Tokyo, Japan – August 27, 2014 – LINE Corporation, owner and operator of the free call and messaging app LINE, held a new service presentation entitled “LINE Showcase August 2014” at the Roppongi Academy Hills Tower Hall during which the company announced the new future strategy for its smartphone-based online shopping service, LINE Mall.
As a result, according to a report published by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s , the “e-commercialization” rate, an index that tracks the spread of e-commerce (the proportion of e-commerce transactions conducted in the retail and service industries), is stuck at 3.1% for the B2C e-commerce market, exemplifying the fact that there is still much room for growth in this area.
In response to the current state of the marketplace, a pre-release iPhone version of LINE Mall was launched in March 2014, not as a Pull Commerce supply-side service targeting traditional demand, but as a “Push Commerce” (push-based e-commerce) service focused on cultivating new demand. In the five months since its release, the service has achieved a certain level of success through a variety of efforts, including shipping costs-included easy-to-understand pricing, the creation of an escrow service that handles the transfer of products and money for LINE Mall, a fixed-price delivery service targeted at sellers called “LINE Delivery,” “LINE Sales,” which notifies users of information on sales through push notifications, and more.
Furthermore, LINE announced its latest strategy to expand LINE Mall to the next stage under the concept of optimizing product encounters for connection-based consumption.
Specifically speaking, the service will offer LINE users the chance to encounter new products recommended by close LINE friends and acquaintances, opportunities to purchase products on their smartphones from local manufacturers and shops typically only available in certain regions or stores, as well as support for large-quantity production of handmade goods created by local artists, making these products available for purchase by a large number of users. Through all of these efforts and more, LINE aims to expand the domestic e-commerce market and take LINE Mall’s user base to the next level.
The key points of the announcement are as follows.
LINE Group Purchase
Release Date: Planned for August 28
LINE Group Purchase is a feature that allows multiple people connected through LINE to purchase products in bulk.
LINE plans to offer drinks, pasta, canned goods and other food products and daily necessities through Group Purchase. Users can enjoy up to 50% off standard prices when purchasing in bulk with their LINE friends and group acquaintances. This service will allow people to encounter a variety of products together with their close friends, co-workers and acquaintances.
Purchases are made by first having a representative select a product and then designate which friends and group acquaintances the product will be purchased in bulk by. Then, the representative chooses either to have all purchased products delivered to one location or to each participating member separately, after which they will fill out an order form that lists the amount they wish to purchase and then this form is sent to their selected friends and groups on LINE. Each product eligible for Group Purchases will have a minimum set order amount, and participants will be able to purchase the product as long as the relevant group of participating members orders a total of products over this minimum amount.
Release Date: End of Fall 2014
LINE Gifts is a feature that will allow people to send gifts to friends using LINE.
Users can purchase gifts on LINE Mall and choose their desired recipient from their LINE friends list, allowing them to send items to even friends whose address they may not know. The recipient user will be able to set their address and desired shipping date through the message they receive on LINE in order to receive their gift.
In addition, as with the unique LINE Group Purchase feature, the cost of a certain gift can be spread among multiple people by inviting friends or creating groups, and once paid for, the gift can be sent to a designated individual’s address. This will make purchasing easier by allowing users who may want to send expensive gifts in celebration of a newly born or birthday to do so by sharing the costs between friends and coworkers on LINE.
Release Date: Planned for Sometime in 2014
LINE Marche will provide manufacturers with the opportunity to enter contracts with LINE Mall in order to a create a service that allows users to purchase goods, such as freshly picked vegetables and freshly caught fish, that they would normally only be able to get locally. LINE Mall plans to expand their product line-up in expectation of the official launch in its efforts to build a service capable of meeting all purchasing and selling needs through LINE Mall.
Release Date: Planned for Sometime in 2014
LINE Select will offer contracts with LINE Mall to select popular shops operating only in the offline world in order to provide users with the opportunity to purchase products normally only found in-store on LINE Mall from home or at work. LINE Mall plans to increase its selection of available stores by adding Tokyo-based apparel, variety, and other select shops to its line-up, in order to achieve its goal of constructing a virtual shopping mall full of all sorts of select shops from around the world.
LINE Creators Mall
Release Date: Undecided
LINE Creators Mall connects creators with manufacturers as a service that lets LINE Mall support the large-volume production of handmade goods crafted by creators. By using the Favorites feature provided on LINE Mall, users can evaluate products, and creators may be offered large-volume production deals if their highly-rated products pass LINE Mall’s internal review process. LINE Mall aims to provide quality handmade products to a wide variety of users on LINE Mall through the aforementioned efforts, and support creators and their growth in order to launch new brands through LINE Mall. By expanding services that will serve as a platform for new forms of e-commerce in the smartphone era, LINE Mall aims to maximize user encounters with new products, cultivate new demand, and accelerate the growth of the LINE Mall business.
LINE MALL Overview
Supported Devices: Android and iPhone
Operator: LINE Corporation
Copyright: (C)LINE Corporation