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What are the Key Business Modes on WeChat for Online Stores to Make a Profit?

By ESC Editorial Team, over 5 years ago Business
What are the Key Business Modes on WeChat for Online Stores to Make a Profit?

With the development of the mobile Internet, WeChat quickly and effectively evolved from a simple social networking application to a diversified operational platform model. The development of WeChat is based on increasing user traffic and integration of new features.

In June 2018, WeChat reached 1 billion active users (MAU) per month. For e-commerce marketers, learning and analysing WeChat’s earning models will be helpful in better understanding Chinese market trends and user needs, and then following a targeted marketing strategy.

What are the key profit models for merchants on WeChat? This article focuses on the following six aspects.


1. WeChat Official Account

In addition to the benefits to e-commerce businesses - connecting communicators and audiences - and building the basic function of the we-media communication platform, the WeChat Official Account also provides a part of the profit-building function. First, WeChat Official Account opens a fan reward feature. If an official account activates the "Rewards" when an article is published, readers may send a red envelope (a monetary gift) to the author at the end of their favourite article. The reward is then entered directly into the WeChat wallet of the official account. Second, the official account includes advertising placements where the official account can display ads for their own product and service. These billboards can also be monetised with other merchants to promote products and services based on a large number of fans for the account. What's more, the official accounts can integrate the e-commerce sales model into their account backend. All of the above three methods can generate profits. The premise of achieving profits is to have a large number of fans, that is, the amount of attention of the official account.

2. Collaboration with third party services

Based on the large number of users, WeChat achieves profitability by working with third parties, such as Didi, Mobike,, JD Select, hotels, Unicom recharge and so on. WeChat users can access these third-party websites from WeChat to select, pay for and use their services, avoiding the complicated steps of downloading/installing APPs on mobile phones. In addition, WeChat can not only help merchants meet the needs of users, but also provide business opportunities for their partners.

3. New e-commerce platform - WeStore


Compared to Taobao and JD, WeChat’s WeStore has the advantage that every WeChat user can open astore without paying service fees. New products can be posted directly to WeChat moments so anyone connected to an account can see them. This is similar to the operating model on the we-media. Users can use their WeStores to sell their own products, or they can sell the goods of other stores as an affiliate. The affiliate sales model is based on the price of the original WeStore, which can be set for resale on the affiliate’s store. This difference between the original price and the partner’s adjusted price is the profit earned by the affiliate. This type of affiliate mode does not require any orders in advance, or contacts with the supplier, all steps including ordering, completing payment and delivering goods are processed on the WeStore backend.

4. Wealth management products


Tencent develops its own wealth management products, and supports other companies in handling agency fees. The wealth management products are used to sell investment services to users and to distribute commissions out of the profits made. For example, Tencent’s wealth management products take the money paid by WeChat users to continue to invest in some industries, and return the user's capital and a small amount of dividends within a time limit.

5. Offline stores accept WeChat payment


Mobile payment methods, led by Alipay and WeChat, are popular in China. The frequency of paying with cash is gradually being reduced, and consumers are slowly getting used to offline shopping without cash or credit cards, but directly with mobile payments on mobile phones to buy things and services. Under these circumstances, merchants have set up the WeChat payment method to improve the customer’s shopping experience and increase the purchase transaction rates.

6. WeChat Mini Program


The benefits of the WeChat Mini Program over third-party services, can simplify the path to better services and increase customer loyalty through the timeliness of fragmented services. Here are some examples:

  • Content e-commerce

Before Mini Program’s appearance, most we-media entrepreneurs earned money only through the text and advertisement mode. Because the Mini Program can insert the content of an article in the form of a card, a better combination of "content + e-commerce" is formed to optimise the customer experience.

  • Community e-commerce

A fan-user group is set up through a series of social networks management, and the user can quickly purchase goods through a Mini Program. Thus, Mini Programs are good at attracting traffic and consequently generate high purchasing rates. For example, the Rebecca Mini Program on WeChat produces more than RMB 5 million in daily sales.

  • Service

The strong online traffic attraction for the Mini Program brings users to offline stores to promote shopping. Conversely, offline customers can be converted into online members, from which a member marketing system can be built to promote sales. For example, the Starbucks Mini Program has set up an online member system where members can shop via a mini program to earn points. The points can then be used to upgrade the membership level and get a discount coupon. 

As an emerging traffic portal, there are still many potential market dividends for Mini Programs, and the business profit modes are not limited to those mentioned above, such as the mini game. However, based on the rapid development of the Internet, it does not matter which point is a portal, it is better to capture an idea and launch it as soon as possible to get the opportunity to be the first in the new industry.

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