Only launched four years ago, in 2011, WeChat already recorded 1.12 billion account and proclaims to be the first mobile application “social” in 70 countries and regions. Launched to take the place of Whatsapp in China, the application has quickly developed a multitude of functions to give to its members easier access and more social connection between them. In the Food and Beverage side, WeChat plays on the opportunity to project restaurant online, with features that facilitate its creation.
To begin, to create the official brand account build the basic structure of your restaurant you want to promote on WeChat. You have two choices: the “subscription” account or the “service account”. The first gives you the right to send your followers an article per day (in a sub category), while the second authorizes you only 4 articles per month, but your members will see them directly through their conversation lists. For restaurants, it is still best to choose the service account in order to enjoy all the features of the account.
Customizing your platform
So once you have your WeChat platform, you have the opportunity to customize it. But again, several choices are available. In fact, you may decide to customize your account by your own, or through customizable prefabricated “kits”. A bit like WordPress for websites.
However, in most accounts officiales WeChat, several features can be found. Here are some:
So you have updated your address, contact number, and wrote some articles? Now you can add a category to upload your menu. Chinese customers need to be reassured before deciding to make a meal in a restaurant. Generally, the knowledge in foreign cuisine does not allow most of Chinese people to recognize a dish by its name. So feel free to add a photo of the dishes that you add to your WeChat.
So you have your online menu, so why not to provide a delivery service? While this feature is not yet widespread, large restaurant groups have already set it up for the enjoyment of their guests. KFC for example allows its WeChat followers to order their meals and to deliver them to the GPS location. Cool news for foreigners who do not write Chinese, right?
Get WiFi by subscribing to account WeChat
I went down to buy a coffee in a Chinese coffee shop (I had no choice …). To my surprise, when I asked the Wifi password, they asked me to follow their WeChat account to access the Internet. It was then the first time I met this kind of system. Today, many restaurateurs have set up this process that “push” customers to follow an account in order to get some things in return. Some therefore provide Internet access, others propose to offer you free gifts, such as desserts, cakes, etc.
WeChat Shop alias Wedian (微店)
Basically, you can sell your products directly from your WeChat account. A bit like Taobao or JD.COM, WeChat targets the online sales on mobile phones. Not really popular at the moment, the probability that this function becomes popular remains high. Note that the transaction costs via WeChat payment represents one of the cheapest on the market …
And the best known, the loyalty program
Do you remember when you were collecting so many “VIP” cards to get discounts? This time is over. WeChat allows you to integrate the loyalty card system on the WeChat account, where every account will correspond to a different card. This system will be integrated to your POS machine so you can monitor, analyze, and accept the cards.