Virtual WeChat membership cards are becoming increasingly popular in China as more and more businesses and consumers realize the benefits. A few days ago WeChat announced a big upgrade to the membership card features available for official accounts. Today we’ll guide you through the updates and take a look at how the new membership cards work on WeChat.
What are WeChat membership cards?
They’re just virtual versions of the traditional physical member’s card. Businesses use VIP or member’s cards to reward you with benefits for being a loyal repeat customer. Taking these cards and making them virtual through WeChat has several benefits:
- No need to carry the card in your wallet.
- Virtual cards can’t be lost.
- Can easily check your points or purchase history any time on your phone.
- Can easily share special offers and discounts with your friends through WeChat.
For businesses the benefits of cost savings can also be significant. The new style WeChat membership cards are stored under Me>Cards & Passes. Which used to be called Coupons before.
If you don’t use WeChat coupons or membership cards then you might easily find this section empty. Below is what it will look like once it fills up a little:
Coupons and membership cards are placed together. They both serve the purpose of saving you money. Once you open a new style WeChat membership card it will look like this…
If you want to test out a sample new style membership card then long press the QR code below and select ‘Extract QR code’.
Improvements of the new style membership cards over WeChat’s previous offerings:
- Tailored design: Card images can be fully customized.
- Support for English language.
- Payments options expanded: Payments can now be activated through H5 pages.
- Status notifications: Users will be able to receive changes of membership status notifications, sent out through the official account or via service messages.
- Tagging: Allows segmented messaging to members.
- CRM integration: Support for synchronization of WeChat membership card with existing CRM systems (coming soon).
7 Days Inn’s new VIP card
Users can gain access to the cards in several ways:
- By scanning a QR code (in store for example).
- Cards can be embedded directly within an article.
- From an official account’s menu button.
- Sent directly through an official account as a push message.
Conclusion / Analysis
For some time now many companies and brands have been implementing loyalty / VIP membership cards on WeChat. They are mostly using platforms and tools developed by third party developers. Read our restaurant case study written last year here.
Lots of official accounts use membership cards. They’re an excellent tool for providing value to followers. WeChat has made a big step forward in providing better tools to do these cards directly through the WeChat official accounts platform.
A related change announced by WeChat today was that discount coupons can now be embedded within moments advertisements. See the Pizza Hut example below. Its clear there is currently a significant push by WeChat to improve the tools available to brands to provide benefits to their customers.