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Connecting with China

Connecting with China

Award-winning Engagement Platform on top of WeChat to leverage the retail opportunities in China

Myer is Australia’s leading department store, with over 60 stores across the country. They are widely regarded as a leader in Australian retailing, aiming to deliver a world class shopping experience for all customers by bringing their love of shopping to life.

Over 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited Australia last year, spending on average $8000 a visit. Myer saw this as an opportunity to generate a new revenue stream, and partnered with ThoughtWorks to identify new ways to connect with this previously untapped segment.

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We undertook an initial discovery to validate the business opportunity; analysing market size, shopping trends and consumer behaviours across hundreds of Chinese shoppers. The team used this data to storyboard a range of product ideas, before converging core functions to be released as a part of an initial minimum viable product (MVP). The team chose to build the platform on top of WeChat, China’s leading social network, which has an extensive API that allows building custom functionality.

In January 2017, following five weeks of rapid development, Myer launched a digital engagement platform aiming to attract Chinese customers to shop in-store, just in time for Chinese New Year. 

As gamification is a key differentiator in this market, Myer released the ‘Red Envelope’ game, allowing customers to win and share gift cards. Gifting red envelopes is important in Chinese culture and customers commented that Myer ‘were celebrating New Year with them.’ All available gift cards were collected within 48 hours, and in two-weeks, 85% had been redeemed in-store, creating an ROI of 400%.

Customers were also provided with ‘Shake-Shake’ functionality to discover deals and overcome language barriers, aiding interaction with store staff. Over 28,000 product offers were viewed, with each customer performing the ‘Shake-Shake’ action 12 times per visit.

Digital content, in-store Visual Merchandise with QR codes and gift cards capturing a ‘digital message’ for recipients, drove traffic to Myer’s WeChat platform. These interactions promoted a 15.43% average daily growth rate of new WeChat followers over the Chinese New Year period, resulting in Myer’s content receiving over 127,000 views.

Working with the WeChat platform has allowed me to measure the customer journey for the first time - from discovering the brand, to digital engagement with our brand, right through to purchasing in our stores. It's fantastic to go from idea to reality in such a short time.
— Peter Mitchley-Hughes, Executive General Manager Business Transformation, Myer

This innovative new platform provided Myer and its brands with a gateway into the lives of Chinese consumers, who have dramatically increased spending in stores since the launch.

Attracting Chinese travellers into stores is just the beginning. Myer now intends to grow their engagement platform strategy further, expanding their reach throughout mainland China, Hong Kong and beyond.