Naver, Line launch Japanese Smart Store

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Naver, Line launch Japanese Smart Store

 Naver and one of its subsidiaries Line, announced the pre-opening of MySmartStore, which is the Japanese version of Naver Smart Store. MySmartStore began operations on Oct. 20, ahead of the service’s official launch slated for spring 2022.

Naver is the provider of this service, while Line oversees business operations, including sales and marketing.

According to a survey by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the size of Japan’s e-commerce market exceeded 12 trillion yen ($105 million) in 2020 and has been growing continuously every year. The number of businesses participating in e-commerce channels is increasing as well due to Covid-19.

However, creating an e-commerce channel and attracting and managing customers can be challenging for businesses.

As a solution to this, Line and Naver decided to open MySmartStore, an online e-commerce platform that allows sellers to easily manage and run their businesses.

MySmartStore is a Japan-localized version of Naver Smart Store, the leading e-commerce platform in Korea with some 470,000 merchants. Naver Smart Store had a gross merchandise value of 17 trillion won in 2020 and grew 46 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2021, dominating the domestic market in terms of weekly visitors and transaction volume via Naver Shopping.

MySmartStore will offer merchants a one-stop shop for opening, managing, gathering support and handling customers. The service utilizes Naver’s know-how in enabling anyone to create a personal store with a wide range of design layouts and editing functions.

Each store can also be synced to a Line Official Account to send out campaign announcements, coupons and promotional messages, and to answer customer inquiries through chat. This digital customer service will allow stores to increase their fan base, Line explained.

Data analysis tools, which are helpful for product and sales strategizing, can be reviewed on the store dashboard. The operators explained that other functions such as checking visitor traffic sources and identifying key customer segments will be added in the future.

As part of a promotional campaign, stores that apply to join MySmartStore by March 31, 2022 will be exempt from sales fees until March 2023. During the promotional period, businesses can sign up for MySmartStore for no initial or monthly fees.

MySmartStore plans to improve its service to solve issues among merchants ahead of next year’s official launch, creating synergies with Z Holdings, Line and Naver.

Many stores, including Line Friends, 913 Neuf Un Trois — a store specializing in low-sugar soy sweets products — and skincare and cosmetics shop Yokohama Mayu Store are already on MySmartStore.

Based in Japan, Line is a subsidiary of Naver, the leading Internet portal operator. The Line messaging app was launched in June 2011 under the mission of “closing the distance,” and has grown into a diverse, global ecosystem that includes artificial intelligence technology and fintech.

Line joined the Z Holdings Corporation group, one of the largest internet service groups in Japan, following the completion of a business integration in March 2021.




By Shin Ha-nee [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr]
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