Up to 15th Jan. 2018, about 0.58 million mini programs are launched and allowed to be used on WeChat, besides, more than 1 million application developers participate in the creation and launch of various mini programs. Also, such these WeChat mini programs have connected with more than 2,300 third-party platforms, and more importantly, about 0.17 billion WeChat users try to touch and use some of these programs, and the numbers are still dramatically increasing.
What is WeChat Mini Program, an Simplified Version of Apps
So what is WeChat Mini Program? In simple words, it 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. No complex web operation page, just use them in WeChat platform. Despite the simplification of the creating, launching and utilizing procedure, WeChat mini program to some extent does not lack the main merits of an online application, such as accessibility and easy operability.
WeChat Mini Program’s Various Categories and Functions
Moreover, with the development and entry of more mini programs, the category of WeChat mini program is also enriched and derive more specific sub-categories. Generally, the mini program can be mainly divided into 5 categories, including shopping-related, travel-related, tool, 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%. From these we can see that WeChat mini program’s categories almost cover our life and deliver the services that most of us rely on every day. According to the usage amount of each category, shopping-related and travel-related mini programs are used more commonly among WeChat users.
Here it will show you some of the popular luxury-brand mini programs and travel-related mini programs.
- WeChat Tip One: WeChat Mini Program in Luxury Sector
Up to now, more than 10 luxury brands launch mini programs on WeChat, for example, Longchamp, Dior, Michael Kors, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and so on. Interestingly, some of them even launch and operate two or more mini programs, depending on their diverse targets and services they desire to provide, such as Longchamp and Michael Kors. However, not all luxury brands concentrate on the launch of multiple mini programs, some of them only create one program to sale and promote one specific type of products, such as Dior.
Longchamp, until now, totally launches and operates two different mini programs for diverse marketing purposes, and thus they have distinctive web designs, functions and formats.
This one can be regarded as a simplified version of Longchamp online shop, focusing on the sale and promotion of new and collection products, especially bags. In this program, users are allowed to select and pay for the items via WeChat Wallet (or we can say WeChat Pay).
Products are clearly listed and displayed on the program’s home page according to their format and function, such as cross-bags, shoulder bag, backpack bag, handbag, purse, and something else. Meanwhile, this mini program also always creates some special types and columns of bags in various festivals and important events, for example, special bags in valentine’s day or bags prepared for school open day. Therefore, users can select the products according to their need in convenience. Once the selection is finished, users just add the products into the cart, and then insert their delivery address and pay for them online without too many complicated steps. Also, confirmation of purchase will be also immediately sent to users when they finish the purchase.
Regarding to its web design, the handfree sketches, iconographies, and background images indeed can catch a great number of Chinese consumers’ attention, and each column seems have a special and exclusive design theme. For example, in the column “开学特辑” (School starts in September), the background image is a blackboard at school with a range of handfree sketches, like backpacks, rulers, compasses, and so on. Hence, the creative design of the background images and icons in different columns can provide a really refreshing sentiment as well as clearly direct users to select the proper products.
Different from ‘Longchamp线上精品店’, ‘Longchamp 巴黎进行时’ is not an online shop but an online social network to some extent. Namely, it is a kind of social medium for the connection among Longchamp fans.
There are three main blocks on the home page of ‘Longchamp 巴黎进行时’ for people from different areas getting together and sharing contents. In each block, users can get the information of the local shops and the news of products, and Longchamp fans can share the texts, images and videos at this program to connect with other fans and users.
Michael Kors also have two separate mini programs on WeChat, for providing different kinds of service.
‘Michael Kors’ is a public platform to provide membership service. Through this program, all WeChat users can register as MK member only through providing WeChat number or phone number. After the registration, users can understand the related rights and interests of members in the next pages.
In terms of its design, it applies the combination of visual and textual elements. Images in this WeChat mini program are to demonstrate MK’s newest and most popular products as well as to introduce the brand history, while texts here are mostly to provide an instruction for users to register the membership.
Similar as ‘Longchamp 线上精品店’, ‘MichaelKors官方旗舰店’ is also a kind of online shop for selling and promoting different types of products.
No magnificent image or iconic design, in the home page of this mini program, users are provided almost all most useful information, such as the new arrival, recommendation, and brand story. More importantly, users can search for the specific product by themselves or check all products in this platform, namely, more option and freedom are provided.
Besides, in the purchase process, users can add the item into cart and pay for it later or just pay for the products immediately. Fast, safe, easy and convenient. Moreover, in any page of this program, users can use the online customer service to connect with call center of the brand and solve the problems online.
Different from the former brands and their WeChat mini programs, Dior only has one WeChat mini program platform and only sell and promote one kind of product, perfume.
In spite of the single type of product, Dior concentrates on promoting several themes and collections of its perfume, and different blocks of perfume also display at the home page with different kinds of image and text design. For purchasing the item, Dior simplifies the process to an extremely easy-operated version, just click the block image and then turn to the payment page, select the product and then pay for it. No complex procedure and no cumbersome operation.
In the case of Burberry WeChat mini program, users are able to search nearby stores within the program and immediately make an appointment.
WeChat Tip Two: WeChat Mini Program in Travel Sector
On WeChat, more than 20 travel-related WeChat Mini Programs are launched and used commonly by WeChat users, such as “穷游智能攻略”, “携程旅行” and “马蜂窝旅游”. In fact, different travel-related mini programs have different marketing points, and thus they respectively provide different kinds of service.
To some extent, ‘穷游智能攻略’ could be regarded as the simplified version of ‘穷游’ app, and it provides the most essential services of the original app, i.e., travel plan provided and cost-effective and popular travel sites suggested.
Once users insert a city or a country’s name, various travel plan are displayed on the web page. Each travel plan has its specific theme and topic, for example, the plan to visit the classic sites in the city, the plan to visit artistic galleries and museums in the city, and the plan to visit niche sites. Hence, users can select the plan according to their own needs. Moreover, in each plan, users can see the brief introduction and travelers’ reviews of each site, so tips, suggestions and information are displayed in the site page. For users, ‘穷游智能攻略’ mini program extracts the most basic, important and essential information and travel strategies to them.
Different from ‘穷游智能攻略’, ‘携程旅行’ seems like another version of ‘携程’ app since it owns almost all blocks of its original app to provide multiple services. Despite similarity, ‘携程旅行’ mini program also tries to simplify the usage process and provide the essential information to users.
All blocks are firstly displayed at the home page, and we can see that more than travel plan and strategy, this mini program also allow users to book hotels, flight, train, bus and ship ticket, site ticket and suggest popular travel sites and shopping sites. However, although multiple and pluralistic travel-related services are provided on ‘携程旅行’, from the page design we can see its marketing and branding point could be the travel-ticket booking instead of strategy providing.
Similar as ‘穷游智能攻略’, the promotion and marketing point of ‘马蜂窝旅游’ is updating travel strategy. Following the rules and principles of its original app (马蜂窝), this program also just reserve and remain the essence of its promotion and marketing points. At its home page, the strategies for traveling in numerous cities, countries and continent are recommended and displayed, and personal travel notes of other users are showed when a specific city is selected. Rather than the suggestion of popular travel sites, in the travel notes, users can read and find some useful travel tips, like ‘how to purchase travel insurance in foreign countries’ and ‘how to take trains to visit European countries’.
WeChat Tip Three: Other Popular WeChat Mini Programs
In addition to the above-mentioned programs, some others also commonly utilized by WeChat users, for example, ‘腾讯天气’, ‘快递100小助手’ and ‘南航e行’. In terms of ‘腾讯天气’, it can gets users’ location and forecasts the local weather as well as provide weather-related suggestions, like ‘if people should clean their cars in such a kind of weather’. In terms of ‘‘快递100小助手’, it can assist users to check delivery status of almost all delivery services and online book the delivery service. In terms of ‘南航e行’, users can book flight tickets of China Southern Airlines (中国南方航空), get boarding pass and check in online.
Simplification, Easy Accessibility, Essence of Original Contents and High Quality of WeChat Mini Programs
So why more and more people would like to use WeChat mini programs and enjoy their services? The reasons could be various.
First, to a large extent, these WeChat mini programs are the simplified version of their official websites or original apps. They simplify the operation platform and delete the unnecessary options and service like pop-up pages. Also, users will not be annoyed by the advertisements and cookies. No worries about the display of over-full information in one page.
Second, it seems that only the most useful and important services and information are remained in these programs. As a result, what the programs show are the ones which can meet most people’s needs and provide the basic assistance to users.
Third, these mini programs can be regarded as a kind of user-friendly platforms. On the one hand, users can easily find what they want in the programs as well as contact the customer service with convenience. On the other hand, based on WeChat platform, users can share the mini programs and their information to others just through WeChat. These ones allow and support people to connect with each other via themselves.
Finally, these mini programs are all high-quality and easy-to-operate. Without complex operation, users can finish tasks or obtain services just with several steps. Usually, in each popular mini program, the basic instruction and tips are provided and clearly displayed at the web pages, so instead of learning how to use them, in these mini programs, people just need follow the instruction and then do the steps by themselves.
Now, more and more types, styles and formats of mini programs are created and launched on WeChat, and people ‘s life will be enriched in future due to the enhancement and improvement of WeChat online system.
- Remaining the basic and essential format and functions, WeChat Mini Program is a simplified version of Apps and other online applications.
- WeChat mini program is the Minimal UI for maximum impact as compared to traditional mobile app.
- WeChat mini program is categorized into various types, and our life almost is covered within the positive impacts of different kinds of WeChat mini programs.
- Luxury brand, like Longchamp, Michael Kors, and Dior, either owns more than one WeChat mini programs for providing diverse services or focuses on promoting one specific type of products on their unique WeChat mini program, i.e., luxury brands have different promotion strategies in launching and managing their WeChat mini programs.
- The services provided by different travel-related WeChat mini programs are also distinctive, and some of them focus on the recommendation of travel plan, some focus on the share of travel notes, and some others focus on the ticket-booking services.
Want to learn more about WeChat mini program, and how your brand can leverage your e-commerce and brand precense in WeChat min program, contact us!
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.