WeChat Mini Program
Mini program or some people call it Mini App, is a new function of WeChat. Launched in January 2017, mini programs have similar functions as native Apps, but they are hosted within WeChat App. Mini programs have a number of significant advantages over native apps, as well as complementary features to WeChat official verified accounts, either service type of subscription type.
Benefits and Advantages
Easy access – Users can access mini programs by scanning a QR code, by searching for their service name on WeChat, or by clicking on a link shared by friends. Once opened, mini programs will are automatically saved under the mini programs folder.
Speed – Mini programs run faster than Apps.
No download/Install – They takes far less room on a user’s phone because they do not require download and install. For example, Ctrip’s streamlined mini program is just 1MB, compared to 114.6MB for the full-function app.
Searchable – They’re also easy to find directly through WeChat they work on any kind of smartphone.
Lower cost and less time to develop – Mini programs takes half of the time needed to develop an App, saving money and time.
Flexibility on what you can build for your user – They provide massive flexibility for any WeChat official verified account’s manager who has development capability.
Native apps require both iOS and Android versions, as well as testing, but mini programs do not.
Better UI. They load much faster than HTML5 pages, so they run more smoothly and are easier to navigate.
Pinable at phone home screen or on top inside WeChat App. A mini program can work concurrently with other WeChat functions, as it becomes a standalone page that can be pinned to the home screen, acting in effect as a native app. The huge advantage here is that users can check their WeChat messages without having to retrieve the mini-program page afterward.
Mini programs are very strong when it comes to promoting online to offline activities. For example, a retail company can create a mini program for each individual shop, with the address, contact information, coupons and membership cards. Users can then search these mini programs through the ‘mini programs nearby’ LBS function, allowing them to find nearby shops and look at what kind of promotions and products they have there. Mini programs can be used to sell directly as an e-commerce program.
On the other hand, businesses can also encourage offline to online use by providing WeChat users at an event or shop with QR codes that will then open the mini program on the users’ phones.
Mini programs can be used as an ecommerce platform, as they already are by luxury brands like Lane Crawford. This can complement companies with content-driven subscription accounts by giving them a good monetization opportunity. In terms of travel, review sites like Qyer or Mafengwo can now use mini programs to sell travel products, while keeping their subscription accounts content-focused. At the same time, mini programs can drive sales campaigns with promotion and coupons.
Application in travel industry
WeChat mini programs can provide a good complement to subscription accounts, as they can be used to sell products directly. Like mobile apps, mini programs can also support bookings, check in and other travel services, and they are already being used by travel brands like Booking.com, Huazhu Hotels and Spring Airlines.
Canadian national park, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism has been one of the first overseas travel destinations to launch a WeChat mini program. This mini program serves as an interactive, digital brochure to help visitors keep up to date with the park’s activities, and it is promoted on Banff’s WeChat account. Users have access to a directory with quick links to activities, restaurants, accommodation, shopping, attractions and more useful information, and they can also create and save itineraries. An LBS function provides location-based recommendations for visitors at the destination, which helps local providers to reach a Chinese audience. A map function and photos of attractions, restaurants and other destinations allow visitors to visualize and plan their time at Banff and Lake Louise most effectively.
Tencent is very focused on making this function a success. WeChatApply has already seen more and more applications of these programs for a varieties of sectors. WeChatApply development team has successfully helped a number of Clients to achieve this function in the last 6 months. With so much potential, as well as relatively quick and easy development compared to native apps, WeChat mini programs are a promising new area for digital marketing in China.
Wechatapply is an award winning China WeChat digital marketing agency based in Sydney.Working across all aspects of the marketing solutions like WeChat promotion, WeChat Official Account Registration, WeChat KOL, WeChat Mini Program Ad. and so on, we will ensure you have a solid marketing strategy together with perfectly delivered campaigns. Wechatapply will transform your China online marketing to increase your lead generation, brand awareness and market engagement.