Digital Namecards and Why Swapping Physical Cards is Lame

If you are still using paper name cards in China for sales networking purpose, then you might be so outdated. Today sending out e-name card running on Wechat mini-program has become a prevalent trend. No more papers!

Recently a local startup established in 2017 raised a whopping RMB 168 million in series A from investors like IDG, Sequoia. It all started out by not doing anything high techie or fancy but simply selling e-name card solution to major companies.

The layout of its digital name card is as below:

The mini-program name card format makes it light-weight and easy to distribute, while your corporate website and product e-commerce shop are just a click away on the same page.

Even better, it provides back-end data analytics regarding:

  • how many people you have sent the name card to
  • how many people choose to save your card
  • the number of browsing and click on your name card
  • whether your contacts share your name card or not to their network

So the fate of your name card being thrown away in the trash is no longer keeping you in the dark. Even though some people may not add you via Wechat, as long as they click on such mini-program name card before, you are still able to push message or products information via its built-in IM (Instant Message) function later on. Nice!

Now the startup considers the mini-program name card is just the infrastructure. Upon it, they are already developing a full range of services in e-commerce, CRM and AI driven B2B sales lead analytics.

It is said the solution is selling like hot cakes, meaning the startup already signed 5000+ corporate clients.

In fact, many local companies have realized the great potentials of the e-name card in China, fostered by Wechat communication ecosystem.

Luolai, China’s leading home textile company, even built the digital name card system totally in-house a few years ago.

The goal has been empowering Loulai’s offline store sale associates to instantly connect and convert new customers as each name card is embedded with a discount coupon for first-time buyers.

Luolai is also asking sales associates to vigorously share Luolai’s product photo via their Wechat moment as many newly added potential customers would be there to check out and hopefully, these photos could trigger their impulsive purchasing behavior.

But instead of a regular photo, Luolai adds QR code on top it, which after long pressing, users can be directed to the purchasing link on Luolai’s official standalone e-commerce store.

To avoid the conflicts between offline and online division, each transaction generated from related photo QR codes is able to:

-identify the name and ID of the related sales associate

-allocate&attribute the sales success to a certain offline store to which this specific sales associate belongs

Now let us do the math:

  • Luolai has 2487 brick&mortar stores nationwide
  • Each store has about 4 sales associates on average
  • Every sales associate has on average 1000 connections on Wechat
  • Given the sales associate is required to share the product album photos at least 100 times yearly
  • Assuming the click-through rate on the QR code is 10%
  • Conversion rate is estimated at about 0.5%
  • Average price per transaction for Luolai’s product is around RMB1276

So the equation ends up in:

2487*4*1000*100*10%*0.5%*RMB1276 = RMB634,682,400

It could mean over RMB600 million untapped annual sales revenues (remember the gross profit margin of home textile&bedding in China is usually around 70%). And it is said Luolai only spent a total of RMB300,000 to roll out such digital name card and album system.

A few years ago, Luolai did it all in-house. Today more local startups are going to provide corporate clients a very similar solution at a fraction of their revenues. No wonder these startups are attracting the money and attention from elite VCs.

By: Cecilia Wu