by Ker Zheng
As we mentioned in our previous blog post on travel retail WeChat selling, companies such as DFS Group are setting up WeChat mini-program stores to cater to visiting Chinese tourists.
Chinese tourists can now reserve and pay for their goods online, and pick them up at a designated offline retail store.
King Power Duty Free, Thailand's largest duty-free chain, has developed its own WeChat mini-program store to cater to Chinese tourists. King Power has nine stores in Thailand and over half of its revenues come from Chinese tourists.
The only difference with King Power's mini-program store is that tourists have to pick up their products at stores in Thailand's airports.
A King Power Duty Free Store
King Power on WeChat
Tourists can search for King Power in WeChat and can either go directly to the mini-program store, or click on the link in its Official Account.
Here's a brief snapshot of Kingpower's Official Account, how it links to its Mini-Program, and some of the brands and products it sells on its mini-program.
King Power's WeChat Official Account and Mini-Program Store
Note that it sells top brands such as L'Oreal, Estee Lauder, M.A.C., and La Mer. Beauty and cosmetics are some of the most popular categories for travel retail given the high import taxes on them in China.
Buying on King Power's WeChat Mini-Program Store
Next, we take a look at how the payment process works. Note that users have to fill in their flight and passport details to qualify for duty-free items.
Checkout Process on King Power's Mini-Program Store
In step 4, the diagram also demonstrates where the customer can pick up his products. In step 5, the customer just has to confirm and pay by WeChat Pay.
After that, they can pick up the item at the airport duty-free store.
Why Selling on WeChat Mini-Programs is Important
Mini-programs for travel retail are important for a few reasons:
- It shows dedication to the Chinese customer experience
- Retailers can pay for WeChat ads to market to Chinese tourists before they even arrive in the country
- Mini-program stores give more time for the customer to browse and select products. This way they don't feel rushed the way they would at an airport before getting on a flight
- Customers don't have to deal with long lines or become frustrated with sold-out inventory at an offline retail store
- Customers can pay online with WeChat Pay without having to switch currencies.
WeChat mini-programs give retailers the opportunity to provide a better customer experience for the Chinese customer.
Since retailers tend to sell the same brands and products that other retailers do, they can choose either to compete on price or customer experience.
Creating a better customer experience prevents one from having to rely on price wars to survive.
In the world of travel retail, the customer experience is oftentimes rushed and fragmented, because customers have to visit different venues and have a limited amount of time to browse and shop.
Setting up a WeChat mini-program store where they can avoid the hassles of shopping offline and complete transactions online can make customers' lives a lot easier.