Just a few responses to some of your points:
- Every FB page can be turned into a messenger bot easily via webhook: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/messenger-platform/webhook-reference. This is a very interesting part which I am not going to talk too much about yet.
- I used WeChat as much as I could during my 10 day stay in China. I found the most compelling part for me as a consumer is the easy payment. When you make a payment at a vending machine or a nearby store, you get a discount. You are automatically subscribed to that brand. It is the similar concept of email marketing but messenger marketing. And messenger marketing has a stronger social component. From that perspective, I think the discount the store lets you have is the customer acquisition cost on chat platform.
- China doesn’t have the similar credit card system like US, so the leap from cash to mobile payment is a HUGE improvement. However in US, the improvement will be from credit card payment to mobile payment, so it is not as big.
- Labor is super cheap in China. If you shop grocery on WeChat, the store staff will be the one who does delivery.
- The offline to online is incredible, consumer trigger is the payment + discount.
- I ate at a restaurant who recommended WeChat payment via Dianping ( Yelp in China). Merchant is eating the entire 10% discount cost but they will get better ranking/treatment in Dianping. I guess Dianping also gets more offline customer data. The card fee is also much smaller in China compared to here which creates more margin. (actually Dan Grover helped me gather the information!)
- I don’t know why QR code took off in Asia, but I know why it didn’t take off in US a few years ago. First, the scanner was not installed by default on mobile OS, second it was not associated with payment so not enough incentives for consumers.
Thought to share a few things I learned during my short stay. Took tons of screen shots and will write a post soon, Chikai!