The growth horizons of WeChat’s mini-programs are becoming increasingly defined. Gaming, traveling and shopping programs have been firmly established as the leading categories. The “instant use and go” ideology is also apparent. Compared to traditional mobile apps, the average time spent is far less.
In creating a new niche for mini-programs, internet companies have advantages over traditional businesses. In June 2018, the top mini-program in travel booking of trains, air tickets, and hotels saw over 100 million monthly active users (MAUs). There were 80 million MAUs for Jingdong WeChat Mini-Program, 50 million from Mobike, and 40 million Maoyan, Dianping, Pinduoduo, and Meituan.
In comparison, the top performer among traditional businesses, Wangka Helper (which is technically in collaboration with Tencent) had only 47 million MAUs. This number is followed by 37 million MAU for Mengniu Dairy mini-program, 25 million for KFC, 13 million for McDonald’s, and 11 million for iMcDonald’s Ordering mini-program.
WeChat Mini-Programs have shown its value in the following three areas: enhancing marketing through precise user targeting, initiation and opening of apps, and connecting with the offline through smart devices and user scenarios.
In the future, WeChat can be expected to expand its basic functions. There will be more innovations to watch for in these three areas.
Trend 1: Reaching segmented users by WeChat Mini-Programs
Businesses are trending towards detailed segmentation of consumers. Compared to traditional apps, mini-programs are more suitable to this task.
Ways to reach users include the extension of current mobile services, continuing the current brand positioning and providing specialized services or developing specialized mini-programs for different segments.
Trend 2: Mini-programs will become a necessary part of the marketing mix for traditional businesses
Mini-programs can be incorporated into traditional marketing schemes by connecting online and offline events, combining user management with marketing information, acting as a stand-alone e-commerce platform, and integrating offline promotions with marketing through social media.
Trend 3: Mini-programs will become a quick way to connect with smart hardware
Mijia, the new home appliance line by Xiaomi, is a good example. Its use of mini-programs is becoming increasingly welcomed by consumers.
This article is an excerpt from CIW eBook: WeChat Mini-Programs – Marketing, conversions, and integration