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Building a WeChat Mini Program with Magento: Referral programs and Personalization

Posted in E-commerce on September 24th 2020

The ITC Team built WeChat Mini Programs using Adobe Commerce Magento for a Premium Cat Food brand: Vetreska. We developed a referral program and entirely personalized Mini Programs. Discover the features of these Mini Programs in details.

What Is Vetreska?

Click here to check out the WeChat Mini Program built for Vetreska.

Vetreska is a leading premium cat food and toys brand, currently expanding very fast in China and the rest of the world. 

Far from being a simple pet brand, Vetreska has created its own warm and welcoming signature ambience. Customers easily recognize the elegant and colorful brand, which developed a smart referral strategy to increase its BtoB and BtoC sales. 

Vetreska needed their own Mini Program for a number of reasons, and the ITC team was able to deliver a project that entirely suited their needs.

Let’s first understand Vetreska’s Mini Program needs, before turning to how ITC was able to fulfil them using Adobe Commerce Magento.


What Were Vetreska’s Mini Program needs 

A Personalized Customer Experience

Vetreska wanted to reflect its strong brand image in their Mini Program and bring more added value to their customers. They were looking for an Online-to-Offline (O2O) eCommerce Mini Program.

The cat brand was already present on existing platforms, which are template solutions. These solutions did not allow the Brand to develop its own design, and Vetreska was therefore very limited in terms of its customer experience offering. Their Tmall, JD and Youzan stores looked like any other Cat Food brand. 

TMall does offer a range of designs, but it is hard to be distinctive. The differentiation from other competitors was minimal. Vetreska needed autonomy to customize the look and configuration of the stores. 

They were after a solution that would give them the freedom to build personalized experiences, and truly connect with their target customers. 

Developing a Referral Program

About Referral Programs

To enhance the personalization factor and deepen the customer experience, Vetreska was willing to implement a referral program.

Referral programs involve practices to encourage users to voice their opinion, commenting and sharing about the Brand. In our case, Vetreska was looking for a way to make people share their Mini Program. Referral programs are powerful ways to increase brand awareness and let people know about your Mini Program.

Vetreska's Idea For Their Mini Program

The next step for Vetreska was to imagine the kind of referral program they wanted to develop. A “points” system was engineered as an alternative to real money. Each time people shared the Mini Program, they earned points. These points could then be used to make purchases, or can be converted into real money.

These types of referral programs involve an alternative way of payments and are not available on third-party services platforms. ITC's goal was, therefore, to translate those requirements into the perfect user experiences for clients and the administrators of Vetreska platform. The challenge for ITC was to understand Vetreska’s demand and develop the “points'' system needed for the campaign.

Data Ownership

Having access to all their customer data was also an essential point for Vetreska, permitting them to build personalized targeted campaigns and understand their audience better.

Third-party platforms do not make it possible to visualize all your customers' data, particularly when it comes to eCommerce. To better understand your audience, define your strategy and make the best-informed decisions, you must own your data and build a private traffic acquisition channel.

Answering BtoB and BtoC Needs

Vetreska sells cat food on a retail basis, but also to businesses. The quality of their pet food is triggering an increasing demand from clinics and pet stores.

Therefore, Vetreska has both BtoC and BtoB activities, and they are looking for a Mini Program that includes this optionality.

The login as well as the back-end of the Mini Program should differ depending on the status -Business or Consumer- of the user.

Two Different Mini Programs

Vetreska was not only looking for an eCommerce Mini Program. The Brand was planning to open a Cat Cafe in Shanghai, and to dedicate another WeChat Mini Program for this activity. Ultimately, ITC developed two different Mini Programs with Adobe Commerce Magento for Vetreska. 

The first is dedicated to eCommerce; visitors can buy cat’s food and toys, benefiting from discounts under the referral program. The eCommerce Mini Program offers many customized features, and displays an interactive map.

The second Mini Program is built for the recently opened Vetreska’s Cat Cafe, and gives full access to appointment bookings as well as the ability to order food and drink.

Let’s have a look at how the ITC team developed these personalized Mini Programs with Adobe Commerce Magento to answer Vetreska’s needs in China.


The eCommerce Mini Programs ITC Built for Vetreska Using Adobe Commerce Magento

Users can connect to the Mini Program using their WeChat account. The process is simple for the visitors, but from a developer point of view this step required some expertise.

By using Adobe Commerce Magento for the back-end of the Mini Program, ITC developers were able to build an optimized and secured WeChat login solution for Vetreska’s Mini Program

The ITC team handled both the technical aspect, certainly one that required an in-depth knowledge of the Chinese eCommerce Ecosystem, as well as the administrative part. Developing a WeChat Mini Program involves no small amount of paperwork and authorizations.

Fortunately, we are experts in our niche and our native Chinese team is always successful in obtaining the necessary documents.

In short, the ITC team developed the Mini Program successfully. Some of its notable features are listed below.

eCommerce Mini Program Magento Menu

Login - Registration 

The Vetreska Mini Program has a registration process. Each user can manage their own account, search for the closest physical store and place orders online.

The Plus:  When registering to the Mini Program for the first time, the user will also have to follow the Vetreska’s WeChat Official Account - a boost for their Social Media presence.

BtoB and BtoC logins

Vetreska is not only a business-to-consumer brand. In addition to selling direct consumers, the premium brand also supplies pet clinics.

For these business clients, ordering through the Mini Program is much more convenient. Furthermore, it also allows Vetreska to gather all orders on the same platform.

How does it work? Everything happens during the login process. Individuals login using their Wechat Account while companies register using a different approach.

Providing two different ways to login to a Mini program is a smart way to differentiate between multiple user bases. Think about this option for your future Mini Program!

Navigation & Design

The entire WeChat Mini Program is designed by the ITC team to provide a seamless and elegant experience, reflecting Vetreska’s brand image. Everything is designed to transform the Mini Program user journey into a pleasant and gamified experience they would like to repeat.

Besides, when accessing the Mini Program’s store, users find illustrated categories improving their navigation within the Mini Program features themselves. 

Products Catalog 

For each product description, the ITC Team and Vetreska built a concrete design, in line with the Cat Brand’s desire to personalize the customer’s journey:

Mini Program Magento eCommerce Navigation

Product Reviews

Product reviews are powerful. In the West this is certainly true, but it is - if anything - even more so in China.

Chinese customers are from a collectivist culture. They are used to consulting their family and friends before making decisions, and tend to look for approvals first. Even if this characteristic tends to be less prevalent nowadays, it is still present.

According to a recent study, 80% of Chinese netizens are engaged in rating and reviewing products online. In addition, 81% check the comments before purchasing anything over the net.

It was thus clear that Vetreska should include ratings and reviews on its product pages. The famous “rating stars” were replaced by hearts to keep the Mini Program in line with the warm, cosy brand.

Referral Campaign

In the first section, we explained why Vetreska had contemplated developing an alternative to money  and createing its own referral program. They considered a "points" system, which customers could collect later and use to buy items.

Going beyond this idea, Vetreska developed an ingenious strategy to attract customers. Their key target was to make people speak about them and their exciting offer. The idea was to distribute points to everybody who shared the Mini Programs, whether they were a cat owner or not. Later, these points could be exchanged for real money.

This is a particularly attractive scheme, as people can literally earn money simply by sharing Vetreska's Mini Program. 

Vetreska’s strategy is a smart way to develop a word-of-mouth reputation for its brand, strengthen the customer relationship, and increase sales.

This idea became a reality and has been implemented as part of the Vetreska's WeChat Mini Program by ITC teams, using Magento.

Alternative payments and referral programs are essential components for brands and marketing strategies. However, they cannot be implemented by brands using third-party providers such as Tmall or JD. These platforms do not provide an opportunity for alternative payment method, such as the points system created for Vetreska.

Building your own WeChat Mini Program with Adobe Commerce Magento creates the potential to keep your brand identity and develop the journey that suits your customers best. 

Data Management & CRM

WeChat Mini Program Magento eCommerce  Shopping Card

Being free from a third-party provider is important for Vetreska to better manage their orders, promotions, refunds and eCommerce data.

The freedom given by their own Mini Program offers Vetreska more options to manage their sales, and gain more insights about the purchases. The Cat Brand is now able to monitor, analyze and take better decisions to continue growing their Cat lovers fanbase.

The Plus: ITC even developed a Fapiao billing option to suit Vetreska’s needs better.

In fact, Magento as a back-end framework permits Brands to collect all eCommerce data, from the type of products selected and not purchased to the average basket of orders. Vetreska has now access to all data related to their Mini Program.

On the other hand, building a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a key pillar to increasing sales. For Vetreska, the ITC team developed a user-friendly Chat Bot able to guide the Mini Program users through the different features.

Direct Traffic to Youzan store

Before building their own Mini Program, Vetreska had a Youzan Store. The Cat Food brand chose to continue working with this third-party provider as a secondary channel.

Good news! Adobe Commerce Magento is fully able to drive traffic to Youzan stores, allowing Vetreska to combine both solutions.

About the Vetreska’s Cat Cafe Mini Program

Vetreska’s Cat Cafe Mini Program is a second Mini Program we developed with the Cat Brand for their recently opened Cat Cafe. Vetreska needed a simple and tailored Mini Program to drive people to their offline Cafe.

Click here to check out the Cat Cafe Mini Program.

Booking Appointments

The Mini Program allows users to create their own profile and book an appointment to the luxurious Cat Cafe. 

Similarly to the eCommerce Mini Program, Vetreska’s brand identity could be kept and the customer journey entirely personalized.

WeChat Mini Program Magento eCommerce profil

Meeting the Cats

A cat’s catalogue was created, permitting users to discover the cats before visiting the recently opened Vetreska Cat Cafe. Taking the form of a card game, everything has been specially contrived to transform the Mini Program user journey into a pleasant and gamified experience they would like to renew. 

Ordering Food & Beverages

Of course the Cat Cafe is a relaxing and cosy place where you can rest among your favorite pets. You can grab a drink or eat in this peaceful environment. You can simply pass an order using the Mini Program. No need to move the cat from your lap!


How long did the project take?

The project started at the beginning of the year and we finished the development in mid-april. It took 4 months from the beginning to the delivery of the final Mini Program.


The Word of the Project Manager : Stacy Z

"One thing I consider successful is that the clients were happy. They were pleased with the design, the look and how the requirements were successfully translated technically, and implemented. This is what I consider a measure of success."


What About your Mini Program Project ? 

IT Consultis is a digital agency in Shanghai, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City strongly committed to researching, creating and executing the best digital solutions, ranging from strategic projects to entirely tailor-made web developments, Mini Programs, apps, e-commerce websites, and in-store experiences.

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