Views│A New Twist on Retail——Mini Apps on WeChat

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang


In the overwhelming tide of social media, Mini Programs, the download-free apps in WeChat, are booming, which draws much attention. And in the fashion retail area, we are also obliged to be aware of the trend, or we would be lagging behind the speedy development.

In this essay, I would share some Mini Apps, which is much more handy than other applications, neither requiring download nor the cell phone memory.

We can see GAP’s mini app in the following picture. Having integrated all kinds of retail functions, GAP mini app can serve the customers with all links a retail process.

图片 1

This mini app combines the online and offline retail, allowing customers scanning code in the store to find the cloth they want.

Usually, we would like to consult the clerks for the right sizes and colors, which can be skipped in GAP’s stores. Scanning the codes, to get the information of products, offers the customer an extraordinary shopping experience by integrating the online service with the offline stores. What’s more, you can learn about the products information even when you are not in the stores, as long as you know the product number. In other words, GAP’s stocks are accessible to the customers.

Other than the stock information, customers can also find “the store location, sales information, membership privileges and order tracking” in the mini program. What the customers only need to do is to move their fingers in WeChat, without the steps to login in or any other stuff.

For Chinese people, WeChat has been a part of life, on which the mini programs are launched. So the handy programs, not even taking memory, have large advantages on other applications.

So I believe WeChat’s mini apps would replace some elements in stores, for instance, clerks.

Many store clerks actually hold little information of the stock information. Being asked, they still need turn to the computer for stock information of certain product, to the tags for the fabrics type. So in this term the mini program will supply with better shopping experience. GAP is a pioneer in this field, with the most completed mini app.

Vogue’s mini program is also a good example with magazine-standard visual effect. In any album users can click the purchase signs to directly enter the purchasing interface. The whole process would be concise and convenient.


If you go shopping on other e-commerce platform, you need to login in accounts of Taobao or JDcom. Besides the searching part, after you find the product you want, you have to add them to the shopping bag and register your address. Approximately, you need 4-5 steps to finish the whole purchasing.

In WeChat, shopping can be different. You can be online for 24/7, and do not need to type ID and codes. Two pats on the screen can finish a shopping process in the WeChat. After that, the app will report the order condition and send the messages to the customers.

In a word, convenience can be the biggest advantage of Mini Program, not only in the terms of information supply, but also the customer service, which is far-fetched for other e-commerce forms. So for the question that what can be the new twist on retail business, GAP and Vogue may have given the inspiring answer.

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