What is Weidian?
Weidian is often described as the “Shopify” of China. With over 80 million stores on its platform, its simplistic design makes it very popular. Weidian is easily accessible on mobile phones and uses convenient payment methods such as Wechat, Alipay and Union pay. In the Chinese market, its biggest competitor is Taobao.
Weidian is one of China’s biggest online stores and can be easily accessed via WeChat. Weidian is an e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs to set up a mobile store.
A lot of foreign businesses tend to wrongly assume that WeChat provides a function to set up a “WeChat Store”. However, WeChat only allows e-commerce web pages to be opened on their internal browser. There is also confusion around Tencent (parent company of WeChat), as many people believe that it owns Weidian, but it doesn’t.
Wechat (Weixin is the Chinese name) and Weidian have very similar names which often causes Chinese customers to assume that they’re the same company. Although Weidian is mainly accessed through WeChat. Wechat has over one billion monthly active users and is the most popular app for Chinese people to use.
Why choose Weidian?
A lot of international brands tend to focus on the more popular retail platforms, such as Tmall. However, these platforms require a lot of attention, investment and administration. As a result of this, foreign brands eventually start looking for other online e-commerce platforms to sell on.
WeChat is widely used across China and a lot of people access various e-commerce pages through WeChat.
There are a number of ways a brand’s online store can be accessed via WeChat. For example, a company could create a customised mini-program (your own App dedicated to WeChat e-commerce), optimise their own website to fit the WeChat mobile version, or they could instead create a listing on one of WeChat’s friendly e-commerce platforms, such as Weidian.
Weidian’s main advantage is that it is free to use.
Other advantages of Weidian are:
- It’s simple to use
- Minimum documents are required
- Its ability to sell cross-border
- Integrated local payments and logistics
- Customer reviews
Although Weidian is not the only platform that is easily accessed through WeChat’s e-commerce pages, it’s currently the only free option for businesses.
How to set up a Weidian store via Wedian Managers app?
Step 1 – Weidian Managers App
First, download and install the Wedian Manage app. If you are already a user on WeChat you can register for the Weidian app through there. It will then ask you to register with your personal information on WeChat or via the browser’s back-office.
Step 2 – Choosing your Weidian shop
Anyone can open a shop on Weidian, even without having products set up. As seen in the picture below, users can choose from one of the five options. The shop will be optimised depending on how you choose to list your business. The store can be used as a place to sell your products, to a platform for customers to buy and communicate on. Weidian is also great for those who have offline stores and want to expand their sales online, and also for influencers that are interested in monetising their traffic.
After registration, your shop’s dashboard will look like this (see below). On the dashboard, you can see how many people have visited the shop, how many orders you have, and any customer issues. It’s a great way to monitor your shop.
Step 3 – Linking your bank account to Weidian
The option to link your bank account can be found in the Weidian app in the “收入” (Revenue) section. You must click on “绑定银行卡” (Link Bank card). Weidian supports only Chinese bank accounts.
Here are the account settings translated below:
Step 4 – Setting up the design of your Weidian shop
Making your online store to look appealing, is half the battle when it comes to e-commerce sales. There are a lot of things that need to be customised in order for it to appeal to both the Chinese and expat customers in China. We advise that your Weidian shop has the following:
- A simple product gallery
- A short description
- Some information about materials used
Step 5 – How to add a product to your shop
Click on the “Product Management” (商品管理) section and then click on the blue “Add a product” (添加商品) button. From there you should add the product picture/ video and fill in the product information.
Step 6 – Get ready to sell.
When your product has been added, you’re ready to sell on Weidian!
How brands use Weidian:
From cross-border to local sales, brand owners and traders are getting creative with Weidian. In fact, the platform is so convenient to use for both the seller and the buyer, that it has become one of the favourites on the market for free solutions. Below are a few examples of different Weidian store owners.
Who sells on Weidian in 2019?
Weidian is a platform for start-ups, new brands and new importers who don’t have the time or means to put investment into building a brand-new customised platform. Weidian is a popular option for up-and-coming creative brands, local factories, agricultural productions and KOL stores.
Other options: WeChat mini programs.
Mini programs are apps that are specifically created for the WeChat ecosystem. Creating a mini program is a great option for brands to engage with their customers. Mini programs are not just used for e-commerce, but also for branding, games and other creative marketing tactics. However, a mini program could cost as much or if not more, than a branded website.
A lot of companies will create a WeChat mini-program with the purpose to sell online. There are 2.3 million mini-programs on the market and 18% of those are dedicated to e-commerce. In 2018, the most common applications used through mini programs were e-commerce and daily services. Our data is provided by aldzs.
If you’d like to learn more about Weidian or about Wechat mini programs, then please get in touch. We will be delighted to provide support and help you understand the Chinese digital eco-system!