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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 Magento for a Premium Cat Food brand: Vetreska. We developed a referral program and entirely personalized Mini Programs. Discover the Mini Programs features in details.

What is Vetreska?

Check the WeChat Mini Program built for Vetreska by clicking here.

Vetreska is a leading premium cat food and toys brand that is 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 cocooning universe. Customers easily recognize the elegant and colorful brand that developed a smart referral strategy to increase its BtoB and BtoC sales. 

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

Let’s first check Vetreska’s Mini Program needs before to discover how ITC was able to answer them using Magento.


What were Vetreska’s Mini Program needs 

A Personalized Customer Experience

Vetreska wanted to reflect this strong brand image on 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 do not allow the Brand to develop its own design, and Vetreska was very limited in terms of customer experience offering. Their Tmall, JD and Youzan stores were looking like any other Cat Food brand. 

TMall does have different designs but sellers share several similarities and it is not distinctive enough. The differentiation with other competitors was minimal. They needed autonomy in terms of the look and the configuration of the stores. 

They were looking for a solution that they could customize to make all those personalized experiences, and communicate with their target customers. 

Developing a Referral Program

About Referral Programs

To push a bit more into the personalization and deepen the customer experience, Vetreska was willing to implement a referral program.

Referral programs involve practices to incite users speaking, 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 make 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 are sharing the Mini Program, they are receiving points. These points can 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 know their audience better.

Third-party platforms do not permit visualizing all your customers data, mostly when it comes to eCommerce. To better understand your audience, define your strategy and make the best decision, you rather own your data and build a private traffic acquisition channel.

Answering BtoB and BtoC needs

Vetreska is providing cat food to individuals, 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 specificity.

The login as well as the back-end of the Mini Program should be different 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.In the end, ITC developed two different Mini Programs with Magento for Vetreska. 

The first one is dedicated to eCommerce and visitors can buy cat’s food and toys enjoying the referral program and discounts. 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 food and drinks order.

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


The eCommerce Mini Programs ITC built for Vetreska using 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 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 part, certainly one of those that require the most knowledge of the Chinese eCommerce Ecosystem, as well as the administrative part. Indeed, a WeChat Mini Program creation does involve some paperwork and authorizations.

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

Coming back to Vetreska’s Mini Program creation in detail, the ITC team developed the Mini Program successfully. Some of its particularities are generated below.

eCommerce Mini Program Magento Menu

Login - Registration 

The Vetreska Mini Program comes with a registration process. Each user can manage its own account, check the closest Cat food shop and order 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 little boost for their WeChat Social Account.

BtoB and BtoC logins

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

For these business clients, ordering through the Mini Program is much more convenient. On the other side, it also permits 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 several audiences. 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 smooth and elegant experience, reflecting Vetreska’s brand image. Everything is thought to transform the Mini Program user journey into a pleasant and gamified experience they would like to renew.

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

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. And if you agree as a Westerner, you may not realize how important it is for Chinese people.

Chinese customers are from a collectivist culture. They use to ask their family and friends before making decisions, and look for approvals. Even if this characteristic tends to be less dominant nowadays, it still matters.

According to a recent study, 80% of Chinese netizens are playing the game of rating and reviewing products online. In addition, 81% of them check out comments before purchasing online.

It is thus evident that Vetreska should include ratings and reviews to its product sheets. The famous “rating stars” are even replaced by hearts to keep the Mini Program as cute as possible.

Referral Campaign

On the first part, we explained why Vetreska was willing to develop an alternative to money  and create its own referral program. They thought about a “points” system, through which customers can collect points, and later use them to buy items.

More than a loyalty program, Vetreska developed an ingenious strategy to attract customers. Their key target was to make people speak about them and their very exciting offer. The idea is to distribute points to everybody who is sharing the Mini programs, no matter if you are a cat owner or not. Later, by exchanging these points, you can get real money. 

It becomes fascinating for people because they literally earn money by merely sharing Vetreska’s Mini Program.

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

This idea became a reality and has been implemented to the Vetreska’s WeChat Mini Program by the ITC Teams, using Magento.

Alternative payments and referral programs are essential keys 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 any alternative payments such as the points system created for Vetreska.

Building your own WeChat Mini Program with Magento is a real advantage to keep your brand identity and develop the journey that suits your customers the best. 

Data Management & CRM

WeChat Mini Program Magento eCommerce  Shopping Card

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

The freedom given by their own Mini Program offers Vetreska more options to manage their sales, and mostly 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 pillar to leverage sales. For Vetreska, the ITC team developed a user-friendly Chat Bot able to guide the Mini Program users along with 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 second channel.

Good news! 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 develop with the Cat Brand for their recently opened Cat Cafe. Vetreska needed a simple and designed Mini Program to drive people to their offline Cafe.

Check the Cat Cafe Mini Program by clicking here.

Booking Appointments

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

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

WeChat Mini Program Magento eCommerce profil

Meeting the Cats

A cat’s catalogue is created, permitting users to discover the cats before visiting the recently opened Vetreska Cat Cafe. Taking the form of a card game, everything is thought 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 laying on your legs!


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 will 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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