Dianping.com, a leading local lifestyle information and trading platform in China, recently announced the launch of its open platform 2.0 with data input and commission sharing features. The new features are aimed at the online restaurant reservation market, in a move to create a local lifestyle ecosystem based on its existing services, which already include merchant information, consumer service rating services, group-buying, e-coupons and e-membership cards.
The open platform 2.0 enables data input and commission sharing
The ability to conduct online transactions and user openness have been added to the 2.0 version of the developer platform released by Dianping, layered on top of the already existing information openness of the 1.0 version. Furthermore, it will enable data input from third-party applications and, at a later date, self-service commission sharing among third-party developers.
According to Lou Xiaobo, head of the information platform at Dianping.com, the greatest changes in the new release, as compared with the 1.0 version released in January, are focused around the availability of transactional content, including group-buying, online restaurant reservations, and e-coupons, as well expanded functionality for merchant accounts and user generated account (USG) functionality. Through bundling with a Dianping account, a third-party application can provide the USG functionality, such as allowing the submission of user comments, uploading images, and adding a merchant. For merchant information, 10 fields have been added to the 15 fields in the 1.0 version, allowing for highly comprehensive information on each merchant.
As of the end of October, the developer platform saw its total number of open API calls break through the one billion mark, with an industry-leading successful call rate of 99.99% and more than 3,000 registered developers. Its offerings include maps, social media, mobile yellow pages, travel, tools and access to promotional offerings, greatly enriching the user experience. For example, since SougouHaomatong formed a partnership with Dianping this July, the number of queries to Dianping’s open API in Sougou’s “Super Phone Book” has been continually increasing, ranging from displaying merchant results to merchant name and comments as well as data in queries for restaurants, hotels and shops.
Online restaurant booking service targets the over RMB100 billion food service online to offline (O2O) market
“China’s online restaurant reservations market has a potential of over RMB100 billion,” Wang Xugang, head of booking business at Dianping.com said, adding that he expects the market to pass that number in 2016. He explained that he came to that estimate based on the average number of orders received by each merchant and the expectation that the number of merchants that will have signed up by that year will surpass 80,000. If calculated based on the merchant receiving on average 10 orders per day averaging RMB500 per order, the market potential will exceed RMB140 billion by 2016. Survey data shows that 3 out of 4 consumers will book their table at a restaurant online, or, put another way, 75% of bookings will come from online restaurant reservations.
Currently, Dianping’s online restaurant reservations service is already available in nine cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Tianjin, Nanjing, Suzhou, and Hangzhou, and will expand to include an additional seven cities: Chongqing, Wuhan, Shenyang, Xi’an, Qingdao, Dalian, and Wuxi, in November. Going forward, market penetration will move into Tier 2 and 3 cities.
Meanwhile, the online restaurant reservations service has a high barrier to entry. With abundant points of interest information available on Dianping’s platform as well as the consolidated advantages of already having a range of offerings such as group-buying, e-coupons and e-membership cards already in place, the service builds its own barriers to competition, according to Mr. Wang.
The availability of an online restaurant reservations service in any locale goes a long way in optimizing and enhancing the supply chain across that locale’s traditional restaurant sector as well as creating a local lifestyle ecosystem.
Dianping is China’s leading local life information and trading platform and one of the first online independent third-party consumer service rating sites worldwide. In addition to detailed merchant information, consumer service rating services and featured promotions, Dianping also provides group-buying, e-membership cards, online restaurant reservations and other online to offline services. As a pioneer in developing local life mobile apps in China, Dianping has become a mobile internet company with its mobile apps having become an indispensable local life tool.
Dianping.com was founded by Tao Zhang in Shanghai in April 2003 and its founding team included Jason Li, Bo Zhang, Shuhong Ye and Edward Long