Home shopping is best

Yanhy Kim

In the digital age, it’s easy to predict that e-commerce is leading the retail revolution. For CJ WOW Shop, that is not the case as it is growing fast to become a major voice in this space.

Yanhy Kim, CEO of CJ WOW Shop, the long-standing commercial retail trend for TV still offers huge potential; specifically, in user engagement and acquisition.

While the evolution of retail in the digital era is leaning towards electronic and mobile commerce (ECMC) platforms, Yanhy feels otherwise. “Like it or not, the data and digital divide is still prevalent.”

Our platform, CJ WOW Shop, wants to close this gap. We do this by making it easier for consumers to access and keep up with these innovations,” he revealed.

MARKETING managed to lock in a quick chat with Yanhy…

How have things been?

When we initially signed with Media Prima for this joint venture, both parties strongly believe this will be a truly exciting experience. This innovative concept saw us bring to the table our expertise as Asia’s #1 home-shopping service provider.

Since launching, we have been receiving tonnes of positive customer responses. As for customers, it only continues to grow – just last year, we’ve exceeded over a million customers.

As of February 2019, we’ve shot passed 1.2 million!

Since the opening of CJ WOW Shop, we’ve been growing non-stop. From targeting specific demographics in mostly urban and suburban areas, which comprise the mass Malay markets, we’re now expanding.

Of course, we have been working to provide access to our customers and merchants. This includes putting more emphasis on local products and boosting the local economy.

Certainly, this included introducing more impactful end-to-end engagement for consumers that ensure a high-quality user experience.

Updating the home-shopping format, customer service capabilities, logistics control, and overall performance are necessary as well.

What are your successes?

2019 is turning out to be an iconic year for us and that, in itself, is a big win as we’ve come this far. From driving interest in home-shopping and introducing innovations that drive customer traffic and response, these are all big wins.

From the programmes on our platform, to the call centre, quality control, delivery, and customer service – all of them have been responsive and provide the very best in user experience.

When we first started, we focused on producing content in the national language to make our platform attractive to the Malay market. That includes working on programmes that operate on TV9.

It’s the target audience we wanted and after three successful years, we want to diversify. Now we are looking to reach out towards the Chinese customers. While we focused on the Malay market, we had limited engagement on the Chinese TV platforms as well. This includes the live-show that runs on 8TV and NTV7 in odd timing slots.

From one to three-hour programmes in the early morning and evening, we sold more than RM300,000 in sales – this proves to us that there is demand in other markets as well.

Our latest efforts include using Korean-produced programmes and working with popular Korean TV hosts, actors, and acts. Of course, this also includes our efforts with the popular idol group, Wanna One.

Why is CJ WOW Shop pushing home-shopping when the target audience has more choices now?

Let’s make this clear and to the point – CJ WOW Shop is a home-shopping network. That means it is not purely for TV.

We are multi-platform and have our own ECMC services. However, these ancillaries only represent 40% of our customer base. 60% still comes from the TV side.

Our shows, now featuring diversified programming and content, are more attractive and that is how we look towards expanding our outreach. Interestingly, yet oddly, what we are doing now is more disruptive and innovative.

We cannot ignore the fact that digital transformation will take over.

That is why we look to creating more content that is digitally focused and seek out partnerships with new concepts. So far, we’re working with mobile wallet services and cash payment systems that banks and next-gen payment systems offer.

In doing so, our customers can engage different services to pay for orders like splitting payments and using discount vouchers. In many ways, we are making ourselves more mobile friendly.

Of course, our bread and butter is always content; that is why we are now preparing shows and materials that are also mobile friendly.

Since we have access to CJ E&M data and operational history, we can also spot current and upcoming trends. This is more so for the ones that are popular in South Korea. We learn from that and then move to produce materials that have the potential to go viral.

This ties back to our partnership with Media Prima as it has the tools to engage next-gen consumers. We believe there are strong synergies between mobile and home-shopping. Think Instagram and YouTube – these are major platforms that we are working on as well.

Three years on, what has changed?

The significant changes that CJ WOW Shop have engaged, after turning three, fall back on this one fact: convergence. There are major digital marketplaces now that are doing very well, yet they still want to work with Media Prima.

It has introduced events that follow global trends like Singles Day and Birthday celebrations – all to get new eyeballs. So why work with TV then? It’s because they know and understand the potential video content has to offer.

That is why major online e-commerce players turn to us and try to create powerful collaborations. Again, it’s all about the content – what we produced can be used on the ECMC segments.

Since CJ E&M is one of the pioneers in the shoppertainment space, we are still considered as the disruptor for home-shopping and, by extension, ECMC. After all, we created and now lead this concept: shopping and entertainment.

While most see this convergence as easy for us to do, it’s a challenge since TV is traditional; of course, the platform we’re on is not out-of-date and will never be.

As an industry leader, we need to make it consistently relevant and somehow tie it back to these explosive digital platforms. After all, TV is still highly accessible and has a massive following, even with streaming networks now disrupting free-to-air services.

What’s next?

We now focus on new growth engines – the Chinese market segment and diversifying our content. With the latter, it’s all about making our content more viral.

Our end-goal, for now, is to get to 2 million customers by 2020. In early 2019, we’re already on track and are expecting to hit 1 million mobile application downloads. As we expand our customer base, we need to work towards what more we can do to grow our reach in Malaysia.

Will we go out of Malaysia? Perhaps, but for now we want to transform our platform and set it up to be a true innovation leader

CJ WOW Shop Highlights:

• Surpassed sales target of RM200 million in 2018.
• Reached 1 million customers in Sep 2018 (1.2 Million in 2019)
• Secured strong base of repeat customers – Top 100 customers spent close to an average of RM14,600 per person on purchases
• Recognised as ‘Best Mobile Commerce of the Year 2018’ at the Mobile Excellence Awards (MBEA)
• Celebrated three remarkable years, with a 3-week celebration fom March 30 until April 21 2019l with the biggest shopping carnival.

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