How do you sell 1.2 Million RMB’s worth of merchandise in 12 minutes on WeChat? That’s the question we’re going to answer today with a detailed case study of a super successful online sales promotion that happened just 3 days ago on WeChat. Read on to find out: What was the promotion? Which WeChat sales techniques did they use? Can I use any of these techniques to sell stuff on WeChat?
Tao Liang is a Chinese niche blogger. He blogs about handbags on his WeChat subscription account, under the name ‘Mr.Bags’.
Mr. Bags together with Chinese mega star Fan BingBing wearing a very silly fashionable hat
Mr Bags has been built up a loyal readership on his WeChat account (WeChat ID: bagsbaoxiansheng), with an estimated 1.2 million followers (Source: Newrank). He’s actually been active on Chinese social media since 2011 starting to build a following on his RenRenWang（人人网）account (RenRenWang used to be the ‘The Facebook of China’ in what now seems to be a long distant past).
Above: Mr.Bag’s WeChat account
3 days ago, Mr. Bags published a WeChat article announcing a promotion together with French luxury brand Givenchy to sell an exclusive limited edition of 80 pink handbags. The handbags each of which was priced at an eye-watering 14,900 RMB ($2,170) sold out in 12 minutes netting a cool 1.192 million RMB ($173,652).
Above: The $2,170 Givenchy hand bag
Above: 30 RMB ($4.3) handbag on taobao. To me there’s not that much difference, but then I’m not a woman ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What techniques did they use and why do they work?
1. Chinese follow and trust social influencers a LOT
Mr.Bags is a typical example of a Chinese niche influencer (KOL: key opinion leader). Chinese trust and look to influencers to provide reliable and authentic information a lot more than in other countries due to a variety of factors. Using KOLs to sell in China has been a trend for years.
Screenshots of the promotional store order page
2. Limited edition
Only 80 bags went on sell. A number low enough to guarantee bragging rights for those who did manage to snatch one. 8 is of course a lucky number in China.
3. Limited time
The promotion stressed time as a key factor.
Translation: Once you enter the payments page the system will only reserve your order for 15 mins. So fill in your information as quick as possible. Your name + phone + ID card no. (N.B. 1 ID card no. canonly order 1 valentine’s bag).
The store to buy the bags was in the ‘read more’ link at the end of the article. Once the bags were all sold the store page was taken down. Those too late were treated to this stark message:
Too late sucker!
4. Festival tie-in / Gift buying for others
This was a Valentine’s day sale. It’s safe to assume that the majority of the bags were bought by men for their girlfriends / wives / mistresses (probably mistresses). The title of the promotional post is perfect for girls to post on their moments.
Chinese: For Valentine’s this year, this is the right kind of bag to buy for your girl!
Promotions build around buying things for others work well on WeChat as they leverage the social nature of the platform.
5. Social proof
In the launch article Mr. Bags made sure to remind his readers of the famous people who buy Givenchybags.
The pricing was high enough to match the bag’s exclusivity but not too high for WeChat. The transactional and daily limits on the amount spend on WeChat are set by the bank card linked to your account. Below are a table of the limits:
W = 10,000RMB (一万）
It’s an exciting time for those wanting to sell on WeChat. WeChat ecommerce has really taken off over the past year. Number of ecommerce purchases on the platform doubled last year!
And as long as young Chinese women keep loving to show off, it’s safe to say that promotions like this will become increasingly common. There’s money to be made on WeChat!