Van Gogh Museum launches its official Weixin Mini Program, a one-stop platform allowing Weixin users around the world to embark on a journey into the world of Vincent van Gogh from the palm of their hands. Only two years ago, the Van Gogh Museum launched its Weixin Official Account to connect with art lovers in China. Expanding on this Weixin presence, the new Mini Program features more ways of inspiring people with Van Gogh’s life and work, as well as offering a new medium for the museum to engage with art enthusiasts and future visitors.
Museums are an important institution facilitating cultural exchange and enriching cultural understanding among peoples locally or around the world. Although museums were forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Weixin remained committed to empowering the industry to embrace digitally transformation and sustain their engagement with museum-goers.
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Van Gogh Museum’s new Mini Program boasts a wealth of biographical and historical art-related information, including audio guides on famous paintings, a customer service chatting function, a map layout of the museum, an in-app ticket purchasing feature via Weixin Pay, and AI Van Gogh, a gamification tool allowing users to imagine themselves or their surrounding scenery painted by the iconic Dutchman. Furthermore, the Mini Program offers co-branded museum merchandise through an e-commerce gift store. With these resources, the Van Gogh Museum is able to deliver museum-goers a more engaging experience to understand and even own a piece from its notable collections.
Besides its Mini Program, Van Gogh Museum also debuted on Channels, Weixin’s video and livestreaming platform, to share a series of interactive videos and host a livestream event around the launch of its Mini Program and before its reopening to the public. In fact, the museum’s digital library offers over 4,000 virtual tours, tutorials teaching children to paint like Van Gogh, and Q&A for art lovers to learn more about Van Gogh’s life and works. Furthermore, the livestream virtual tour broadcasted on its Weixin Channel account was the first livestream event by a global museum on Channels, gathering tens of thousands of viewers who tuned in to see Willem Van Gogh introduce some of his great-granduncle’s most celebrated works, including “Sunflowers” and “Bedroom in Arles”.
“The Van Gogh Museum inspires people all over the world with the work and life of Vincent van Gogh,” said Martijn Pronk, Head of Digital at the Van Gogh Museum. “With our presence on Weixin we are able to connect with people in China on their favorite platform. Join us and discover Vincent’s famous art and amazing life story.”
The launch of the new Mini Program and Weixin Channel account marks the beginning of a deeper cooperation between the Van Gogh Museum and Weixin, from omnichannel purchases supported by Weixin Pay, to the promotion of and engagement with new content formats and digital tools enriching users’ museum experience, whether it be virtual or in-person at the museum.
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Amid the disruption brought by pandemic to businesses around the world, Weixin Mini Programs have emerged as a popular and powerful tool for brands to offer services and facilitate new forms of consumer interaction. Daily active users for Weixin Mini Programs users exceeded 400 million last year in 2020 for the first time, while Mini Program usage rates and the average transaction value increased by 25% and 67% year-on-year, respectively.
Building upon its cooperation with the Van Gogh Museum, Weixin is actively working with over 20 global museums on launching their Weixin Channel account to further engage with their existing Weixin Official Account followership, attract new audiences and subscribers, and develop or enhance their own Mini Program-based services to connect with Chinese travelers and art enthusiasts, including: audio tour guides of exhibits, artifacts or paintings, interactive features to create social souvenirs or mementos, such as virtual postcards, and gamified experiences to broaden cultural education and strengthen users’ engagement with their Weixin Account towards unlocking special virtual prizes or rewards from the museum.