WeMakePrice vows lowest prices

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WeMakePrice vows lowest prices

WeMakePrice ignited a price war with E-Mart on Tuesday by touting a list of powdered milk products that it was selling for a cheaper price than its competitor.

The e-commerce platform, which encompasses open market and daily deals, said Tuesday that of 118 powdered milk products that are available on WeMakePrice and E-Mart’s online shops, 102 of them were being sold at a cheaper price on WeMakePrice. The other 16 items were the same price.

The announcement follows a similar price comparison list on diapers that WeMakePrice unveiled Feb. 24.

“As a platform that focuses on offering the ‘cheapest price’ we wanted to let consumers know that we are offering the lowest price among all other e-commerce platforms,” WeMakePrice said in a statement.

Sales of diapers and dry milk are sensitive to price shifts because the products are purchased repeatedly.

Last year, E-Mart, a discount chain affiliate of Shinsegae Group, also pledged to offer select items, including diapers and powdered milk, at the cheapest price on the market. E-Mart said it monitored market prices and reflected the cheapest price on its own platform, both offline and online. It sparked fierce price competition in the e-commerce business with daily deal operators Ticket Monster, WeMakePrice and Coupang.

WeMakePrice said Tuesday that the cost of dry milk that E-Mart promised for the cheapest price was about 2.9 percent higher than at WeMakePrice. When including other powdered milk products, WeMakePrice’s price tag was an average 30.8 percent lower.

The e-commerce platform also boasted confidence in its diaper prices last week. It said of 17 diaper products on the platform, 15 of them were cheaper on WeMakePrice.

“Large-size diapers were sold at a price 1.4 percent cheaper on our platform while that of super-size products had a price tag that was 9.8 percent lower,” the e-commerce operator said in a statement.

“Offering the cheapest price is WeMakePrice’s identity,” explained a company spokesperson. “We believe that price competitiveness is an utmost factor which determines the purchase decision for online shoppers. E-Mart started rolling out a ‘cheapest price’ strategy last year, but we found out that it was not true.”

Some analysts said fierce competition on prices won’t matter, long-term.

“Offering the cheapest price was actually really important a few years ago when online shopping was vigorously expanding, mostly due to its cheaper price compared to offline shopping,” said an analyst. “However, it is doubtful whether the trivial price difference will determine the e-commerce operators’ competitiveness as a whole in a long term. Delivery service, product lineup and loyalty towards the company play a bigger role now.”

E-Mart declined to comment on the matter.

“We made a promise with consumers last year that we would offer the cheapest price for certain products by monitoring market price every week and reflect that on our platform every Thursday,” said a spokesperson for E-Mart. “We will keep doing that. If WeMakePrice lowers prices before Thursday, we would be reflecting that on our weekly price update on Thursday,” the spokesperson added.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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