China is developing really fast. Even if the Chinese market represents the best place to go, new internet start-ups are facing the domination of the biggest ones. Meituan and Dianping are the two leaders of Chinese group buying sites. They merged in 2015 to become “Meituan-Dianping”, creating the largest online-to-offline company in China. That is hugely significant because, at this stage of development, O2O’s trend is the focal point in the Chinese market.
This article will provide you with more information about these two companies and how they are providing value for companies. If you have already heard about them and you are seeking a way to integrate them into your business development strategy, click here to see our services.
Meituan-Dianping, the largest online delivery platform in China
The company was founded in 2010 by Wang Xing, and headquartered in Beijing. Meituan offers deals every day, selling vouchers on local services and entertainment activities. It provides several categories: to eat, to have fun, to book a hotel, to travel, for shopping and for life services. About 35 million people are using its app every day.
Today, Meituan focuses on group deals whereas Dianping focuses on restaurant reviews. On Dianping, which is very similar to the American company Yelp, you can see the ranking of shops or services you are searching for. The most appreciated ones, rating by users, will appear at the top, while in Meituan it can depend on different features.
Among the multiple services of Meituan, its food delivery service “Meituan Waimai” is one of its biggest focuses.
Ride-hailing service by Meituan-dianping
In 2017, the company started its own ride-hailing service through “Meituan Dache” which became the main rival of DiDi, the major ride-sharing in China. These two companies went into an important hunting game, offering a lot of coupons, favorable retail rates, and anything to gain the attention of both consumers buying and merchants selling. They have been burning cash on this competition to get the maximum of consumers.
Last year, Meituan-Dianping acquired China’s largest bicycle-sharing system Mobike, spending US$ 2.7 billion. Companies in China are involving a lot of businesses because they can bring them, new users. Then, with the increase of their general user database, they can guide them into their other activities. For example, in the actual advertisement of Meituan, it proposes that if you took Meituan’s ride-hailing service to go to the cinema, then you can get a reduction of 20 or 30 Yuan on your cinema ticket.
Some types of services are using social media platforms to connect with consumers because it allows getting the most out of online consumers.
Online-to-offline war in China
This topic is an important focus in China. Every big and powerful china consumer internet company are shaking its team to go further in the O2O process, which aims to help the development of physical retailers, to reach new customers via the internet (and mobile). We can define O2O as a shorthand for strategies to get more online shoppers into brick-and-mortar businesses. In fact today, businesses that cannot pack up and ship out their products and services are cut out of this whole process.
Meituan’s platform is also working on O2O, connecting over 240 million consumers and 5 million local merchants via a comprehensive array of e-commerce services and products. Meituan Dache and Meituan Waimai both are part of their O2O strategy.
Dianping’s main lack remains in its capacity to give a real experience to its consumers. They often go on Dianping’s platform to check for information about a place and then move away. Even if this app is very popular among Chinese consumers, using it as their favorite tool for restaurant reviews, Dianping hasn’t found yet the most effective way for its development, the way that would allow it to close the loop and form a real relationship with its customer.
Investors also pour money into China’s booming online-to-offline space, where consumers use their smartphones to book offline services ranging from restaurants to movie tickets to other leisure deals.
Agency for restaurant promotion
You have probably noticed the reason for an online presence to do business in China. In this digitalized society, Chinese consumers are very connected. They often use at first the internet to search for what they want and then come to offline retailers’ shops. It is particularly the case for restaurants. Chinese consumers first check on Dianping, then they make their choice. Whether you want to develop your delivery service or boost your restaurant’s activity in China, you will have to work with this kind of app.
Also, as we said before, social media platform is very useful to connect with consumers. The most powerful tool we have to introduce here is WeChat. It is the most popular app for communication in China and it has developed a lot of features to suit businesses needs. Companies are using WeChat to stay in touch with existing customers and gain repeat business.
Wechat has reached 1 billion monthly active users this year? Its huge user database represents a veritable goldmine for a lot of internet companies. Meituan also has settled into WeChat’s platform. Today we can access Meituan via the WeChat wallet section.
At this stage of development, China has a lot of booming industries. This is a promising and huge market with its own culture and way to function. It is important to ensure an online presence and to have knowledge about Chinese customers’ behaviors.
Want to start a business in China? Do not hesitate to contact us. Gentlemen Marketing Agency is specialized in digital marketing in the Chinese market. We have developed many successful projects because we know how to effectively promote your business in China by using the latest digital tools.
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