Are WeChat mini programs the new traffic source?

Jing Zhou

Over half a year, WeChat mini program has gradually faded away from the center of public attention into insignificance. However, recently the WeChat mini program team released a series of updates of mini programs on a regular basis:


On May 8, WeChat mini program opened group-related features. 

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On May 10, scanning for nearby mini program was launched. 

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On May 12, mini program data assistant was released. 

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On May 19, the forwarding button could be deployed and more enriched the basic functions.

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On May 27, the number limit of how mini program QR codes can be generated was removed. Data (including the addition of new “user portraits” and template information updates) analysis was optimized.

On June 1, mini program could be opened via links in public account posts. 

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On June 3, ‘promotion’ feature was added, which supports customary keywords. 

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Half year to date, WeChat mini program has been under questioning: Its customer acquisition is inferior to public accounts; user experience is not as good as ‘real’ native apps. Furthermore, it is left in a small spot within the WeChat ecosystem. Neither can it create value for WeChat traffic, nor can it be converted to profit. Is there a means to an end of this mini program development? But this time round, WeChat seems to be answering it head on.

Social contact, Content, and Commerce are among the three core functions of WeChat. Messages, public accounts and the payment/transaction “plug-in” have been the carriers for the three core functions.

The significance of public accounts to WeChat, is no less than the whole Web is to Baidu. What is most important for public accounts boils down to two factors: Spread brand influence through fandom, and monetization.


How to embrace the power of the WeChat mini program? 

  • Enable public accounts with richer functions, thereby gaining new competitive edges.Through intensive development, the WeChat mini program enables public accounts with more function. Aside from “media content”, they can push forward with functions such as local e- commerce, useful tools and immersive media, etc. These features can give far greater advantages and free space to WeChat public accounts in a resilient fight for online traffic.


  • Explore new traffic sources for public accounts“Search”, “Top stories” and “Nearby mini program” become traffic sources. So even if your public account is only subscribed by only a small number of followers, it can still be found by more users from the way of location-based algorithms.


  • Make public account more profitable by more meansContent e-commerce is made possible through public account + mini program store. Even if the public account operators do not have their own store, they can also allow access to other stores’ WeChat mini program, such as some well-known brands. This approach is far more reliable than to start their own WeChat stores.What is most important comes to this third point. The potential mini program released an unlimited number of mini program QR codes, more powerful user portraits and more volatile data analysis… So, what is the point of this? If you haven’t already guessed it then here you go read on.


WeChat mini program monetization in three ways:


  • Content e-CommerceWith QR codes embedded in public account posts, users scan to immediately enter the purchase and payment interface, and buy the product from the brand that the public account operates or promotes.The mini program QR code has been nearly infinite, and it is perfectly possible to give any public account one specific QR code.Data analysis of the WeChat mini program is rapidly improving, and it is possible to evaluate its effect over time.So as a brand-owner you can cooperate with a batch of public accounts. Each public account has one mini program QR code which acts as an ID for the specific account. The incoming traffic and conversion can all be perceived in a panoramic view. All these combined; KPI tracking for advertisement cannot be simpler.


  • Managing Local PromotionsSimilarly, the WeChat mini program QR code can be applied to off-line channels quickly as well. A QR code for the sales team, or even a QR code for a specific salesman. Traffic acquisition and conversion cannot be clearer at a glance.


  • Group OperatingThe WeChat group has always been a weak point for WeChat. Nine out of ten groups are meant to be faded out and they really struggle to stay active (if you use WeChat then you’ll know what this means).But the mini program creates a new widespread space for activating groups, as it can grab information from these groups. The WeChat community is sure to be at play with these new innovations in what is already a successful platform. Different groups, different marketing effects and different ways for sales conversion, all of which can be assessed.It can be expected that the Content, Local promotion and Group, will be improved with the WeChat mini program data analysis system. On the basis of Content and Community, the WeChat e-commerce is extremely likely to flourish.

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Related reading:

Is WeChat mini programs going to boost WeChat eCommerce?

What Makes a Great WeChat Shop UI/UX Design?


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