Wechat Store

admin 11/22/2021

WeChat is a messaging and calling app that allows you to easily connect with family & friends across countries. It's the all-in-one communications app for text (SMS/MMS), voice and video calls, and files.

Want to sell to China with WeChat? Learn how your global ecommerce store can function as a WeChat store. Take your sales to the next level.

Looking to sell to the 1+ billion people in China?

Wechat web

This article explains how your international ecommerce website can double up as a WeChat store.

  • Wechat Service Account: Service Account will be list in the normal contact, which is easy to be seen by followers. Have more abilities to host online events to create more exposure. As of 2017 WeChat has over 800 million monthly active users.Post articles 4 times/ month, have membership system and WeChat store.
  • WeChat is more than a messaging and social media app – it is a lifestyle for over one billion users across the world. Chat and make calls with friends, read news and use local services in Official Accounts and Mini Programs, play fun games with friends, enjoy mobile payment features with WeChat.
  • Chinese use their phones to make purchases 50 times more than American consumers. This can be seen in the growing popularity of WeChat stores. The percent of WeChat users that have made purchases from WeChat stores has more than doubled from 15% in 2015 to 31% in 2016.

By double up, I mean that your international and China site share the same codebase.

There are several benefits for doing so. First, universal maintenance, upgrades and scaling. This in turn leads to lower costs and faster feature rollouts. Second, centralized customers, orders and data. This allows you to achieve a single view of customer across countries more seamlessly.

Why WeChat?

(skip this section if you already know why)

Wechat store setup

If you are new to selling in China, read on.

Retailers generally have three options for selling in China:

  • Marketplaces: Taobao, Tmall and Jingdong
  • WeChat store
  • Your own e-commerce website

The marketplaces are where >85% of the online sales take place. However, brands are starting to move away from them for a few reasons.

First, the customer belongs to them, not the brand. Second, it is difficult to build a unique identity because you have to conform to the layouts on their website. Third, you have a pay a third-party provider (TP) a lot of money to maintain, market and fulfill your products.

Wechat Store How To

Wechat sign up

Therefore, brands are moving towards the WeChat community for a solution. WeChat has 768 million active users, which is a lot of market share in China!

WeChat allows businesses to set up an official account with them and launch their ecommerce site as a HTML app that is embedded within a webview on their site.

Leftmost Screenshot: WeChat official account page with menu that leads to WeChat store

Center and Right Screenshots: WeChat app with webview showing the ecommerce site

For completeness sake, why not your own ecommerce store? If you have a WeChat store, you also by default have your own ecommerce website.

The reason why people rarely discuss your own ecommerce store is because driving traffic to it without leveraging an ecosystem like WeChat is very challenging.

Step 1. Preparing your ecommerce website for WeChat

To prepare your website for WeChat, you have to do several things.

First, language and currency. Your e-commerce store has to be multi-lingual and multi-currency and support Simplified Chinese and RMB.

Wechat store malaysia

Second, payments. Your e-commerce store has to support WeChat pay. That is the only payment method allowed on the WeChat platform.

Wechat Store Singapore

Third, accounts. Users should be forced to create an account via WeChat oauth. This is so that you are able to map your customers to their WeChat Ids so that you can send push messaging and promotions to them.

Fourth, mobile first. Most ecommerce sites in China do not even have a desktop version. This means the required user experience in China is a mobile first experience as opposed to a mobile responsive one. This means your website should appear and feel on mobile more like a native app than a website.

Step 2. Setup WeChat official account

On the administrative side, you will need a WeChat official account in China. There are two ways to do this.

The three way is to create an account with a foreign entity.

The process takes approximately 3 months and requires that you have an entity in the following countries:

Download Wechat App

  • Asia: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Russia
  • Europe: Germany, France, England, Italy
  • North America: United States, Canada
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

The second way is to create an account with a Chinese business license (营业执照).

This requires that you set up a China Wholly Foreign Owned Entity WFOE, a Chinese bank account and the Chinese ID (身份证) of a mainland Chinese citizen with a WeChat payment account linked to the bank card.

The third way is to work with a Chinese company and have them apply and manage an official account under their business license on your behalf.

Wechat Stores

Additionally, if you'd like to also have a Chinese website to accept shoppers outside the WeChat platform and to accept Alipay as a payment option, you'll need to apply for the following:

  • .cn domain
  • ICP registration, the license that allows you to operate a website

If you would like to do this, feel free to contact us and we can connect you to partners who can help.

Step 3. Let users in China access your site

Many international websites are blocked from within China by the Great China Firewall (GCFW). To get over this problem, you have to set up a reverse proxy that tunnels any traffic to your China site to your international site.

In addition, all your Javascript, css and image assets need to be hosted within China, preferably via a China CDN.

The structure of what you have to set up looks like this:



That's a wrap! After you complete the 3 steps above, visitors to your WeChat official account can now browse and buy products on your international site as per normal in China.

If you would like to get your e-commerce site ready for selling in China on WeChat, feel free to reach out to [email protected]