WeChat’s Latest Update: JD Search Bar
WeChat was recently upgraded with a new function for their search bar. The new update will allow users to see the top JD.com products with just a search on WeChat’s homepage, allowing users to shop through their WeChat app with just a couple taps.
This feature was tested out by Pingwest, a Chinese tech developments firm, and Nicole Jao, a reporter at Technode, by typing in a large array of keywords. These included ‘cleansing milk’, ‘Mentholatum’, ‘toilet paper’, ‘mobile phone’, and ‘shoes’. The searches were successful, and each search result successfully linked to JD.com. Interestingly, the results would also give users purchasing through WeChat a chance to win “random cashback on purchases.”. This was perhaps a way of incentivising users to go the full mile and purchase.
This update will not hinder users searching for information, articles or users. The product results will appear separate of WeChat content, and will not interfere with the visibility of any brand or user content.
New Membership Card To Increase Visibility For Merchants
Speaking of visibility, WeChat’s E-Commerce division has also announced they’ll be focusing on promoting the click-through on their higher quality merchants such as Jingdong. Wu Xiaoguang (CEO of Tencent E-Commerce) says: “Everyone said that Tencent has got (keys) for the so-called mobile Internet. We have clients, WeChat and mobile QQ. This is the traffic entrance to the mobile Internet, and it’s for Tencent. For e-commerce, the traffic in this area is also very advantageous, but we also want to explore with merchants how to convert.”
To accomplish this, Tencent will be launching the WeChat membership card service to improve clickthrough rates for premium merchants. Currently it is unclear whether Tencent plans to make changes to the existing WeChat digital membership card, or to create a new membership card altogether.
WeChat and JD’s Partnership
Tencent and JD.com’s business together dates back to March 2014, when Tencent invested $215 million for 15% of JD shares. Thus, any revenue growth for JD.com will be beneficial to Tencent. The increased visibility on JD.com’s products will also benefit companies that are selling through JD. This is not the first time WeChat (and subsequently, brands using WeChat’s platform) has benefited from a partnership with JD.
In April 2018, Tencent and JD.com held the Jingdong Kepler mall small program launch conference. This was to announce the JD Kepler Mini Program Solution, which would provide brands with all the resources to operate a WeChat Mini Program store. Jingdong specifically mentioned during the conference that it will seamlessly integrate retail functions into the social relationships of WeChat friends so as to promote the non-disruption of social flow resources and help businesses achieve explosive sales growth.
The Possibilities Of WeChat E-Commerce
The news of the WeChat membership card will mean excitement and high hopes for the future of E-Commerce. The membership card service will improve sales for hopefully, countless premium merchants, and may be the start to more shopping-centric updates in the near future. There are countless possibilities of course, and things will only get better as WeChat improves their platform, in particular their JD search bar.
For example, the Search Function is currently unable to register complex or difficult phrases and sentences. Queries such as, ‘which one is better, Mentholatum or NIVEA?’ or ‘book on artificial intelligence’, will unfortunately not yield any shopping results. In order for brands selling through JD to have maximum clickthrough, there will be incredible importance in how effective WeChat’s search algorithm is.