Editor’s note: Ahead of JD.com’s annual online shopping festival “618”, its business partner Tencent launched a new feature on WeChat, China’s most popular social media platform, that allows users to directly purchase products listed on JD.com without leaving the app. The timely move that is set to boost the sales of the shopping festival this year also demonstrates Tencent’s ambition in social e-commerce. This story was first published on Technode.
WeChat has launched a new shopping function that lets people shop on JD.com with just a few taps. Now simply by entering consumer product related keywords into the search box at the top of the WeChat homepage or the search function in the “Discover” tab, top search results popping up are product pages JD.com.
We tried entering different keywords like “mobile phone,” “shoes,” and “napkins,” and the results all linked to JD.com shopping site. Through WeChat shopping entry point, users can win “random cashback on purchases.” Under each product results, there is a disclaimer that reads “JD.com Genuine Product Guarantee.”
The shopping function, however, works on clear and unambiguous keywords and but not queries or more complex phrases. According to a PingWest report, the shopping results didn’t appear when entering the query “which one is better, Mentholatum or NIVEA?” or the keywords “book on artificial intelligence.”
JD.com and WeChat strong ties can be traced back to March of 2014 when Tencent invested $215 million in JD.com for a 15 percent stake. The marriage between social channels and e-commerce has been going strong. JD Kepler Mini Program Solution, launched last year, offers brands the resources they need to operate WeChat Mini Program stores. Earlier this year, the messaging app teamed up with JD.com and Meili and launched WeShop (our translation; 微选 in Chinese), a mobile marketplace embedded in WeChat powered by mini-programs, for public beta. The WeShop platform allows JD.com to leverage huge volume of traffic coming through the WeChat shopping entry point.
On top of the new shopping function, WeChat also quietly rolled out another new Red Packet feature called “Relative Card” (亲属卡 in Chinese) in anticipation for Father’s Day. The Relative Card that lets users send a Red Packet to their parents or children a that automatically charge the purchases on the user’s account. Users can set up to 4 dedicated Relative Card accounts for their loved ones and set a monthly limit to the gift card.