Pinduoduo is one of the fastest growing apps in China. It recently IPO'd in the US and is currently worth around $13.8B. They claim to have 343M active buyers.
It is a social e-commerce app with a simple premise: Get a discounted price if you can get more people to buy the product. Each product listed on the app has a regular price and a discount price. To get the discounted price, you need to invite a certain number of people to also buy it with you.
The majority of Pinduoduo's traffic comes from WeChat. Users share deals through private messages and through WeChat Moments. Clicking on a link within WeChat takes you to Pinduoduo's mini program, which has almost the same functionality as the main app (see below)
As of 2017, Pinduoduo had $21B annual GMV (commission rate of 0.6%), $278M annual revenue, 4.3B annual orders. They've grown virally to 300M+ active buyers in less than three years, 60% of whom live in tier-three cities in China.
Credit: How Pinduoduo Works
As a first time user, the app asks you to turn on notifications for billing and delivery updates, flash sale alerts and featured offers. New users get a red envelope gift of ¥888 that they have to sign up to redeem.
The top of the home page has tabs to navigate different categories.
The top left has a recurring tool tip that shows recent activity like purchases and ratings for different items on the platform.
There is a carousel of promotional banners.
There are two rows of icons for the following: Time limited sales, Daily clearance, Discount on famous brands, 9.9 yuan sales, Imported goods, Recharge center, Love shopping, Cash check in, Food supermarket, Electronic Mall
The tabs at the bottom are: Home, Recommended, Search & Categories, Chat and customer support, profile and more
Home, Recommended, Search & Categories, Chat and customer support, profile and more
Popular, Apparel, Shoes and Bags, Mother and Baby, Department Store, Food, Lingerie, Electrical, Men’s Clothing, Furniture, Fruits, Makeup, Mobile Phones, Home and Textiles, Exercise and Fitness, Computers and Tech, Car Accessories, Home Improvement
The top section has a recurring tool tip that shows recent activity like purchases and ratings for the item.
The product info section shows product title, how many times the product has been bought, discount information and delivery assurances.
There is a section to see other people who've bought the item but are waiting on other people to also buy it. You can participate with them.
The sticky call to action at the bottom has discount price, regular price, option to save to collection and option to chat with customer care.
You can buy an item at full price OR at a discounted price. To get it at a discount price, you can join in the other people trying to buy the item and finish the purchase or make the payment and then invite a friend to also make the purchase.
After paying, you can invite friends by sharing on WeChat, QQ, QZone, QR code, image or with a voice note. The order isn't shipped to you till the required number of people buy it with you.
A great video that takes you through the entire app, including the checkout and sharing flow. More background information on Pinduoduo in their article here.
This tab contains profile information, gamification touchpoints, order related information, saved items, promotions, settings and recommendations.
There is a touchpoint to Cards Gamification on the top of the profile screen. A card can can fall under one of three categories: Function Cards, Behaviour Cards, Category Cards
Function cards: These are cards that unlock special functions or privileges within the app. You can get them by unlocking and using certain Behaviour Cards
Behaviour cards: You can unlock these by doing certain tasks
Category cards: You can unlock these by buying an item in a category.
These are cards that give you special privileges within the app. You can get them by unlocking and using certain Behaviour Cards.
Spelt Card: Use it to cancel order to be shared and get a refund (active product order cannot be cancelled). How to get: Use the Check-In Card and the Tycoon Card
Free Card: Use it to automatically buy the item again if your order expired before your friend joins. You can awlays manually remove this on the order details page. How to get: Get 2 times per cumulative confirmation receipt
Offer Resurrection Card: Renewable coupons expired in the last 30 days can be revived (shop vouchers, full coupon voucher can not be revived, each voucher can only be revived once). How to get: Use the Check-In Card and the Night Owl Card
You can unlock these by doing certain tasks.
Shopping Card: Shop for ¥500 on the same day
Love Card: Buy and receive the same item 3 times
Identify Card: Complete all personal information
Generous Solution Card: Invite 3 different friends to buy together
Hundreds Card: Write 100 reviews
Friend Zone Card: Get a card for 3 different friends
Hundreds Card: Buy and receive 100 orders
Check-In Card: Get it every time you check in 10 times
Early Bird Card: Log in during 7:00 to 9:00 for 3 consecutive days
Night Owl Card: Log in during 23:00 to 3:00 for 3 consecutive days
Tycoon Card: Get it every time you spend ¥1000 across orders
You can unlock these by buying an item in a category. Each card has Silver, Gold and Diamond levels. Every time you unlock a card, you get different exclusive brand coupons and get upgraded to the next level in that card.
The different category cards are: Maternal and Child Card, Clothing Card, Home Card, Gourmet Card, Electrical Card, Beauty Card, Home Textiles Card, Electronics Card, Sports Card, Mystery Card
You get a small amount of free cash and unlock the Check In Card by doing so from the home page each day. It doesn't let you check in unless you enable notifications, using this as a way to ask for permissions.
You can search for Pinduoduo's official accounts on WeChat and follow them or access their mini apps. It usually sends a message a day with promotions and offers. The mini app is almost identical in functionality to the main app.