The rise of WeChat eCommerce in China requires a high-quality, all-around WeChat eCommerce platform to expand your business.
Which WeChat eCommerce platforms are best for your needs? Over the past few years, Weidian and Youzan are two of the most popular 3rd party WeChat eCommerce platforms in China. However, can they really serve my brand well enough? As a whole, are there better WeChat eCommerce solutions for you in the market?
We will start our explanation with the advantages and disadvantages of two of Weidian and Youzan.
Weidian and Youzan: Pros & Cons
1. Easy-to-use dashboard
Both Weidian and Youzan offer quick-to-understand, all-in-one ecommerce dashboard.
For Weidian’s dashboard, the key metrics that you have access to at a glance are revenues,pageviews, visits, and customer messages.
Youzan’s too. Its dashboard can be used to directly edit sites content, to populate sites content, and to manage visual content as well.
Meanwhile, to design/decorate your WeChat store is simple as well. Shown below, you can choose whatever modules you want to add on with image uploading and contents generating.
In general, both of two admin dashboards are clean and easy to use. You can set up your WeChat store and put up new listings in no time. Keep in mind that the back-end dashboard of Weidian and Youzan can only be presented in Chinese.
2. Convenient promotion campaign
One of the greatest features of WeChat eCommerce is your promotion will be more visible/effective since all of your customers are in WeChat ecosystem as well. Hence, marketing and promotion support is essential for your WeChat store back-end.
Both Weidian and Youzan make it really easy to create coupons for your WeChat store, making your prices more attractive to potential buyers.
In Weidian, it takes 3 steps to generate a coupon via the mobile version of its merchant back-end.
Youzan offers way more options. Not only coupon generation, appealing features like group sales, limited time price off, cash backs are also available and easy to use.
With your WeChat public account sending promotional messages/articles, it will be great to get out there and tell the world about your promotion, to help drive more sales for your online store.
3. Merchant service support
Having any question about your admin dashboard? Don’t know where to find the information you want? You can always ask for help on Weidian and Youzan.
More specifically, Weidian offer online chatting merchant support on Monday to Friday, 9 am to 9 pm. If you are using Youzan for your WeChat eCommerce, a merchant manager from Youzan will stay connected with you on WeChat and answer any questions you may have.
4. Lower Cost to Start
Weidian is free to use, with add-on paid features (e.g, latest design template).
Youzan recently start to charge, however the price is fair enough: It starts at 2,600 RMB for 6 months, and 4,800 RMB for a whole year.
The Youzan VIP package costs 80,000 RMB per year, including unique SLD, first try of latest functions and more in-depth API support.
1. Too much control over your WeChat store, financially
Since your store is hosted under one platform, you gotta play by their rules. Very often, the rules will become extremely excessive and leave your little flexibility to run your own business.
To start, your payments will be collected not by yourself. Both Weidian and Youzan will collect the sales payment for you at first; you need to apply to withdraw your own payments, and it will take a few weekdays to transfer from 3rd party to your account.
Moreover, Youzan charges commissions on every order. Starting Oct.1st, 2016, Youzan will charge 0.6% of every order if customers paid through online payment (WeChat Pay, Alipay, Debit/Credit cards).
2. Poor support of cross border eCommerce
If you are looking to pick a best WeChat eCommerce platform to enter China market, most likely Weidian and Youzan will let you down: neither of them supports cross border eCommerce.
The key of expanding business to China through eCommerce is to follow the latest cross border eCommerce policy, and to come up with localized solution. Earlier this year, Chinese government has issued the latest policy, which requires Chinese ID verification for customs registration during order placing. So far this feature is still missing in Youzan’s default functions. You can apply for an cross-border API, but that only works for bonded zone model.
Weidian on the other hand do have “Chinese ID verification for customs registration” options, however that’s everything. If you are still not sure about logistics in China, you are pretty much on your own.
3. Facing increasing competition
Competition is something you cannot avoid. The frustrating thing is: if you choose Weidian, the platform itself will most likely push more competitors towards you.
See the example below: for every Weidian shop, there is a main button that wrotes “Discover”. If your beloved customer click on that, the page will direct them to other merchants in Weidian platform. This default feature can easily drive your customers away.
4. Limit your brand’s future growth
If you choose Weidian or Youzan your customers’ OpenIDs and UnionIDs are collected by platform, not by you.
For those you don’t know: OpenID is an ID of a Wechat personal account when it is following an Wechat Service Account; UnionID is the unique ID of a WeChat user account.
Through UnionIDs, you can achieve your customer’s basic information: name, profile image, order status, order history, etc. UnionIDs and OpenIDs are essential to your WeChat store if you aim to establish your own CRM system and communicate to customers better. It will be such a shame if this info cannot be reached.
Should I choose Weidian or Youzan?
Above all, the upsides and downsides for 3rd party SaaS WeChat eCommerce platforms are very clear.
We do believe that 3rd party SaaS WeChat eCommerce platform can be a fast, cost-effective way to gain presence in WeChat circle, but lack of customization and flexibility makes your brand extremely difficult for future growth.
In conclusion, we think Weidian or Youzan will be good for you if you are:
- Individual C2C sellers;
- Has limited budget on WeChat eCommerce;
- Yourself or Your core team members are proficient in Chinese;
- Your foreign brand has been already registered in China; Your products are in China or you have already took care of cross border logistics.
On the other hand, we don’t think using Weidian or Youzan will fit your WeChat eCommerce if you:
- represent a brand or looking for an enterprise solution;
- look forward to cross border eCommerce in China;
- care for customization;
- value data security and CRM setup.
How can we help your WeChat eCommerce differently?
To overcome those problems mentioned above, our solution is a cloud-based eCommerce designed specifically for enterprise, and optimized for China market.
Comparing with 3rd party SaaS models, cloud eCommerce can definitely bring more customization and flexibility. Belows are how we can help your WeChat eCommerce differently:
1. Your own highly converted UI/UX design
Our WeChat solution will design for your brand on WeChat ecosystem. Through the years of continuously design testing & work flow optimizations, we understand the “happy path” for Chinese consumer and keep updating the platform design to ensure every user interaction will benefit your conversion. Plus, the China-localized design and usability details will be rich featured.
2. Payments directly transferred to you
No barriers in the middle, your payments will be received. Whenever an order is successfully completed, the payment will be directly transferred to your merchant WeChat Pay account.
3. Control your own data for further expansion
No need to worry more about data security, since you’re in full control of them. Moreover, with our cutting-edge development, We fully integrate the WeChat functions to maximize the full potential of your social eCommerce.
For example, features like WeChat unified login, WeChat pay, and other extendable marketing function as voice recognition, viral coupon, Gift card, custom menu, LBS (Location-based services) will allow customers to interact with your WeChat eCommerce more, thus help you know your customer better.
4. Cross border eCommerce enterprise ready solution
We will help you all the way through your every steps of cross border imports. With the cross border eCommerce functionalities, we offer you the fast to market online solution while being beneficial of the China latest customs policy. Functions included:
-Payment gateway of Alipay & WeChat cross-border on desktops and mobile;
- Chinese ID verification for Customs registration
- Integrate with logistics companies for order, payment, logistics, and transmission to customs for cross border clearance;
- direct selling model support and order splitting;
- cross border tax integration and calculation.
To sum up, we believe that the best way to help your WeChat eCommerce grow is to find the best solution between WeChat ecosystem and your brand identity. With industry-leading technology with commerce innovation adapting to the China market, our WeChat cloud eCommerce solution will help your brand completely unleash your potentials on WeChat.