If you want to discover the latest or undisclosed attractions around your area, then we highly recommend you use Dianping. Dianping is one of the most underrated apps that provides updated information on the go-to attractions and establishments users are raving about. If you’ve established a business in China and is looking to increase brand awareness, you should take note of the influence that Dianping has on consumer choices in China.
In the age of social media, FOMO has now become endemic amongst your average social media user. The biggest apps on your phone are social media apps. Every day, people are using these apps to share photos and videos of their latest adventures/activities. The yearn for likes and attention has indirectly made social media use competitive. People are constantly looking for the next trendy or hidden attraction that they can experience and show off to their friends on social media.
So how does the average consumer in the West typically go about searching for highly-rated, interesting attractions, restaurants, or activities around their area? Word of mouth from friends, family or colleagues is typically one of the main routes, but what if you’re traveling to a country or place that you’ve never been before?
There are multiple online platforms that are commonly used to solve this problem. TripAdvisor and Yelp are some of the biggest apps (similar to Dianping) that crowd source reviews of businesses and attractions. Searching a particular business or attraction on Google will also result in you seeing the latest Google review ratings of that place written by users.
The problem with these platforms is that it’s difficult to differentiate between the businesses that are new and on the come-up versus already established businesses. The results that appear on these platforms often feel out-dated and don’t take into consideration the requirements of the modern, young consumer.
Modern Chinese Consumers
The modern consumer is looking for that secret, hidden gem that none of their friends have yet discovered. These consumers want to make their social media feed stand out. Consequently, they prioritize businesses that offer a unique visual aesthetic that will augment their social media profile.
This description of the modern, young consumer perfectly encapsulates the modern Chinese consumer and traveller. The growing middle-class in China has created a culture in which Chinese consumers are wanting to spend their disposable income and flaunt their lifestyle on social media. This culture is so deeply ingrained within the modern Chinese consumer that there’s even a Chinese term for it called 网红 (wǎnghóng) which means internet celebrity/influencer.
Because Chinese consumers love to explore and enjoy new experiences, they use platforms like Dianping to decide where they should eat, activities to do, places to visit, etc.
On Dianping, you can get detailed information about businesses/attractions such as its menu all within one app. Dianping is even used to find the best rated hospitals, nightclubs, gyms – virtually any business you can think of!
Businesses on Dianping are constantly inundated with the latest reviews from users which can significantly influence the brand reach of your business. Dianping users are also known for (and incentivized by the app) to publish honest and detailed reviews of businesses they’ve visited. These reviews include pictures of their experience, to provide users with a comprehensive understanding and visualization of the business.
And Dianping users aren’t afraid to voice criticism of your business if they feel that it’s due! Given that there is so much weight behind published Dianping reviews, a scathing review can ultimately jeopardize the image and popularity of your business. The quantity of and rating score of your business will also affect your position on Dianping’s SERP. This is also significant in determining how often your business shows up on the results of specific keywords.
Dianping isn’t just used in mainland China. Chinese consumers love to study and travel abroad. Users will write reviews of foreign businesses of Dianping to help their fellow Chinese travelers and students to decide on which businesses and attractions are worth visiting. If you own a business in a popular city amongst tourists, you may have a Dianping rating without knowing it!
Using and navigating Dianping is fairly straightforward and intuitive, despite the fact that everything is written in Chinese. If you need help translating text on Dianping, simply screenshot the page and translate it via a third-party translation app such as Google Translate, WeChat’s built-in translation feature, or DeepL.
After you sign up for a Dianping account, you will be taken to the main interface.
On the top left corner of the screen, you will see your location. Businesses and attractions that are recommended to you within the app will be based on your location. So, if your location is set to Shanghai, then you will see businesses that are strictly based in that city. However, you can change your location by pressing on your location and entering a city of your choosing. This could be a city inside or outside of China, and will change the results that appear on your page.
Choosing a Category
At the top of the screen, you will see categories of different businesses that may be of interest to you. The icons make it easy to distinguish. If you are looking for a cool restaurant, then clicking on the roast chicken icon will filter only restaurants. If you are looking for a cool bar or nightclub to check out, then click on the cocktail icon.
At the bottom of the screen, you will see a list of reviews of businesses from Dianping users that have been recommended to you by Dianping’s algorithm. As you use the app more and more, Dianping will detect which activities/businesses you like and will recommend businesses that match with your viewing preferences.
Once you’ve clicked on your chosen category, Dianping will automatically list all of the nearest and highest-rated businesses based on your location. You can see the distance of each business to the right-hand side of the screen. If you want to refine your location further, click on 附近 at the left of the screen, and from there choose which district or area within the city you would like to refine your results on.
Browsing through businesses is definitely the fun part of the Dianping experience. Clicking on a business will take you to the business’ page.
At the top, you will see a horizontal photo/video gallery of the business. This typically displays the interior of the business, or the signature product/services it offers. Underneath you will find the name of the business, Dianping rating, operating hours, and contact information such as address and phone number.
Scrolling further down will take you to see the products on offer. If you are looking at a restaurant, you will see popular dishes on display. Restaurants also typically provide a picture of their full menu, in case you are curious about the other items they have. This makes decision-making even more convenient for users.
Finally, scrolling towards the bottom of the screen will take you to the user reviews of the business. The top reviews will appear based on their popularity amongst other users. However, you can expand and filter your results depending on whether you want to see the latest reviews, reviews that give high-ratings, and reviews that give low-ratings.
Get Your Business on Dianping!
If you’re looking to establish a business in China that’s in the hospitality business, you’ll want to make sure that you have a presence on Dianping. Otherwise, how are potential customers going to discover your business?
Chinese consumers have so much choice nowadays. Hence, your business needs to create a powerful first impression upon users. To do this, you’ll want to create a Dianping profile that oozes professionalism and character. This requires professional photography, videography, and flyers that matches your brand image and aesthetic. A quality service and quality Dianping profile is the perfect pairing for growing your business.
For help on creating the perfect Dianping profile, contact Gab China.