What are WeChat Official Accounts and WeChat Service Accounts?
The WeChat Official Account is a multi-functional platform for merchants to interact with their customers and followers. A verified WeChat Official Account is one of the best ways for businesses to increase their brand awareness, generate higher conversion rates, and improve customer satisfaction.
The WeChat Service Account is the most suitable multi-functional platform for merchants to manage and develop their business communications. WeChat Service Accounts appear as friends in the ‘chat’ section of WeChat. They are easy to find and have additional features compared to subscription accounts (such as WeChat Login, WeChat Payment, and geo-localisation). The only restriction with a WeChat Service Account is that you can only post four messages per month.
Can overseas companies apply for a WeChat Official Account or a WeChat Service Account?
Overseas enterprises can currently only apply for a Service Account.
What are the differences between a WeChat Official Account and a WeChat Service Account?
The most critical difference between the two account types is that the WeChat Service Account includes a payment function. We’ll now take a look at the differences in detail. The main differences are as follows:
- Operating entities
A WeChat Official Account can be registered by a person or a company, and its basic functions can be used by both types of entities. A WeChat Service Account can only be registered by a company, and its basic features cannot be used without official verification.
- Payment function
The WeChat Official Account does not include a payment function. In other words, if you want to add a digital store to a WeChat Official Account, customers can be provided with a link to your store page, but they cannot pay directly through the WeChat Official Account. In contrasts, the WeChat Service Account has a payment function that is verified by WeChat.
- Menu functions
The menu function of the WeChat Official Account is relatively basic. By contrast, the menu options of the WeChat Service Account are more advanced, with customised functions and layouts.
- Messaging limits
The WeChat Official Account allows you to send one message each day, while the WeChat Service Account only allows four messages a month.
- Pop-up positioning
The WeChat Official Account is displayed in the WeChat menu, labelled as ‘WeChat Official Account’, and can only be found by opening this menu. In contrast, the Service Account can be a pop-up on the chat page.
In general, a Service Account is more suitable for a company that is planning to create a digital store.
Digital Store of Chanel
What are the advantages of using a WeChat Official Account or a WeChat Service Account?
- No third-party operation required
- No domestic enterprise registration information required
- Certification of overseas-registered companies
- Official and Service Account holders can build their own frames, with their own custom functions
- Personalised and independent operation
- WeChat accounts offer efficient payment options
Which companies already hold WeChat Official Accounts and WeChat Service Accounts?
For businesses who want to protect their brand presence and manage their communications with Chinese consumers effectively, having a WeChat Verified Official Account is vital. Many globally well-known brands, including Chanel, Starbucks, KFC, McDonald, Gucci, Burberry, etc., hold both a WeChat Official Account and a WeChat Service Account.
How can companies promote themselves through WeChat?
- WeChat Moments
The most common way of acquiring new followers on WeChat is through WeChat Moments. When users are looking at an article, they can access the account’s page by clicking on the account name at the top of the article.
WeChat adverts include a feature called ‘One-click Follow’. This is a function that enables users to follow a WeChat Official Account easily. This is a powerful way to gain initial traction with cost-per-click advertising.
- Shared Name Card
The name card of a WeChat Official Account can be shared with friends to allow them to follow the account. The name card can be shared directly with a specific friend, or to a group; however, it cannot be shared on the account’s timeline.
WeChat contains a search tool for finding Official Accounts. Users can search for a company name or brand to follow its account.
- Offline Payments
After a user completes an offline payment with WeChat Payment, they can be invited to follow the company’s WeChat Official Account.
- Scan QR Code
WeChat users can scan QR codes on web pages or articles using this function. They can even do this offline by using WeChat’s embedded QR-code scanner.
Why are payments through a WeChat Service Account better than payments through an external website?
The payment function provided with a WeChat Service Account is convenient, allowing the account’s followers to purchase the owner’s products directly. In addition, as customers will automatically become followers of the relevant service account after paying through this channel, merchants can carry out subsequent customer relationship management and promote their products to their followers.