The digital intelligence company has released an insight report, Beauty China: WeChat, which reveals that WeChat offers companies key opportunities for brand loyalty programmes, commerce channels, virtual wallets and media platforms.
Globally, the platform now boasts 1.1 billion accounts and nearly 700 million active monthly users, and this is seeing a growth rate of 39% year-on-year. 96% of L2’s Index Beauty list of brands are present on the platform, according to the report.
L2, though, suggests beauty players are not making the most of this major branding opportunity, particularly when it comes to the customer service and ecommerce opportunities offered by the platform.
“Less than a third of brands offer in-app Live Chat or a geolocal store locator; only 20% of beauty brands host a WeChat Store or offer in-app payments,” the report states.
Loyalty in focus
One area in which the beauty industry is making strong headway is the platform’s scope for brand loyalty programmes: indeed, 59% of brands support in-app loyalty programmes on WeChat, with the figure rising to 80% when considering domestic Chinese brands only.
Clinique and L’Oreal are the two key western brands singled out by the report for offering a strong, well-connected loyalty programme on the platform, linking through to their other digital outlets (including brand apps and Tmall stores) to offer maximum connectivity.
Currently, a major hurdle for brands looking to make a splash on the platform is the low level of visibility most posts on the site reach: the average beauty brand post garners just 8,000 views and 50 likes, the report reveals.
That said, some companies are performing much better than others: 72% of Mary Kay’s posts enjoyed over 50,000 views on the platform between May and June last year, compared to just 12% of posts from Olay.
L2 notes that despite the hurdles, beauty brands should keep making strides to develop their presence on the platform, which it tips to become an increasingly dominant branding and ecommerce force for beauty in China.
“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,” the report predicts.