Alipay and WeChat are lifestyle super apps, embedded in daily life
One of the most powerful ways for restaurants, stores, hotels and tourist attractions seeking to reach and connect with Chinese tourists is to tap into the Chinese obsession with social media and mobile payments.
However, as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are blocked in China, Chinese people use Chinese social media apps like those available on Alipay and WeChat plan their holidays and deciding what experiences they want on their trip. Smartpay helps you connect with these customers using these powerful platforms.
Digital connection is the key to engaging Chinese visitors
Digital channels provide information, in their own language – crucial to being able to travel freely and independently. Exploring and planning online is key as Chinese tourists are more likely than other travellers to plan their trip in advance
Recommendations are key for Chinese consumers who have an inherent lack of trust.
Digital channels are where recommendations are shared. Key Opinion Leaders are very influential (in fact there is a whole industry behind WeChat bloggers!).
Gain visibility of your business through Alipay & Smartpay
Alipay’s Discover platform helps businesses connect with a staggering number of outbound Chinese tourists before, during and after their trip. Accessed easily by a key button on the home page of the Alipay app, Discover is where users can find places nearby to shop, things to do and where to eat. Smartpay helps you make the most of your free Discover listing to attract more customers.
Translated listing for your business
Your store is listed in Alipay Discover, in English & translated for you into Chinese. Show photos, key products and let customers know how to contact your business.
Load your own coupons to drive traffic
Give offers to potential customers to encourage users to visit or spend with your business. If they save your coupon to their Alipay wallet they’ll be reminded before it expires – a great prompt to visit your store. A small discount is better than none!
Access to seasonal campaigns
Alipay have a number of big campaigns around key events in the Chinese calendar where they run offers for their users. Your business can participate in these. For example, the Autumn campaign in NZ offered users 20RMB back when they spent 200RMB, fully funded by Alipay.
Smartpay has partnered with South, an Alibaba marketing partner, who specialise in marketing Kiwi businesses to China to help you get the most from Alipay. It’s free to sign up to their programme, and in addition to uploading your store listing, they’ll translate it into Chinese for free, manage the listing and marketing campaigns in Alipay for you.
There will also be opportunities for Kiwi businesses to join other Alibaba platforms. For example, Fliggy (an online travel platform) and T-Mall Global (great for exporting your products to Chinese consumers). Learn more about South.
Engage in conversations with Chinese through WeChat
To advertise or load vouchers on WeChat requires an Official Account. WeChat is much more customisable than Alipay but also requires more resource from your business to develop engaging content to share and attract followers. Having a WeChat Official Account for your business enables you to post content (a bit like Facebook) and your page hosts Vouchers which can be used in conjunction with WeChat Pay.
We can introduce you to our WeChat marketing partner if you want to explore the opportunities available in WeChat. As a Smartpay WeChat Pay merchant you’ll get access to relevant seasonal campaigns that WeChat runs, even without an official account.
Learn more about marketing to Chinese consumers through Chinese social media channels in our blog post, Marketing to Chinese Consumers.