WeChat Takes a Jab on eCommerce and Live Streaming Features

If you want to upgrade your digital marketing efforts on WeChat, read further about these recent updates.

The fact is, Taobao and JD.com are the major players in the eCommerce space. Meanwhile, Douyin and Kuaishou have won the hearts of the younger generation, being on top of short video apps. However, recently, WeChat has beefed up its app to make sure it’s still in the spotlight.

Say hello to mini-shops and live streaming upgrades. In this article, you’ll learn more about key features, benefits for brands, and others.

WeChat live streaming features for brands

WeChat live streaming is not in the Discover section, but it’s in the mini-programs. One reason it’s not yet an integral function in the app is because of usage compatibility. Live streaming requires focus and time for users to watch videos, whereas WeChat is more than that.

WeChat is an ecosystem with a host of features that require quick actions on online transactions such as banking, shopping, booking tickets, paying bills, and more. However, now that live streaming is available in mini-programs, brands, organizations, and influencers can use it to engage with their followers.

Here are the benefits for brands using live streaming:

  • Leverage on word-of-mouth — unlike Taobao and JD.com with robust live streaming platforms for exposure, WeChat relies heavily on social network centricity. Users receive incentives as they join and share content with personal connections.
  • More interaction and engagement — prompts customers to buy with urgency as brands infused with eCommerce features during live interactions.
  • Unified ecosystem — brands can keep track of all WeChat activities in a connected ecosystem, from paid media to mini-programs, data, and eCommerce payments.

WeChat mini shops to attract merchants

WeChat offers merchants an opportunity to build virtual stores with its mini shops. Merchants and businesses can sign up to explore the features to get started. What’s great with these mini shops is it supports live streaming, allowing companies to sell virtually and on the spot.

Unlike Taobao or JD.com that has centralized eCommerce systems, WeChat relies on its proprietary technology and aims to target small businesses. WeChat offers mini-programs that allow brands to integrate stores and other customizations. However, brands need to hire developers to incorporate unique features into the mini-programs.

Here are the benefits of mini shops:

  • No service charges — WeChat won’t charge merchants when they open an account, and no service charges.
  • Basic eCommerce features — supports order management system, logistics, transactions, and after-sales support.
  • Access to unified data and analytics — it helps merchants understand consumers’ behavior to increase more sales. With unified data, for instance, WeChat can suggest related products that will interest shoppers based on previous transactions.

Conclusion

WeChat’s strength is a unified ecosystem where users can almost do anything and everything within the app. Live streaming isn’t an integral function of the app, unlike Douyin or Taobao. But these additional features that are business-centric unlock opportunities for small businesses to set up their shops virtually without shelling a tremendous amount of money.

What do you think of live streaming and WeChat mini-shops? Are you willing to try it?


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