Mobile apps are becoming more sophisticated to compete in today's digital world, coming up with newer features that allow users to do more actions within the app. An example of this trend of increased functionality is WeChat, a mobile and text messaging app that now allows users to purchase products and services within the app itself.
Developed by a company called Tencent Holdings (News - Alert), WeChat’s payment options are available only for Chinese customers at the moment, who can now shop in-store or online. When consumers buy in-store, the retailer will scan the QR code within the app while the online purchases can be made inside the app. However, it works only with service accounts that are designed to support merchants and help them to offer loyalty programs and customer service to consumers.
This new feature opens up the world of mobile commerce for both customers and businesses. With this feature, businesses can reach out to more customers irrespective of their size and nature of business. WeChat is currently being used by more than 300 million people in China, and by being a part of WeChat, businesses can reach out to this large customer base. Also, businesses can use WeChat's platform to connect with customers better by offering them loyalty programs. Furthermore, they can use this platform to advertise their business by sending out information on deals and new products.
As for customers, WeChat gives them a greater degree of flexibility to make purchases from any location. The inclusion of in-store purchases is another enticing feature for customers as they only have to carry their phones to shop.
This new feature by WeChat is a major step toward mobile commerce and it is hoped that there will be a day when users only have to carry their smartphones to do anything they want.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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