Thought of the week: Suzannah considers the effects of WeChat's European ecommerce expansion.
China’s largest social media platform, WeChat, has announced plans to expand its ecommerce and payments for brands in Europe, starting in the UK.
WeChat isn’t just a messaging app; its enhanced functionality includes mobile payment, integration with household appliances, gaming, bill payments, ticket purchasing and appointment booking. It’s not looking to mirror the existing messaging services of rivals WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Instead, it’s basing its expansion on B2B services, opening up its ecommerce platform and payment services to European merchants wanting access to Chinese shoppers.
By expanding ecommerce opportunities to Europe, WeChat is opening up a whole new avenue and market for brands and retailers to push their products to. There’s no real equivalent (at least in terms of size or popularity) in the UK, so it’ll be interesting to see how it pans out. Could this be the next big thing for multichannel?