How Peninsula Hotels Used WeChat’s Mini Program to Boost Mooncake Sales

 What:

To celebrate the upcoming Autumn Festival on September 15, Peninsula offered its followers the chance to pre-order mooncakes exclusively on their newly launched mini program. Within 24 hours of the launch of Peninsula’s Mini program, more than $20,000 worth of products were sold, and this was done without any prior promotion or media buying.

On August 1, Peninsula Beijing launched its first mini-program, an e-commerce channel that enables people to shop within the messaging app WeChat. In addition, the shop features various products and hotel services to make their customers’ stay more convenient. Its offerings include dessert, chocolate and even a spa treatment.

High points:

According to Peninsula’s communications director, Cathie Yang, mooncakes are their signature offering and are always in hot demand. But this year, apparently benefiting from the launch of the mini-program, they have seen an acceleration of sales.

“The WeChat mini program fits consumer behavior in China and is likely to initiate impulse buying,” Cathie said, noting the difference between in-store sales, which they have done previously, and the new change. Her observations fit the industry trend. According to a joint report by Tmall and CBN Data, in 2010, only a quarter of the luxury handbag purchasing decisions were made within a day, and now half of the buying decision is made within a day.

Based on their market research, Yang told us, Peninsula hotel is the first luxury hotel in Beijing to deploy a sales strategy using the mini program.

What made Peninsula’s mini program stand out was its customer relationship management (CRM). It not only enabled the company to collect rich data such as users location, gender, and product interest but allowed the business to link all data with direct sales, measuring exactly who the customers  are with potential customers browsing the product.

Photo: Curiosity China/website

Here is how it worked:

Peninsula’s mini-program details their offerings in English and Chinese, and it only supports WeChat pay. After placing the order, customers only have the option of picking the order up in the store. “On the way to the pickup location, they will walk through our hotel,” said Yang. “This is important to create a sense of an inviting atmosphere for the consumers.”  Yang emphasized the importance of delivering an offline experience in a promotional campaign like this.

And to active purchase behavior, with the help of CRM data, Peninsula can proceed to a deep segmentation based on multiple criteria such digital behavior, location, language, birthday, recruitment source, social influence among their network etc. From there, they can build an advanced segmentation in order to send the right WeChat message to the right target audience at the right time.

Tips:

1. Start small: From a small product offering like mooncake, Peninsula captured the information of the customer to help turn them into future spenders of the brand.

2. Push sales-driven and purposeful content: Empowered by the social data from WeChat CRM, brands can reach beyond WeChat, for one-on-one communication. It can enable personalized shopping for a process similar to shopping on Amazon.

3. Make use of WeChat’s natural ecosystem: Combining the data from a CRM system, and pushing content based on that data can drive direct sales on the mini program. 

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