A recent WeChat Mini-program report by Jisu App (即速应用) is showing very positive trends for mini-programs future:
- Retention after 14 days increased by 10 times between Q1 2017 and Q2 2018
- Time per session increased by 4 times between May 2017 and June 2018
- Average e-commerce order is between 200 to 1,000 RMB
- Sharing is the most popular access method
- 67% of users open mini-programs more than 4 times per day
Age distribution of mini-programs is extremely balanced, although leaning toward younger users (only 15% of users are above 40 years old).
Usage of mini-programs is getting more widespread: the proportion of users below 18 years old grew from 5% to 7% from Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, while the proportion of users above 40 years old grew from 10% to 15%.
Age distribution of mini-program users also depends heavily on the type of mini-programs: business card/social WeChat Mini-programs (used mostly in professional contexts) have 28% of users above 40 years old (they are the largest user group).
On the other hand, WeChat E-commerce Mini-programs are being mostly used (32%) by users under 24 years old.
The Gender of WeChat Mini-program users is also heavily correlated with the type of mini-programs.
Overall, WeChat Mini-programs have an even number of male and female users (51%-49%).
However, most WeChat E-commerce Mini-program users (71%) are female.
This trend is mostly due to the fact that E-commerce mini-programs are heavily promoted by public accounts and influencers in the fashion / cosmetics / childcare industry which have a majority of female followers.
Most of the users of business card/social mini-programs are male (68%)
The geographical distribution of WeChat Mini-program users is also getting more balanced over time. Although mini-program users used to be more concentrated in Tier 1 cities, the proportion of Tier 1 cities users dropped from 30% to 19% between Q4 2017 and Q2 2018.
The bulk of WeChat Mini-program users is, as we might expect, concentrated within mainland China (98.6% of mini-program users)
The majority of oversea mini-program users are located in Europe and Russia (56.98%)
Time spent on WeChat mini-programs has seen a sharp increase over time: it shot from 3.1 minutes per session to 13.1 minutes per session between May 2017 and June 2018.
WeChat mini-games also saw strong growth in engagement: from 3 minutes per session upon launch on January 2018 to 12.7 minutes per session in June 2018 (with a peak at 16.4 minutes per session in April, when several WeChat Mini-games got extremely viral)
The majority of mini-program users are heavy users: 67% of them use mini-programs more than 4 times per day.
This frequency is lower on E-commerce mini-programs, although engagement remains high: 69% of them use E-commerce Mini-programs at least weekly.
The retention rate of WeChat Mini-programs has also been booming, shooting from 4.63% to 13.92% after 1 day, and from 0.14% to 1.51% after 14 days (a more than 10 times increase)
The proportion of small orders on WeChat mini-programs has been increasing over time to 42% of orders between 200 and 1,000 RMB. This is due to the trend we mentioned of the increasing number of mini-program users in smaller cities.
Monthly spending remains however modest. Only a small fraction (16.6%) spend more than 1,000 RMB per month via mini-programs.
Due to the large representation of smaller cities within mini-program users, average income is also relatively low: only 7.4% of WeChat mini-program users earn more than 10,000 RMB per month. 58.9% of them earn less than 5,000 RMB per month.
The way people are accessing WeChat Mini-programs is also changing over time. Sharing has been getting more popular with the growth of social commerce (pushed by Apps such as Pinduoduo).
The growth of “Recently used MP” and “WeChat articles” as a way to access mini-programs shows that WeChat mini-programs are getting more ingrained into users daily life.
Other “early stage” access methods such as QR code, Discover tab or Nearby Mini-program have seen a sharp decrease.
Method of access depends strongly on the type of WeChat Mini-program. E-commerce mini-programs are more likely to be accessed via WeChat Official Accounts (as they are usually promoted by influencers) or via sharing (through social e-commerce – especially through group-buying deals).
On the other hand, offline services mini-programs are more likely to be accessed via a QR code scanned at the offline venue.
Since the launch of Mini Programs in January 2017, Tencent has made continuous upgrades and improvements.
Although they initially struggled with low engagement rates, the data is showing that WeChat Mini-programs are getting stickier.
More than ever, it is a good time for companies to use Mini Programs as your first entry point for approaching Chinese users.