New follower growth is great, but wouldn't you agree that, at the end of the day, what really matters is user engagement, conversion, and retention?
If your answer is yes, then, what if I told you there were some simple ways that you could easily improve these three key metrics?
Our newest report, the ChatLabs WeChat Initial Touchpoint Optimization Guide, does just that, introducing the five core initial consumer touchpoints that a follower will engage with within the first week of following a brand’s WeChat Official Account and teaching you how to optimize each of those touchpoints on your own brand account.
This report includes findings from original research done by ChatLabs drawing on data from 67 beauty brand WeChat Accounts, and shares real life examples illustrating each touchpoint.
While the examples in the report are from beauty brands, the content and tactics are relevant for nearly any industry.
No time to read a report? Scroll down for a basic overview of the five key touchpoints.
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KPI: Improve user acquisition
WeChat Search is one of the main channels through which users can find and follow your brand’s account. Just like you want to appear at the top of Google search results, on WeChat Search you want to make a good first impression and make it easy for users to find your brand’s Official Account and mini programs.
To have optimal search results, three main criteria you should consider are:
- Is your account ID optimized?
- Are your mini programs linked at the top of search results?
- Do you have a Brand Zone set up?
Without these three things, the search results can appear messy and your account may be hard to find. Third-party content about your brand may even appear higher than brand content on the search page.
Alternatively, setting up a Brand Zone and optimizing WeChat content can help increase a brand’s index results, provide a cleaner, more appealing design, and ensure easy access to your brand’s Official Account, mini programs, customer service, and more.
Despite the importance of a Brand Zone, our research found that only 19.5% of the beauty brands we looked at had one - a surprising figure.
KPIs: Increased account bindings and conversions, decreased unfollow rate
During the first 48 hours after someone follows a WeChat Official Service Account, the account can send that user an unlimited number of messages and content, meaning that brands can create customer journeys similar to an automated email sequence.
What’s more, this series of messages can be customized depending on how that person entered the account or based on whether they are a customer or loyalty member.
The responses and engagement with this series of messages help the brand tag the user, group them, and know which type of content to send them, as well as drive the user to take immediate action such as making a purchase or joining a loyalty program.
To improve their 48-hour journeys, the four main criteria brands should assess are:
- How many messages are you sending to users within the first 48 hours
- Does your welcome journey have personalized content?
- Is your journey interactive?
- Does the journey encourage and incentivize users to bind their ID or PII?
48-hour journeys can be customized depending on how the new user entered the account, based on whether they are a customer or loyalty member, as well as other criteria. Since personalized journeys are more relevant, they are more effective at driving engagement, however, despite the benefits, only 12% of the accounts we reviewed had personalized journeys set up.
The Menu Bar
KPIs: Increased engagement rate, account bindings, and repeat visits
It may seem like common sense, but the most important elements of a good menu are:
- Useful functions that match the purpose of the account
- Logical layout and clear categorization
As a Service Account, your main purpose is to provide services to your customers, therefore you want to make sure that your key services are easy and intuitive to find.
In addition to creating a clear, logical layout, brands should consider these three things:
- Does your menu drive people to join your membership program and bind their WeChat ID and PII?
- Does your menu include at least one mini program?
- Does your menu provide access to customer support?
Number three is especially important. As the name implies, one of the key things a Service Account should offer is easy access to customer service, yet only 50% of the accounts we reviewed included customer service in their menus.
KPIs: Increase loyalty, decrease unfollow rate
As we just mentioned, customer service is one of the main things users are seeking when they follow or interact with your brand’s Official Account, yet many brands are still severely lacking in this area.
While a combination of live support and custom chatbots will generate the most customer satisfaction, there are actually a number of different ways brands can improve their customer service offerings. Some key criteria to look at:
- Have you set up general autoresponders?
- Do you have a GPS store finder?
- Do you have commerce-specific autoresponders?
- Do you offer in-account live support?
- Is customer support accessible through your menu?
- Do you have a customer service mini program?
Setting up both general and commerce-specific autoresponders is an easy way to immediately answer users’ most frequently asked questions while simultaneously reducing your service team’s workload, yet we were surprised that only 54% of brands we looked at had general autoresponders and only 17% had commerce autoresponders.
This is a low-hanging fruit that many brands could improve on!
KPIs: Increase conversions and repeat purchases, decrease friction
As consumers have become increasingly comfortable purchasing products and services through WeChat, one of the main things they look for when following an Official Account is easy access to your brand’s store and special product offerings.
Brands who don’t provide direct access to e-commerce within WeChat and cause followers to leave the WeChat ecosystem to purchase products will not only miss out on sales opportunities, but will also lose the ability to use consumer purchase data to retarget them and drive repeat purchases.
To create the most seamless shopping experience possible, brands should consider these criteria:
- First and foremost, does your brand offer e-commerce through your Official Account? (a mini program shop is best, but an H5 store or link to JD.com is better than not liking to e-commerce)
- Do you offer WeChat Pay?
- Does your e-commerce store allow users to easily buy on WeChat then pick up offline?
- Can consumers sign up to receive a free trial or sample?
- Do you offer additional features such as virtual AR product try-on, lucky draw games, registration for offline skin test appointments, etc. that engage the consumer and aim to drive sales?
Mini programs shops have become the norm in China and with beauty brands tending to be early adopters of new digital technology and platforms, we weren’t surprised to see that 66% of the brands we looked at offered mini program stores. However, what was surprising was that, at the time of our research, none of these brands offered offline pick-up, and less than 25% offered free samples.
To get a full breakdown of the brands we reviewed as well and in-depth explanations of these key touchpoints and criteria with real examples, be sure to download the full report and sign up for our corresponding webinar taking place on March 31st.