Given the saturation of brands in China, consumers are overwhelmed with choices in almost every industry. Businesses are well-aware and work hard to differentiate themselves through various customer-centric strategies. One of which is through loyalty programs, a concept that has taken off in China and has proven effective in its ability to generate sales from returning customers if done correctly. Loyalty programs give brands a competitive advantage and reduce customers’ likelihood of switching stores. According to a survey by The Nielsen Company, seven out of 10 customers claimed they would prefer to buy from a retailer with a loyalty program over one without.
Still, simply having a loyalty program does not automatically bring in new customers or bring back old ones; it requires strategy, consistency and clear communication. Brands with loyalty programs that do well use these programs to better understand their customers and engage with them through a number of different channels. Omnichannel shopping is now a reality for consumers. A successful loyalty program should be consistent across multiple channels, and keep consumers connected to the brand at all touchpoints to offer a seamless experience. In order to do so, businesses are turning to Tencent’s WeChat.
Leveraging WeChat for Rewardable Behaviors.
With over 1.13 billion monthly active users, many businesses see value in integrating their loyalty program into their WeChat official account. Every user on WeChat becomes a potential customer, thanks to the convenience of coupon sharing, mini-program shopping and QR code scanning. New customers, followers, repeat customers and VIP clients can all be rewarded. Especially since WeChat’s social functions are already familiar to users, every interaction is rewardable, including visits, reads, likes and recommendations through sharing.
4 Types of Rewards to Attract Your Customers:
- Coupons: Coupon rewards consist of a discount coupon or a cash coupon that can be deducted from your customer’s next purchase
- Products: Product rewards are giveaways of samples, full-sized products or co-branding products
- Gifts: Gifts and surprises for members can include a birthday or a festival gift. In addition, purchases made on a birthday or a special holiday can receive extra coupons or points as well
- Experiences: Experience rewards can be used to engage your members in-person and online. For example, customization of products; invitations to private offline events, exclusive beauty treatments or lessons; lucky draw to win prizes; new product testing; and regular newsletters
5 Rewardable Behaviors on WeChat:
- Follow and bind: Loyalty binding consists of asking potential customers to proactively link their WeChat Union ID, phone number and Member ID to a WeChat loyalty mini program, enabling the possibility to identify customers among followers. This way, your official account can provide more personalized experiences and capture critical customer data, allowing users to view points and benefits and acquire a virtual loyalty card.
- Complete profile: Members who complete their profile can be rewarded with points or a coupon towards their next purchase. A completed member profile can provide your business with member demographics such as their age, gender and income level; their geographical information; their personal preferences and their purchasing habits. Beauty retailers such as Caudalie and Innisfree all use their members’ date of birth to reward them with birthday benefits, whether it be a gift or a coupon.
- Daily check-in: This rewardable behavior encourages members to check-in to the loyalty program on a regular basis. Doing so, members can receive rewards such as points or daily offers. Beauty brand Inoherb offers their members points for checking into the loyalty program each day. Members can receive one point per daily visit, and an additional seven points for checking in for seven consecutive days.
The check-in feature of Inoherb WeChat Loyalty program.
- Post pictures, comment on a broadcasted post & tag brands on social media: Build stronger relationships and trust among your customers through the use of UGC (User-generated Content). Businesses can fully take advantage of the WeChat Ecosystem to encourage their members to take part in the Official Account and dedicated loyalty Mini Program by leaving a comment or posting pictures of products. Luxury brand YSL loyalty program allowed their members to earn points by commenting on the OA posts and posting pictures with their YSL items. These points can be used towards discounts on future purchases.
YSL beauty members can earn 5 points for each comment on OA posts and extra 10 points for the top comments (5 times per month the maximum).
Besides, more and more brands managed to reward social activities on members’ social media. Kiehl’s recently launched its Christmas campaign “Give Merry. Give Kiehl’s” on the WeChat loyalty program. It encourages members to post pictures of Kiehl’s items, use dedicated campaign hashtag and pin brand on their own social media.
Members upload the screenshots of their social posts on Kiehl's WeChat Loyalty program and earn a gift set depending on the social media platform.
- Share brand events & Invite friends to join: These rewardable behaviors help spread awareness of your brand and upcoming events or products. With a strong culture on word-of-mouth marketing, Chinese consumers are more likely to engage in events or try out a new product if it is shared from someone in their social circle. Points or coupons can be rewarded for sharing. For example, global retailer, Carrefour teamed up with Jamie Oliver during a campaign to fight against food wastage. Members collected stamps to redeem Jamie Oliver branded items such as food storage containers. Members were encouraged to share stamps with friends and family on WeChat to receive additional stamps. The campaign ended as a huge success; Carrefour’s WeChat mini program reached over 14 million members and had over 140 million daily visitors.
In order to thrive in China’s fast-paced omnichannel market, ensure the shopping experience is as smooth and convenient as possible for your customers. Loyalty programs embedded into the most commonly used social app in China, WeChat, is the easiest way to encourage regular use, especially with the help of rewardable behaviors. Rewards can be used to elicit behaviors that help gain further insight on customer data; engage and develop a better relationship with current customers and grow brand awareness through sharing capabilities on WeChat.
With Splio New Loyalty marketing platform, brands can create transactional and relational loyalty programs on WeChat in order to engage customers, drive loyalty and sales.
To get regular insights on how to develop and strengthen your Loyalty strategy in China, scan the QR code to follow us on WeChat!