• Ker Zheng

A Peek Inside This Top Skincare Brand's WeChat Strategy

HomeFacialPro, also known as HFP, is a new Chinese beauty & skincare brand that has drawn attention for its ability to capture the hearts and minds of local consumers.

Founded in 2016, HFP's annual revenues scaled quickly to reach 360 million RMB in 2017, and it became the 7th best-selling beauty & skincare brand on Singles Day 2018.

To better engage its customers, HFP has invested heavily in its WeChat presence. We take a deeper look at its WeChat strategy and how it uses its WeChat official account to drive sales on its mini-program e-commerce store.

Leveraging Official Account Content to Drive Traffic

WeChat plays a vital role in building a brand's presence because it allows one to set up its own official WeChat mini-program store and official account, a.k.a. content marketing channel. HFP's WeChat official account currently has over 1 million followers.

Through its official account, HFP can notify its customers of new products, upcoming offline events, and the latest promotions. What’s more is that its official account content can directly insert mini-program store links that direct users to product pages, activating the sales process.

How does HFP redirect traffic to its mini-program?

The below picture shows how HFP sends a greeting message to new followers; the message is embedded with two squiggly-denoted links to landing pages for products inside its WeChat mini-program store. The squiggles denote WeChat mini-program links.

Upon reaching the landing page, the users can click again to reach the product page, where they can read up on the product's information and ingredients, and also place an order.

Most of HFP's content on its official account contains such mini-program links. The strategy is to drive traffic by placing a link in each official article, whether it's about new products, top-sellers or specifically targeted content.

By combining content with e-commerce, WeChat is a one-stop shop that lets customers explore and purchase new products in a seamless fashion. It emphasizes the discovery process. This differentiates it from a marketplace platform where the user typically finds specific items or brands through the search function.

Celebrity & KOL Marketing

HFP partnered with many different WeChat official accounts to build its brand. Such accounts belonged to celebrities, KOLs (key opinion leaders, or influencers), and beauty/skincare blogs.

From March 2016 to August 2018, HFP built relationships with 1,428 different official accounts, together posting 6,247 different content posts. This reportedly cost the brand over one hundred million RMB (roughly US$15 million).

Wide coverage and long-term relationships with these marketing partners is the key to successful content marketing in China.

HFP's marketing strategy combined its own core brand culture with content marketing and KOL marketing. In the picture above, HFP includes both customer reviews with reviews by celebrities and KOLs. There are a few reasons that explain why HFP made this decision.

In the world of eCommerce, gaining customer trust is vital. When first visiting a store, customers immediately gauge the trustworthiness of the site & brand to decide whether they feel comfortable making a purchase.

First impressions matter, and one of the best ways to gain customer confidence is to display user-generated content like product reviews, testimonials, or even social media posts from customers.

Millennials are more likely to trust product reviews from their peers, so product reviews can lead to more sales on WeChat stores. High volumes of reviews tend to have a positive correlation with the number of sales orders.

HFP's Social Commerce Campaign

The mini-program also leverages WeChat’s social commerce capabilities. Social commerce is an effective marketing approach because WeChat enables customers to share content and products within the ecosystem.

This has the potential to rapidly scale the customer acquisition process. WeChat Official Accounts push promotion messages to followers that highlight group-buying deals, and customers are then incentivized to pull in their family and friends to participate.

In the advertisement below, a content post highlights a group-buying deal where both participants can get 100 RMB off a product.

Lastly, HFP’s mini-program also offers different types of coupons for those who spend a certain amount. This encourages the customer to come back and make additional purchases at a later point in time, increasing the stickiness and lifetime average value of each customer. Below, a 5 RMB, 10 RMB and 15 RMB coupon are offered to new customers.

Key Takeaways

  1. WeChat mini-programs are a good channel for brands to implement a direct-to-consumer strategy and engage with customers better. WeChat users can discover and order new products all in one place.

  2. HFP’s mini-program uses its WeChat Official Account content platform to publish content and drive readers to its WeChat store through one simple click. Its new user coupons incentivize new followers to make purchases.

  3. The mini-program enables customers to enjoy group-buying discounts by sharing a specific link with WeChat friends. This speeds up the customer acquisition process and enables HFP to more quickly convert followers into customers.

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Agency partnership: ker.zheng@azoyagroup.com

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