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Among sectors in the luxury industry active on WeChat, the one that seems to have seen the most early adopters of the messaging app and its technology updates is beauty, and a new report by digital intelligence firm L2 details which brands are showing the most digital prowess.
The “Beauty China: WeChat” report finds that the app is mainly used as a “branding platform” for this sector as brands take advantage of its programming features. With 73 percent of beauty labels relying on four-post-a-month service accounts (rather than subscription, which allows one a day), this sector is particularly active with a focus on new campaigns to encourage user engagement.
A total of 51 percent of the brands incorporate sampling, while the same percentage utilizes gamification in their WeChat accounts to engage followers. For example, the report highlights Estée Lauder’s “EyeQ” campaign, which featured an interactive “diary” of supermodel Liu Wen highlighting her favorite products and gave readers the chance to complete a quiz to win a gift.
Many beauty brands are also utilizing the app for CRM, with a total of 59 percent of them featuring WeChat loyalty programs. One of the best loyalty programs, according to the report, is that of L’Oréal Paris, which is featured in a report case study. As one of the most active beauty brands on the app, L’Oréal offers fans a loyalty program that spans its WeChat account, website, Tmall shop, and mobile app, rewarding fans with points for both online and offline purchase.
The report notes that Chinese beauty brands tend to have the most robust WeChat accounts, with 80 percent featuring a loyalty program—compared to less than half of Western brands. In addition, Chinese brands are better at integrating WeChat into their existing loyalty program while also connecting it to their Tmall shop. Clinique is listed as another Western brand with a strong loyalty program, allowing fans to earn points through interacting with the account.
When it comes to e-commerce on WeChat, L’Oréal and Benefit stand out among the pack of foreign brands, which is one area where L2 finds beauty brands are lagging. The brand is among only 20 percent of beauty companies to host a WeChat store or offer WeChat payment, despite the fact that “there are indications” that a WeChat store “should be considered along with brand sites and e-tailer platforms as central to any China e-commerce strategy,” says the report.