sites. Thirdly, depending on the users’ location, programs like ‘途牛游’ can precisely show you the nearest travel sits and restaurants, so never miss good things near to you in the travel!
It is an undeniable fact that Mini Program enriches our life and fulfills our requirements in the digital environment since the date it is launched. Predictably, WeChat Mini Program is going to get more popular and mainstream when times come.
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Over the past eight years, Sarah has led and executed successful digital campaigns for a range of international and local companies in China, Hong Kong and internationally, including: Hong Kong Ocean Park, agnes b, Volkswagen, Premium Tax Free – Watches of Switzerland and Damiani. She has worked with property, travel and hospitality, luxury and fashion clients. As a native Chinese speaker fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, Sarah is also a popular Chinese lifestyle, fashion and travel blogger.
During the day, she was working for Red Digital China, during the night, she expands her interest in creating story-telling content, design, drawing etc.