Wechat Pay accelerates smart retail in China, stimulating overseas retailers to follow suit

2018-12-03 19:00 809

BEIJING, Dec. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- "To experience the most advanced digital retail experiment, go to China." A group of senior executives from retail giants in Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore, were unanimous in their agreement with the statement, following a two-day visit and inspection tour in Beijing.  

The "Soar Plan", co-developed by Wechat Pay and Tencent University, took place between November 26 and 27. Following a tour of China's leading smart retailers, among them Yonghui,, Wumart and Missfresh, the overseas partners, including Japan's Lawson, Hankyu and Don Quijote, Thailand's Central, South Korea's Shinsegae Duty Free and The Shilla Duty Free and Hong Kong's DFS, McDonald's, Swire Group and CTS, among others, came away with a much deeper understanding of the country's success with smart retail.

Seeing is believing

An executive from Wumart Group, a leading retail group in Beijing, explained during his presentation, "Wechat Pay helps us better understand user behavior. We can identify our loyal customers based on payment data." Wumart were able to apply a digital customer management model to the 75.6% of the shoppers who made a purchase at one of their stores in Beijing. By matching the WeChat Pay data with their own loyalty Program, the retailer managed to identify potential shoppers with similar profiles and know better how to service them, which in turn, reduced marketing expenses by 30% and upped the user activation rate to 6.8%.

The store also optimized the product mix by using big data to analyze purchases, enhanced the payment experience through the installation of smart self-service casher, and built an online platform for e-commerce.

Since 2018, China's retail industry has accelerated the pace at which it has embraced the Internet. Various service models, such as Scan-and-go, self-service casher, unmanned retail, facial recognition, have emerged and grown in popularity at a swift pace, while big data and artificial intelligence (AI) are now being applied to all aspects of retail services.

"By 2018, WeChat Pay had grown a lot, and a large part of that growth is fully attributable to four industry application.  Looking at retail as an example, retailers are actively working together with us to embrace innovation and change."

According to the financial statement released by Tencent on November 14, 2018, their payment business has maintained the leading position in the Chinese mobile payment market, with average daily transaction volume up more than 50% year on year, and, most notably, the offline conmercial component up 200%.

Learning from China

Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, executive vice president of CPN marketing department, said, " It is eye-opening to see how far advanced China's retail is."

We now see in Beijing that the self-service cashier has not only been implemented, but has been well accepted by shoppers in a lot of stores. I will present these facts and experience to our team back in Thailand." said Piyapong Thanyasrisung, COO of Thailand based Central Department Store Limited. One of the reason that we haven't launched is that some shoppers may leave without paying goods.

"The latest features which are popular in China, including Mini Program, facial recognition, self-ordering in restaurant as well as unmanned retail, are rapidly being copied all over the world this year, which is the most significant trend we've seen in 2018," said Wechat Pay's team. "For merchants outside of China, Wechat Pay is the key to understanding the Chinese model, learning from its experience, and gaining entry into the Chinese market."

China recorded 131 million outbound tourists in 2017. With more Chinese tourists wishing to travel and shop abroad, Wechat Pay's cross-border payment business not only helps tourists avoid the hassles associated with currency exchange, but also acts as a vehicle for promoting digital models in overseas markets which have already been validated in China, helping merchants around the world explore the deeper business value.

WeChat Pay's cross-border payment business has entered 49 countries and regions and supports transactions in 16 currencies.

WeChat Pay's team revealed that they would continue to further lower the threshold for overseas merchants in the cross-border business, while consistently expanding their capabilities and expanding the availability of the digital models to foreign partners wishing to enter or grow their presence in the Chinese market.

Source: Wechat Pay