This article was written by Tamsin Smith and originally published in Jing Daily

Following the likes of Longchamp, Gucci, Michael Kors and Fendi, Burberry has become the next global luxury giant to open an official WeChat mini-program. The brand’s mini-program campaign takes the form of a social game in honour of Chinese Valentine’s Day – or Qixi – that this year falls on August 17.

Mini-programs, essentially apps within WeChat, have established themselves in China’s online ecosystem since launching early last year. For luxury brands, the feature now offers the opportunity to connect and engage with more than 280 million daily active users, according to a recent report by research agency ALD.

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Burberry’s new mini-program encourages followers to participate in a game with their partners, based on discovering different types of relationships. After a short quiz, with questions like, “Which shirt would you most like your partner to wear on a date?” (all Burberry, of course), couples are matched with one of 27 different “relationship outcomes” to describe their partnership – including “when cats meet dogs” and “the tale of ice and fire”.

Completing the game gives the user access to shop Burberry’s latest collection, including two new Qixi bags exclusive to China. For Chinese Valentine’s Day, Burberry has released its red “Belt Bag” and red “Pin Clutch”, which are only available in China on social platforms (WeChat and Weibo), burberry.cn and in mainland China stores. The exclusive Belt Bag is on sale for 17,900 yuan (US$2,620), with the Pin Clutch retailing at 11,200 yuan.

Josie Zhang, vice-president of Burberry in China, said, “Mobile is now the largest digital channel for us in China. The WeChat mini-program allows the customer to experience our brand in a seamless and engaging way, which is perfect for social commerce.”

According to Burberry, the Chinese luxury customer is now demanding social commerce platforms that offer personalisation and responsiveness – to replicate an in-store experience.

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“We’re expanding the leather goods offering and we launched the Belt Bag globally. The Belt Bag has performed extremely well in China, which is why we are releasing an exclusive red version. This is a high-quality large bag at a higher price point and it’s been very well received, in particular in China.”

This is the first time Burberry has launched a China-only product, and comes following the release last month of the brand’s Q1 Financial Review. According to the report, sales in the Asia-Pacific region saw mid-single digit percentage growth, led both by Chinese customers shopping at home, and Chinese tourists spending in other Asia-Pacific destinations.

The launch of Burberry’s first mini-program is the next in a line of strategic ideas hoping to strengthen the brand’s Chinese social commerce presence. The British fashion house, however, is likely to have competition – as Chinese Valentine’s Day approaches, many luxury brands will be garnering for a slice of the lucrative mini-program pie.

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