uses cookies and other technologies to provide you a better browsing experience. You can get more information regarding the use of cookies, or decline it whenever by clicking Privacy Policy. By using this site or clicking “Okay”, you give us the consent to the use of cookies.


Columns Details

The three main trends of the future development of WeChat Mini Program

By ESC Editorial Team, over 5 years ago Business
The three main trends of the future development of WeChat Mini Program

Since the launch of the WeChat Mini Program in September 2016, more and more large companies and brands such as Starbucks and Dianping (a Chinese group buying website for locally found consumer products and retail services) have joined. To learn more about the three main trends in the future development of the Wechat Mini Program we have to take a look at its features and values. 

First, the five development features of the WeChat Mini Program

1. Mobile mini programs can connect with life scenarios, but development is influenced by the WeChat ecosystem.

The Mini Program forms a network ecology by linking with the App. Its main value is reflected in the link with physical products and offline services. In the short term, the traffic is supported by the benefit of the social network and thus forms a long-term participation. At the same time, mini programs are influenced by the WeChat ecosystem, mainly in the categories of content, games, goods, services, and tools.

2. The WeChat Mini Program can cover all mobile netizens that make up the usage scenario.

From January 2017 to June 2018, the number of active users of WeChat App increased from 8130 million to 9300 million. The large user base is the natural advantage of the WeChat Mini Program.

3. There are differences in the development of mini programs in different industries. Mini programs such as financial management (payment), mini games, traveling, mobile shopping, etc. are closer to the Mini Program's application scenario and are evolving faster. However, apart from mini games, other mini programs have a much lower user retention rate than the WeChat App. The traffic driving value of WeChat Mini Program is more pronounced.

4. Standing on the shoulders of giants

In the TOP100 mini programs, 28% are from Tencent. Tencent's mini programs are mainly distributed in the games and life categories. Together with the partners’ mini programs, it essentially covers the most important industries. The top mini-programs from Tencent and non-Tencent are concentrated in the gaming industry. The non-Tencent mini-program may even have more users than Tencent.

5. Enriched application scenarios of the Mini Program

1) The enriched applications are mainly included in the payment-based category, which can connect the offline application scenarios such as catering, transportation and more.

2) Fragmentation and verticalisation use the core capabilities of the tool application to fulfill more disparate application scenarios;

3) Linking low-frequency offline services, including travel and second-hand sales transactions;

4) Continue existing mobile application scenarios and add sharing features such as mini games, mobile shopping, content services and more.

Second, what is the value of the layout of the Mini Program?

The application value of the WeChat Mini Program appears in three aspects: marketing (accurate classification of persons), waking up (conversion and calling APP), connecting offline (including scenarios, intelligent hardware).

1. Online marketing

For content companies, the Mini Program is a great online marketing channel that allows traditional media to reach users online. For example, the Weiyue Reading Mini Program of the Xinhua News Agency. Unlike the APP, the Weiyue Reading Mini Program is divided into three content-related topics, in the format “small and beautiful”. It mainly acquires new users by sharing content on pages, allowing users to participate, and increasing user loyalty through live broadcasting or intercepting.


2. Connecting services

The Mini Program can also connect to online and offline services. For example, McDonald has set up the Mini Program service matrix: four mini programs each reach the intended layering service area to achieve user-layering services; Starbucks extends social scenarios through the Mini Program: Friends can give each other a drink card or a Star gift card. As people's social needs are met, they can also work together through multi-level communication and increase the flow of people into offline stores.

3. Connecting goods

The Mini Program makes shopping easier. Successful e-commerce Mini Programs include Pinduoduo and those time-limited store of brands. Zhuanzhuan is a Chinese APP that deals in used goods. The number of active users of its WeChat Mini Program increased from millions to tens of millions in only three weeks, which exceeds the user size of its APP. The “light” (affordable) luxury brand realised online marketing and customer retention through the Mini Program.

4. WeChat Mini Games

The main types of WeChat Mini Game are casual games and game tools. Based on the strong social connection of the WeChat ecosystem, the development of WeChat Mini Games is in full swing. Every two or three weeks there will be a game explosion.

5. Tool applications

The Mini Program enables tool applications to further connect to offline services and provides convenient features. Wal-Mart's mini program offers Chinese users services such as finding nearby shops and scanning codes.

Third, what are the future development trends of the Mini Program?

1. The Mini Program reaches users of different levels.

Consumption and user stratification is one of the consumer trends. Compared to APP, the Mini Program is better suited to reach the target group of the users. The methods used mainly include: 1) extending the existing services of the mobile terminal, continuing the positioning of the existing brand and target audience; 2) providing stratification services to the targeted group of users or to reach the targeted users based on different fields.

2. The Mini Program is becoming an integral part of traditional integrated business marketing

The Mini Program participates in the integrated marketing process: 1) Connection of online marketing and offline activities; 2) Realisation of the combination of customer management and marketing information exchange; 3) To become an independent small e-commerce platform; 4) Combination of physical advertising with marketing activities for social communication.

3. The Mini Program will be a shortcut to connect intelligent hardware

Take the Mi App as an example, the way mini programs connect to intelligent hardware is gradually being accepted by users. (Mi App is a smart home app from Xiaomi that can remotely control household products and intelligent hardware through the app.)


In 2017, the Wechat Mini Program, on the shoulders of WeChat, China's largest social network, released over 100 features and functions and opened nearly 50 entrances. With the tool positioning of “Run & Go”, the WeChat Mini Program has already infiltrated the lives of users and quickly closed the user’s need gap during the App market’s slow time. It enables the development of light-weight applications through the ability to interconnect everything into a new phase. But in this year, it may face the competition from Alipay Mini Program.

The Mini Program combines the advantages of H5 and App and has its own traffic attributes. The QR code, the nearby businesses, and the WeChat search form the entry of the traffic matrix in the WeChat ecosystem. Today, the Mini Program is a high-traffic platform for the smart retail, e-commerce, catering and other industries that are driving the new application platform to compete in the fight for a new round of reshuffling.

In 2017, after the relatively soft first phase of development, the Mini Program has continued to evolve and has an increasing impact on our daily lives. In 2018, it could only be a matter of time for the Mini Program to go from "restraint" to a real "outbreak".

Related Articles

Add comment

Please to add comments.

Comments (Customer Reviews 0)

Recommended Books

Most Popular Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest news, columns, books and special offers!