We recently spoke with Celine Shen, owner of Superego Sun, about how WeChat has helped her build her business.
Nearly every Chinese person uses WeChat every day. There are almost 800 million people using WeChat, so it’s the largest social media platform in China, and it has a lot of features. As a business owner, I find that WeChat makes it easy to talk to customers about their orders and answer any questions quickly. Besides this, we use WeChat to send pictures of the cakes, and it also lets you record voice, which can be very helpful.
I was a WeChat user before I opened my business, and it was easy to find out about the WeChat Store features. You can search for stores on the front page of WeChat – in fact, I mostly learned about it by using WeChat Stores as a customer. I use it nearly every day to make many kinds of purchases and to pay bills overseas. It’s really convenient because I don’t need to transfer funds to a third party to finish the payment.
How does WeChat Store help your business?
When we opened the WeChat Store, it was mainly because of WeChat Pay. WeChat Pay lets people send money by scanning the WeChat QR code from their financial company. It’s really simple, you just need 10 seconds to finish all the steps. Many entrepreneurs have opened WeChat Stores, for example, to sell clothes from Asia, or to sell food online. We also have a physical store with a website, and we use our WeChat Store account to link to the website.
When I first started to use WeChat, my account already had lots of friends. At that time, I was still in University studying business, so I knew lots of people. I made cakes and desserts for my friends when I was still in school, and I was able to promote my hand-made cakes using WeChat just as a hobby. I always worked hard to produce good quality hand-made cakes because I enjoy getting good feedback from my friends. I also want everybody who eats my cakes to be happy!
At the beginning, I relied on word-of-mouth promotion. But once I opened my business, I became more focused on WeChat promotion. Today, our business already has 5 WeChat accounts, which is almost 20 thousand loyalty customers. WeChat definitely helped my business become successful.
How do you promote Superego Sun?
WeChat Moment helps a lot. It’s a bit like an Instagram post – almost every Chinese person uses it every day, and it’s free. You can post any picture or video you like. I use it to post any cake design or promotion. When people open WeChat Moment, they can see my business, what the cakes look like, and the design inspirations for specific cakes. It’s great for sharing information with customers. Even if the customer doesn’t buy a cake today, they’ll become familiar with our brand. Someday, when they want a cake, they’ll order from us because of that nice impression.
Because WeChat Moment lets customers “like” or “comment” on pictures and videos, it helped us get the objective feedback we needed to perfect our brand and products. For example, people would suggest more flavors to us, like some seasonal fruit flavors. They also use it to show how much they appreciate our customer service.
Every cake we make is aimed at a specific market. For example, international students want more fashionable cakes, with amazing designs. Some people want simpler cakes that are great value. We make sure that we’re promoting certain cakes to specific WeChat customers. Nowadays, people are more interested in a healthy lifestyle, so I’m pleased to say that our cakes are 100% hand-made, and they aren’t as sweet. We don’t use any additives or preservatives. You can see on our website that we do lots of whipped cream cakes. Our expert cake baking group can do everything from simple cakes to wedding cakes – but they all taste amazing!
Our business has done some advertising outside WeChat. We advertise on local radio, and on some social websites. We also cooperate with some existing media platforms. Recently we cooperated with OTT Pay on the Asialicious Carnival, and we provided food for the event. And the feedback is pretty good, because the visitors in the carnival love our desserts!
We do a lot of catering for special events, and we’re working to develop that as part of our business. For example, we provide cakes for the after parties for concerts given by famous singers, pop stars, dancers and other artists, such as the famous Chinese pianist Li Yundi. Recently we made a birthday cake for Boy Story, the featured group at the CNE K-Pop Showcase this year.
How does OTT Pay help your business?
I first heard about OTT Pay two years ago. I knew then that it was the largest Canadian company that offers WeChat Pay and Alipay. I also like that they have a secure payment terminal with a big screen, so that I can see every transaction clearly. And whenever I’ve had a problem, the customer service at OTT Pay has always been friendly and very helpful. It’s great that they can offer the payment methods that my customers are most familiar with!
Do you have any advice for people who want to start a business?
If you want to start a business, the most important thing is to know what the market needs, and what people want. This lets you follow the market trends. It’s better to do complete research before you become an entrepreneur – the business you want to open might already have been monopolized . As an entrepreneur, the only limit is your imagination. Just open your mind!