The Walpole WeChat Report 2020
How British Luxury Brands Can Successfully Use WeChat to Reach Chinese Consumers
TONG’s inaugural WeChat Report 2020 successfully launched on March 2nd at Walpole’s China Digital Workshop. Partnering with The Walpole Group - the official sector body for the UK’s finest brands - the report provides key insights into the digital presence of 197 British luxury brands on China’s most important social media channel.
China is already the world’s biggest and most dynamic market for luxury goods, with Chinese shoppers set to account for 46% of luxury spend by 2025. The UK’s heritage and reputation for quality and craftsmanship mean British brands are well-positioned to capitalise on a maturing of Chinese tastes. With 2020 set to be a pivotal year in the history of Britain’s international trade, our retail relationship with China will take on added importance.
With 1.1 billion daily active users, WeChat offers an unrivalled opportunity to reach and engage new audiences for luxury in China. The user experience offered, as well as the possibility for additional functionality in the form of Mini Programs, is unmatched anywhere in the world.
We analysed the WeChat accounts of the 23% of relevant Walpole members registered on the platform, scraping 1,758 articles published in 2019 - content that had been read over 13.8 million times in total. This data has been compiled into The Walpole WeChat Index, ranking the best performing brands.
The report highlights some of the best WeChat use cases in the sector. But while there is much to celebrate, there remain significant challenges to overcome. While 40% of Walpole member WeChat accounts were using advanced features such as Mini Programs, 11% lacked even the most basic functions – a microsite, for example. And while the average monthly growth rate for article readership was 13.96%, over a third of WeChat accounts saw stagnant or even negative growth from one month to the next.
The report goes on to split our findings into 8 core luxury sectors, offering industry analysis and ranking the performance of Walpole members - an effective way of competitor benchmarking. For each sector, we provide detailed case studies of successful WeChat use by Walpole members, and brands outside of Walpole.
For example, our analysis of the Beauty & Grooming sector ranked Jo Malone as the best performing Walpole brand on WeChat. The report includes insight into the brand’s success, as well as examples of well-received campaigns.
If your brand is new to WeChat, or if you’re looking to scale up your brand’s WeChat presence, download the Walpole WeChat Report to read our recommendations and access the full dataset.
Our hope for this research is that by shining a light on a somewhat opaque platform, the British luxury sector can draw on its pooled knowledge and experience in the Chinese market to advance as a whole.
This article is the first in a series highlighting the key findings of our report. Watch this space for our next posts and upcoming events, which will dive deeper into WeChat for Luxury, Mini Programs, and sector-specific insights.
We’re grateful to the whole TONG team who worked tirelessly in putting The Walpole WeChat Report 2020 together, as well as to The Walpole Group for its support.