Worldline and Weixin team up to improve international e-commerce

Worldline, a global leader in payment services, is helping its e-commerce clients enter the growing Chinese market. More than 1.38 million Chinese people already order products from other countries. The key to this important user group is the omnipresent lifestyle tool, Weixin (the mainland Chinese version of WeChat). Through a mini program that integrates merchants into the social platform, seamless access and user-friendliness is guaranteed. Worldline facilitates this integration and ensures that Weixin payments are widely accepted.

China is a central player in online retail, not only as the home of major providers and e-commerce platforms but thanks to its size, the country is a vast target market for global players in international e-commerce online retail. The latest studies[1] show that Chinese shoppers order products from all over the world. The young generation is the main driving force behind this trend.

  • Online shopping for goods from outside China grew 33.4% in 2021 and is expected to grow by 27.9% in 2022 and a further 24% in 2023.
  • Over 1.38 million Chinese shoppers buy products from other countries online.
  • More than 50% of online shoppers ordering from foreign countries were born in 1990-2000.

Well-known international brands are shopper’s preferred choice. For example, L’Oréal generates around 60% of its total revenues from the APAC region in China. Recently, retail sectors have also become increasingly diverse. The main focus was initially on beauty products and baby items, but now clothing, household items, electronics, sports goods and even food products are being ordered increasingly and delivered to China.

In order to be able to reach out to Chinese shoppers on a large scale, in addition to language barriers, particular attention needs to be paid to the habits and needs of Chinese customers. This includes the ubiquitous social super-app Weixin, an ecosystem used by more than 1 billion Chinese people for practically everything, from chatting, journaling to researching their leisure activities, and, of course, for shopping and payments. Under the name WeChat, Weixin is also popular with Chinese people living abroad.

Easy to access

In Q4 2021, Worldline extended its Weixin Pay payment solution, used in Europe since 2019, from a POS service to e-commerce, app and the mini program. This is a special in-app feature integrated into the Weixin platform and giving Weixin users direct access to an exponentially growing target market of participating e-commerce merchants, without having to switch media, visit another website or download another app.

Guillaume Pascal, Head Global Sales & Verticals at Worldline, comments: “Worldline allows European e-commerce customers to integrate their mini program into the Weixin platform. The aim is to increase customer loyalty and harness the Chinese users’ purchasing power. We are already introducing our multi-channel mobile payment solution to retailers all over Europe.”

Initial user feedback from Switzerland

For retailers offering e-commerce payments with Weixin alongside their in-store acceptance, online sales volumes accounted for around one quarter of revenues in 2021. SBB, the national Swiss railway system and main transport company for tourists alike, has recognised that user-friendliness is a decisive factor alongside overcoming language barriers in order to prevent high abandonment levels on digital retail channels. Previously, has recorded a purchase abandonment rate of up to 44% on browsers in Chinese. With the SBB mini program, Chinese tourists can buy their tickets, half-price travel cards, day tickets or saver tickets conveniently and directly through Weixin in the app. In addition, they can find inspiration for leisure activities and plan train and bus journeys in real time without having to look anywhere else. With the help of Weixin Pay and Worldline, SBB is preparing to welcome more and more Chinese tourists to Switzerland.

The national Swiss railway SBB, a leading provider of travels for Chinese tourists, confirms that the integration of the SBB offering as a mini program within Weixin results in increased customer loyalty and lower purchase abandonment rates.

Queena Liu, EMEA Regional Director at Weixin Pay, comments: “In the midst of the disruptions caused by the pandemic for businesses all over the world, the Weixin mini program has developed into a popular and effective way for brands to offer services and allow for new forms of interaction with the consumer. With the support of our partner Worldline, we are able to provide our users with more and more international e-commerce services.”