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RealTime IT News

Korean Web Malls Thrive On Net Boom

Thanks to the soaring number of Korea's Internet users, Hansol CS Club, Samsung Mall, Uniplaza and the nation's other major Internet shopping malls saw their online sales more than doubled during the first half of this year.

Hansol CS Club, the leading online shopping mall in Korea which is run by Hansol CSN, posted 32 billion won (about US$27 million) in sales during the first half of this year, up nearly 300 percent over the same period last year.

Besides, the number of the company's shopping mall members sharply increased from 200,000 in 1998 to 450,000 at the end last June. It was largely attributed to its aggressive marketing efforts, including advertising campaign through TVs and various incentives offered to new members.

Samsung Corp., which opened its Internet shopping mall 'Samsung Mall' in July 1998, enjoyed sales increase of more than 2.5 percent to 20 billion won (US$17 million) from January through June this year. During the same period, its daily average sales amounted to around 150 million won (US$125,000), according to company officials.

Uniplaza, a cyber shopping mall created by Samsung SDS, saw its sales doubled during the first half with sales amounting to 2.5 billion won (US$2.1 million).

Company officials say that such a sales performance was due mainly to its energetic marketing activities, which are focused on sales of high or medium-priced articles such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, audio-components and cameras.

Other large Internet shopping malls also are enjoying handsome sales, according to industry sources.

Industry analysts predict that the domestic e-commerce market, which was estimated at 420 billion won (US$350 million) in 1998, would soar a 2.52 trillion won (US$2.1 billion) market by the end of this year and is expected to further rise to 11 trillion won (US$9.2 billion) market by 2003.

Despite such a rosy outlook for the domestic e-commerce market including Internet shopping mall business, still, incomplete delivery system has been pointed out as one of the biggest obstacles for future development of the domestic online shopping malls.

Online shoppers who could make orders instantly through the Internet, have to wait at least 3-4 days for delivery of goods they ordered. So, the domestic online shopping malls have been taking a great deal of trouble in seeking proper delivery service companies.

In this connection, Dacom recently announced that it has launched Internet delivery connection service 'eTrans', which links Internet shopping malls with delivery service companies in an efficient manner through the Internet.

It also enables customers to trace current delivery routes in real time.

With this service, Dacom intends to build a one-day delivery system for the first time among Korean companies, according to Dacom.