96 of 100 cosmetics brands tracked by U.S. research firm L2 have a WeChat account, up from 30 last year.

Cosmetic brands, both Chinese and foreign, are increasingly reaching Chinese consumers via WeChat, the mobile social network that claimed 697 million monthly active users at the end of 2015, according to its owner, Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. That user base increased 39% in a year.

U.S. research company L2 Inc. tracks 100 leading cosmetics brands in China and found in its latest survey that 96% have WeChat accounts, up from 30% last year. The study also found 59% of those brands offer loyalty programs on WeChat.

However, in most cases consumers can’t yet buy products from these cosmetics brands via WeChat. Only 20% of Beauty brands offer in-app payments and 19% of brands operate a WeChat Store. However, the report says about 50% of brands offer links to their stores on Chinese web marketplaces and 40% provide links to a stand-alone company e-commerce site.

Among the international companies selling via WeChat is U.S.-based Benefit Cosmetics LLC, which sells online in China in several ways, including via a stand-alone company e-commerce site, a branded storefront on marketplace Jumei.com and a store on WeChat.

Here are the features that the cosmetics brands tracked by L2 offer on WeChat:

  • Customized menu, 89%
  • Loyalty program, 59%
  • Click to call customer services, 52%
  • Gamification, 51%
  • Link to stores on online marketplaces, 50%
  • Link to company e-commerce site, 40%
  • Loyalty point redemption, 39%
  • Location-based services, 30%
  • WeChat payment, 20%
  • WeChat online store, 19%

WeChat is a popular mobile-based social network in China that enables users to connect with their friends in multiple ways, including via online posts, voice chat, conference call and group chat.

To compete with Alibaba’s giant Taobao web shopping portals, WeChat offers brands and retailers several free e-commerce features, including order management, which allows sellers to track and cancel orders. 

For more Chinese e-commerce data, please click here for the new Internet Retailer 2016 China 500