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Social New Retail, a new business model centered on people

Updated: Nov 1, 2023


A new business model called social new retail for international brands

In 2011, WeChat was officially launched, which is a free application that provides instant messaging services for smart terminals. Because of its functionality, convenience, and many other advantages, WeChat has gradually popularized into the daily life of Chinese and has become the most popular and essential APP in China.


As WeChat integrates multiple functions such as instant messaging, payment, and sharing, users try to sell goods through WeChat, which leads to a new business model known as "WeChat Business". Gradually, “WeChat Business” has swept the Internet and spread all over the life of the people. No matter college students, housewives, and wage earners, all of them invested into the WeChat Business boom. Today, WeChat Business is still developing rapidly in China.


In 2016, Jack Ma stated that “the existence of E-commerce is at most 20 to 30 years, which will be replaced by a new shopping way called New Retail”. He also proposed a concept of "New Retail", which is the integration of e-commerce and offline entities. Looking at it now, Jack Ma's prediction seems to be verified by the success of Suning. According to Suning’s financial report for the first half of the year, Suning earned more than 118.2 billion yuan in just half a year. In the first half of the year, although the consumptive appetite of people was not very high because of the epidemic, Suning still has achieved a 5.4% increase in sales scale through the combination of online and offline sales.


Today, a new business model known as "Social New Retail" is even more unstoppable. Social new retail, combining social tools and traffic thinking of new retail, is a new model based on new retail but also with fission socialization so that the consumer can cover more people under their social networks. The platform takes preferential benefits as the driving force to attract consumers sharing the links of the products they want to buy to their friends, which is beneficial to promote consumption. Also, by designing an exclusive platform, a consumer-centric new social retail model can be established.


Burberry’s first step of social new retail: WeChat mini program

Burberry's official WeChat mini program

Brand's ranking of social new retail development

Recently, Burberry teamed up with Tencent to develop "social new retail" by integrating online and offline platforms. Among them, the first step of their technical cooperation was to develop a WeChat mini program. Customers can explore exclusive content and personalized experience by the mini program. Also, they can obtain product information, in-store guided tours, in-store reservations, series of activities, and other services.


Actually, at the end of 2018, almost 50 luxury brands had developed their mini program, including Dior, Longchamp, Swarovski, BMW, etc. Nowadays, there are almost 3.6 million WeChat mini program, covering more than 200 industry segments. The daily active users have exceeded 300 million, and the annual turnover has exceeded 800billion yuan.


Mini Program, a big help for SMEs

Many foreign companies in China have already achieved success within the mini program, completing online and offline upgrades and transition. Also, the advantages of the mini program have greatly promoted the integration of online and offline:


  • Users open the mini program in WeChat directly instead of installing an APP, and they can use it anytime and anywhere as long as they have a WeChat;

  • Mini program users are backed by WeChat users, with over 1 billion huge traffic;

  • The cost of mini program development is affordable. Also, users can place orders on their own in the mini program, which means that it helps enterprises and store owners reduce labor costs and improve efficiency;

  • It can provide a discount, coupon, and other attractions to encourage the user to share the mini program to their friend, which can help to realize the community fission, bring publicity invisibly and achieve drainage and conversion effects.


industries of social new retail

Besides being suitable for companies in China, it is also suitable for other countries’ stores or small and medium-sized companies which target Chinese customers, such as Chinese supermarkets, Chinese restaurants, tourism, etc.


Particularly under the impact of the epidemic, many users have to travel less and insulate their homes which leads to the revenue reduction of many businesses. However, the emergence of the mini program can undoubtedly help both the businesses and the users solve the problems caused by the epidemic. Because users can make orders through the mini program.


Taking the Chinese supermarket as an example, users can directly purchase goods through the mini program, place an order online, automatically generate a receipt, make an appointment for door-to-door or immediate delivery services, and so on. And there is no need for shopping guides or cashiers, which greatly saves labor costs and time costs within greatly improving the business processing capabilities.


In all, WeChat mini program solution is the electronic model of passenger flow by integrating online and offline, connecting hardware, people and products, services, CRM, ERP, and other systems. No matter it is the continuous expansion of offline life scenarios or the full release of product capabilities in the retail industry, the mini program provides more mature, complete, and innovative functions for the business.


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