Chat App Line Is Testing A Present Store For Sending Actual-World Items To Buddies
Line, the messaging app from Japan, dipped its toes into commerce when it launched a grocery service again in Thailand again in February, now it has prolonged that with a brand new present store for offline merchandise. The service is initially out there in Thailand, which is one in every of its largest markets with over 30 million registered customers.
The corporate has piloted a variety of providers in Thailand — together with a $2 music streaming service and a YouTube-like app — because it seeks to capitalize on its reputation within the nation and generate income. Line’s consumer progress has flattened off this yr, so it’s important that it finds methods to monetize customers in its largest markets — Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia symbolize two-thirds of its 212 million month-to-month lively userbase.
Line customers can already ship one another digital items, like stickers, however this new present store is about bodily, offline merchandise. Line’s preliminary companions embrace 7-Eleven, Asia Books, SF Cinema and others — so, you’ll be able to ship your mates a espresso, a breakfast, cinema tickets, or extra.
The service is powered by Line Pay and it’s pretty straightforward to make use of when you’re arrange on the corporate’s cellular funds service. I despatched a pal a ‘breakfast set’ for a reduced 14THB (round $zero.50), and it took lower than a minute from begin to end.
Simply to make certain, I examined the function out once more — sending somebody on Twitter a cinema ticket (as a result of why not) — and once more the method was fast and straightforward.
The extra urgent query is whether or not an effort like this could scale. Tango, the U.S. messaging service valued at over $1 billion, just lately laid off employees after an unsuccessful enterprise into e-commerce, however Line’s present store purchases are so cheap that the primary aim of the venture seems to be getting customers to join Line Pay. By including their card to the service, Line overcomes a serious barrier that would result in them utilizing Line Pay for bigger and extra common purchases, moderately than simply bringing in small sums like $zero.50. (That are closely discounted, by the best way.)
WeChat, the messaging big from China, has mastered the artwork of getting customers to bind their financial institution card to its cost service. On the final rely, it had over 200 million customers on its We Pay service because of progressive promotions and concepts that tie in with Chinese language festivals and traditions. Line gained’t attain that sort of scale in Thailand, a rustic with a inhabitants of simply over sixty five million, however this pilot is about studying the way it can strategy and monetize markets like Indonesia, Taiwan and different elements of Southeast Asia.