Interpark starts online malls in Chinese, English

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Interpark starts online malls in Chinese, English



E-commerce site Interpark yesterday launched a Chinese and English version of its online mall to target the growing number of online shoppers abroad.

The new malls are mostly for young shoppers interested in K-pop, focusing on fashion, cosmetics and digital devices, the company said.

Six million items will be for sale on the foreign-language sites, which will have a different user interface and design from the Korean site.

Products displayed on the homepage will differ depending on where customers access the website.

The new e-commerce sites will provide foreign exchange information, and deliveries will be made through Express Mail Service.

Payments can be made with primary credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and JCB Card. Shoppers can also use PayPal or Alipay. By the end of the month, Interpark plans to also allow payments through Tenpay, China’s international payment system.

The effort to reach foreign consumers comes as more and more Koreans are shopping abroad online. Foreign direct purchases hit a record high of $1.04 billion last year, according to the Korea Customs Office.

“Interpark’s global websites will serve as a springboard for overseas expansion and will allow us to get access to emerging markets away from the stagnant local market,” said Yoon Joon-seon, manager of Interpark’s overseas business division.

She said that Interpark is working on adding more languages to the list it currently offers.

“We also plan to launch Japanese- and Spanish-language sites to reach more consumers,” Yoon said.

“We will sell specialized products that people would not find on other e-commerce sites, such as package tour or tours with concert tickets.”

Interpark started as a website to sell tickets and books at discounted prices.

As part of its international expansion, Interpark built a foreign unit and book distribution center in Los Angeles in 2011. The move was intended to serve the growing number of Koreans living in the United States.

In a report released last month, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) urged local retailers to tap into overseas markets to offset the effects of more Koreans shopping abroad.

The report underscored the sheer size of the e-commerce market in China, where purchases worth $35.2 billion were made last year, about 35 times more than in Korea. The KCCI estimated that value would increase fourfold by 2018 to $120 billion.

Other retailers are also looking to cater to a wider customer base.

GS Home Shopping said it will launch Chinese- and English-language online malls next year.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]


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