A breakthrough in Chinese travel retail with WeChat Mini Programs

How a digital experience upgrade got fresh closer to its customers in China



  • Varejo & Bens de Consumo


  • Elevação da Experiência

Get to know fresh


High-end natural skincare company fresh was founded in 1991. Company cofounder Lev Glazman says fresh creates products people don’t know they need — and then can’t live without. This is how fresh gained a cult following for their effective, indulgent care products.

Today, fresh is a global company, headquartered in New York and within the LVMH brand portfolio. Fresh offers a full lifestyle product line that spans skincare, lip care, bodycare and fragrance. Fresh’s products are available in more than 2700 locations and 48 stores around the world.

Converting travel retail shoppers into enthusiastic customers


For brands that sell in China, travel retail is a key channel. For some of those brands, duty-free shopping can account for more than half of sales.

Travel retail creates unique challenges for brands. For one, the brand might not own the sales channel. This can obfuscate important sections of their customers’ journeys. Further, it can be difficult to convert travel retail customers into domestic customers once they return home.

This was the case for fresh. Imagine a customer from Shanghai on holiday in Sanya bought two bottles of Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence at a duty-free shop. Fresh had no way of learing more about that customer or incentivizing that customer to come visit the Xizang Road store once the customer returned home.

Fresh asked Valtech to help recover that value by:

  • Building a consumer database that the company could own and leverage for future campaign targeting.

  • Nurturing and retaining travel retail customers for conversion in local markets.

  • Driving truly consumer-centric communication across relevant touchpoints.

  • Centralizing this activity in WeChat.

4 phones on the screen

A scalable model for elevating travel retail experiences in China with WeChat Mini Programs


Within the context of a larger travel retail roadmap that we have helped fresh define, we built a WeChat Mini Program called “The Fresh Indulgent Voyage” (in Chinese: 馥蕾诗悦享之旅).

Key features

The Mini Program’s features were all designed to strengthen consumer connections with fresh’s product line and fresh’s brand. These include:

  • An AI-powered Mask Finder. This lets users upload photos and have their skin analyzed so they can find the perfect facemask.

  • Key opinion leader (KOL) recommendations. This lets influecers share travel shopping tips and fresh product reviews.

  • Live streaming. This lets users see the products in action.

  • A store locater. This helps users find retail outlets while they are traveling.

  • A product catalog. This lets users browse and get familiar with fresh’s 200-plus products before setting foot in a store.

  • Member rewards. These let customers earn points that are exchangeable for gifts.

  • An ongoing lucky draw contest. This gives users a chance to win fresh products.

  • Coupons. Customers can earn coupons at travel retail locations that are redeemable in domestic retail locations. This is the feature that bridges customer journeys across travel and local retail.

Building the user base

To help launch the Mini Program, fresh ran a monthlong sampling drive campaign with Globuy. New users were able to participate in a lucky draw to win free samples of popular products. The campaign generated more than 100,000 engagements on WeChat and RED.

Connect the online and offline experiences

The Mini Program is constantly updated with product information, limited-time coupons, product samples and duty-free shopping information. Newly registered members are offered a free Traveling Skincare Experiential Gift, which they can pick up when they visit a fresh travel retail store.

A trail of samples and coupons to map the customer journey

The product samples, contest prizes and coupons act as breadcrumbs along each customer’s journey:

  • When a customer signs up to the Mini Program, they become visible from a data perspective.

  • When they collect their Traveling Skincare Experiential Gift, fresh knows where that customer is on their journey.

  • When the customer redeems a coupon from a travel retail purchase at a shop in their local market, fresh can see the entire journey.

Sample by sample, coupon by coupon, this lays the data foundation for future targeted marketing campaigns.

phone on the hand

The travel retail Mini Program revolutionises how consumers explore and purchase duty free products, offering them the flexibility they crave. This innovative channel provides a means for brands to achieve ‘hyper-personalisation,’ tailoring recommendations and services to enhance brand awareness and loyalty.

-  Clement Ledormeur, General Manager at Valtech



In just one month, fresh’s WeChat Mini Program had exceeded membership acquisition expectations. This proved its value a digital hub for the brand’s travel retail channel and as an asset for boosting brand awareness.

The Mini Program completely changes how consumers browse, find and purchase duty-free products. Before, fresh relied on one-off digital engagement. The WeChat Mini Program channel gives them a way to hyper-personalize consumer engagement and earn customer loyalty.