This Chinese equivalent of Yelp has grown tremendously in the past 5 years and has now evolved into an app that offers the best of many commonly used apps that we are familiar with.
Dianping is now a combination of TripAdvisor, Yelp and Groupon offering listings of restaurants, bars, retailers, cinemas and other businesses with the option to provide reviews on them, as well as to purchase coupons and make groups buys on a number of lifestyle products. To date, there are over 600 million registered users on Dianping.
The types of businesses listed on Dianping are not limited to those in China, but worldwide, as long as there are Chinese users to the app in that country. Where there are restaurants, boutiques or spas with favorable reviews listed on Dianping, you can be sure that Chinese tourists will be flocking there.
Dianping’s bread and butter: Food and Beverage
Food and beverage is the core business of Dianping and was what the app had concentrated on when it was launched in 2013. After the merger of Meituan and Diaping in 2015, in addition to reviews on eateries and group coupon purchasing, food delivery was added to the list of services available in the food and beverage sector.
With the integration of Dianping’s basic restaurant review and coupon services with Meituan’s delivery service, the app has been nothing short of hugely successful in China, dominating almost 60% of the market share in early 2018.
Dianping has no intention of slowing down any time soon, with their recent announcement earlier this year that they will be testing and rolling out driverless vehicles to make deliveries in the near future.
Dianping’s subsidiary divisions
Before its merger with Meituan, Dianping primary focus was on the food and beverage sector. However, since the union of Meituan and Dianping in 2015, the app has ventured into subdivisions such as the tourism industry and online shopping.
Dianping now offers users with the option of making their hotel, transportation and entertainment bookings via the app. Despite its relatively late inception into the market, within 3 years of its attempt to take a bite of this pie, Dianping was able to take on almost 50% of the market share in 2018, making this foray into the tourism sector its fastest growing business venture.
More and more people are turning to online shopping to fulfill their retail requirements and this is especially true in China. In the first quarter of 2019, online retail sales in China made up 22.9% of the total retail sales of consumer goods in the country, amounting to a staggering USD$333.45 billion, which was an increase of 15.3% year-on-year.
With this incredible rise in online retail sales, Dianping has also gotten themselves a piece of this large pie by providing users with B2C and B2B offerings.
These came in the form of the group buy service for a variety of categories on the app and retailers can look to boost their sales by advertising their services and products to the hundreds of millions on users on Dianping.
Dianping services for businesses
Dianping has a number of services made available to retailers to learn the in-and-outs of using this successful app to their advantage.
There is a platform launched and managed by Dianping, Meituan Xue (学), which offers video tutorials featuring valuable business tips and advisors are on standby to attend to questions on using the app and on other problems in the food inustry. Users are charged a monthly, seasonal or annual fee to use this feature.
For businesses that have already listed themselves on the app, Meituan Shouyin (收银, meaning “cashier”) is the place for them to buy and download point of sale (PoS) systems that are compatible with the Dianping software. This allows businesses to more efficiently manage their sales orders.
Meituan Union allows businesses to advertise on the app both online and offline. The easy-to-use marketing platform lets businesses target their target audience based on demographics, location and preferences by using the data that the app has collected on their users.