Use Dianping to Promote your Restaurant in China – 2020 Update

Meet the Chinese leading O2O platform, Dianping

People often use the American company Yelp to present Dianping but actually, Dianping was created before Yelp. It was founded in April 2003, as the first website providing independent consumer reviews on local services in the world. Dianping is headquartered in Shanghai, China, with established branch operations in 250 cities nationwide. Today, it is China’s leading O2O (online to offline) platform for urban and lifestyle services.

A review app … with 2020 data

Chinese consumers rely on Dianping app for restaurants searching. The app provides merchant information and a lot of consumer reviews. Dianping has more than 260 million active users per month. Over 100 million user-generated reviews.

Annual Active Merchants on its platform grew by 16.2% to 5.9 million in the 12 months ended June 30, 2019 from 5.1 million in the 12 months ended June 30, 2018. it also served nearly 400 million Chinese users.

Overall monetization rate increased to 14.3% in the three months ended June 30, 2019, from 12.2% in the same period of 2018.

 Convenience at the heart of Succeding in China

Wang Xing’s (founder of Meituan) goal: to help people “eat better, live better”. Bet successfully since his empire has become so powerful that it is even more advantageous to have a meal delivered than to cook yourself. Thanks to a powerful artificial intelligence program, deliveries are optimized in time and cost, allowing more than 20 million orders every day.

Food and beverage are not lacking at all in China. Walking across china’s street, you will see restaurants and snack stands anywhere. Also, there is a huge competition in this market. Cities’ landscape is changing fast, with new stores opening and taking the place other shops.

Offering Good deals is not to neglect

Dianping also offers group-buying, online restaurant reservations, take-out delivery, e-coupon promotions, and other O2O services, covering local businesses in industries including dining, movies, lodging, entertainment, beauty, wedding, mom & kids, home renovations, etc. With its growing number of users, Dianping is becoming the most powerful online partner for local businesses.

In addition, abroad restaurants are also entering this platform in order to attract more Chinese consumers.

Dianping is seeking to create a community

Dianping updated the version for its app for the sixth time within 3 months. People said that its main weakness is that users only go to Dianping to check information about a place to eat and then they exit the application while there are so many other features to use on its platform. This is also because customers are accustomed to other mobile apps for food and beverage delivery.

To catch the attention of users and help its app to become more valuable, Dianping is developing itself.

Learning from Xiaohongshu and Douyin

Xiaohongshu or Little Red Book and Douyin are two very popular apps in China. The first one is an app for sharing things about life. It includes feedback on products, and small tips and it is a daily used app by a lot of Chinese consumers (an article will be written later about Little Red Book). You can find it in the photo, on the right Little red book’s platform, and on the left the Dianping’s latest updated interface for sharing.

Chinese consumers spend a lot of time on social media apps. Douyin is the hottest one in China. It is an app for mini-videos (like the American app Vines), to watch but also to create. Dianping is trying to add video sharing on its platform to engage its users and keep them longer in Dianping App.

“Fake restaurants” on Dianping

In December 2017, Dianping faced some troubles by letting license-free restaurants settle in its platform. Actually, the restaurant used another one’s license to apply for a presence on Dianping. It was discovered by the real owner of the license, who said “if there are troubles later, we will be the one to be pursued by the legislation”

This kind of case happened also before. Why are license-free restaurants allowed to enter Dianping? The main reason is that the online ordering platform does not strictly check the catering service providers. After the problem, it removed the store from its platform.

How to attract Chinese customers?

As we said, competition is very important in the Chinese catering industry. Those who succeed, have to make sure of three points:

Product Quality

This is an essential characteristic to ensure food and beverage companies, especially in China. This is because of scandals that happened in the past in the country, which have caused health issues for a lot of people. It also generated fear among consumers and now they care much more about what they are eating.  The second reason is that the Chinese are seeking greater quality products and ways of life. Bad quality or non-nutritious foods will be replaced over time by the most high-end ones. This is a trend in China that will keep going along with the country’s growth.

Brand reputation in the Chinese F&B is Key

Chinese people are very connected to them. They do not trust a lot in Brands but more in other consumers. This is also why companies are trying to create communities and go on branding strategies. Chinese social network helps them to achieve that, providing many ways to advertise and interact with their target consumers. But at the same time, the information spreads fast over the Chinese network in and Brands have to be careful of that.

GMA can help you to increase your visibility and manage your communities on Chinese social networks. Contact us to learn more.

Online presence

Actually, an online presence is not only needed for the catering industry but for almost all activities in China. Dianping has become an indispensable smartphone application for Chinese-speaking consumers. Whatever you are doing business in China or in another country, Dianping is the main app to consider in order to reach Chinese consumers.

You can make a difference with your competitors. As Chinese are accustomed to this kind of app, be present on it will naturally attract more clients. In addition, it offers them a better experience and it is a benefit for your promotion in Chinese.

“Must-have new strategy”

dazhong adv

In April 2020 Dazhong officially announced the” 2020 must-have series” or “必住榜” shortlist, converting not only restaurants but also shopping malls, hotels, and attractions.

A total of 1990 business from 35 cities across China joined the new campaign. comparing with the” 2019 must-have series”, in 2020 the app received more than 8.7 million authentic reviews created by 3.2 million commentators.

Dazhong diversifying in health trends

in 2020 Dazhong Dianping with a platform diversified to all kinds of businesses such as beauty services, shopping, and many other categories where you can share your experience of the community you share at. they also offer electronic coupons for all these new leisure activities that you have found through these new features in the app

GMA is up-to-date with the latest marketing tools in China and we can also provide help on your business development in China. Our agency offers a complete range of services for e-commerce marketers from e-commerce consulting to digital marketing operations, including services about Dianping and Meituan.

Feel free to contact us for more information.

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