Masha Borak wrote on TechNode about China’s mobile payment platforms transforming online marketing.

“The most basic type of interaction is to invite customers to follow the brand’s official WeChat account to get notifications for their order,” Graziani told TechNode.

Another is to automatically enroll customers in a group purchase, he added. Users share their purchase with friends on social media and get a discount in return. For brands, this can be a way to create some additional viral engagement.

Many vendors get the consumers to do the marketing to drive sales via gift cards or coupons. Another way is to offer a discount coupon if the consumer follow the brand’s official WeChat account. This allows the brand to send notifications about promotions or give consumers more discount coupons to lure them back to make purchases. These aren’t new marketing tactics, but the use of WeChat to make it as seamless and minimise friction increases the appeal to the consumers.

It’s become a habit for me to check for Meituan or Koubei promotions when ordering at restaurants and during payment.

The trend is especially popular among restaurants, which are CJI’s main customers. Some restaurants are giving up entirely on the concept of the classical paper menu. To place an order, guests scan a QR code that leads them to an online menu where they pick their favorite dishes and pay with the mobile payment app of their choice.

This is becoming increasingly common. All of the restaurants I’ve been to in the past two months have QR code stickers on each table for ordering and payment. Instead of trying to get the attention of a busy wait staff during peak periods, we order with our smartphones. Likewise when it comes to paying the bill. Cheaper and faster. Attractive incentives for the consumers.