The most popular Chinese social media service, WeChat, has become much more that just a chat app. For the last 1.5 years, Tencent, the internet giant behind WeChat, has been building the entire ecosystem of interrelated services and functionalities that can be integrated directly within WeChat. Besides of keeping in touch with friends and staying informed on the news, WeChat user can now shop, book hotels, play games with friends, buy and sell stocks, purchase flight tickets and do many other things without ever leaving the app.

In fact, WeChat today can do almost everything and it is often the only app that an average Chinese smartphone user ever opens during a typical day.

Here I’ve compiled the list of over 30 different functions that can be integrated within WeChat apps today. The range of functionality is likely to continue growing as more developers get on board with the platform.

The functions below are grouped based on the business category:

Marketing Brands on WeChat
Stores, ecommerce sites, fashion brands, beauty health and lifestyle products

  • Showcase and feature products
  • Announce sales and promotions
  • Keep track on membership points and check balance
  • Browse through product catalog
  • Find nearest store based on current location
  • Announce flash sales: an offer of limited units to sell at attractive price. Flash sales have been widely utilized by XiaoMi, popular Chinese smartphone maker
  • Register online to get product sample in the nearest store: an example of much talked about O2O (online to offline) selling cycle
  • Provide customer service with prerecorded messages based on user’s input

Banking and finance, investments

  • Check account balance
  • Online payments and transactions
  • Get stock quotes and market index
  • Stock price alerts
  • Financial news
  • Automated customer service – either text based or pre-recorded with human voice

Brand on WeChat
Travel products and services, hotels, flight/train tickets

  • Hotel booking
  • Promotions announcements
  • Vacation packages
  • Membership rewards and points
  • Travel guides
  • Flight booking
  • Issuing QR code as a boarding pass for flights
  • Cloud wallet with trip itinerary and details

Big ticket product sales, appliances, electronics

  • Product specifications online
  • Product catalogs
  • Product comparisons
  • Discounts and sales announcements
  • Automated customer service and Q&A
  • Handling complaints
  • General information on product usage and tips
  • Activities such as games and quizzes: answer correctly – get a coupon or a discount at the store (another O2O example)
  • Suggestions based on purchase history
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