Would you buy a car on WeChat? Well, 100 people just did exactly that a few days ago (July 22nd). Read on to find out all the details of one of the most interesting WeChat ecommerce case studies to date: How were the cars sold? What sales techniques did they use? Why would anyone want to buy a car on WeChat anyway?
Above: The WeChat sales mini-site
The cars sold were 100 limited edition bright turquoise MINI Coopers (see picture above). Each car having the recommended sales price of 285,000 RMB ($42,215). They were sold via the WeChat account of mega popular fashion blogger Becky Li (黎贝卡), picture below.
“My fans like me because I’m a regular girl. I’m not a model.” said Becky Li in a recent interview.
Becky Li has garnered the nickname mai shen (买神), or “Buying Goddess” in China due to her super loyal following (mostly on WeChat) that are happy to throw their hard earned money at whatever she recommends.
Above: What it looks like when Becky Li endorses your brand in China
I’ve written before about influencer or KOL (Key Opinion Leader) WeChat ecommerce with a detailed case study (article here) looking into the case this February of Givenchy selling 1.2 million’s worth of bags on WeChat in 12 minutes.
Above: Each bag was priced at 14,900 RMB (about $2200)
Since then there have been many more case studies of high end fashion brands that are using similar techniques to conduct flash sales on WeChat. There is a clear trend of more and more ecommerce on WeChat (see chart below).
Unfortunately $42,000 is an amount far too high for the many limits on WeChat pay transactions. The customers had to make a deposit of 1,999 RMB ($300 roughly). With a dealer then contacting them to complete the purchase.
Above: Becky Li’s WeChat blog
But what really caught my eye with this particular case study is that she’s selling cars. Stop and think about that. This is a fashion blogger selling cars through a messaging platform! In fact for much of the article introducing the special sale, Becky Li wrote mostly about the color blue with pictures of different blue dresses.
For her impulsive followers, she evoked their emotion by quoting a review from a follower who was a full-time mother. For her rational followers, she listed the practical features and functions, and subtly slipped in a celebrity testimonial. For those pursing lifestyle purchases she threw in an exclusive hand-over ceremony and cocktail party.
Something has changed in the Chinese consumer’s mind when they are willing and comfortable to make purchases like this on WeChat. WeChat ecommerce is often impulsive and emotionally driven. It seems to be the complete opposite of the very careful decision making required when chosing a big ticket item such as a car. China is leading the world in online selling and I think there are going to be some good wins out there in the 2nd half of 2017 for companies that want to try something creative.