When Shilla set out to launch their service, their goal was to encourage tourists to travel around Korea without wasting time shopping. “Before we launched our service, many Chinese individuals who travelled to Korea spend a lot of time in stores to purchase duty free products. Sometimes, they complain that they feel uncomfortable in these stores because they are too crowded. Moreover, they complain that they spend too much time in the stores, waiting in line.” Thus, Shilla came up with the innovative idea of enabling Chinese travelers to shop online in advance and pick up their merchandise offline when they go back to China. “Now, Chinese travelers can buy duty-free products in our online and mobile shops at home, or anywhere, before visiting Korea” says the project lead of The Shilla Duty Free Shop, the company who won the silver prize in the innovative service category for the 2015 ECI Awards.
When Shilla planned to launce these Chinese online duty-free shops, they spent a lot of time studying and researching the behavior of Chinese online users and benchmarking popular local sites such as TaoBao to make their sites familiar to the Chinese. With continuous efforts of site development, they provided a lot of seasonal promotions such as a solo day event on the 11th of November, and HongBao promotion during the Chinese New Year holiday.
After a variety of efforts, Shilla achieved great success. There were about 1 million Chinese users that visited the Shilla site and over 30 thousand customers who made transactions in February. Since Shilla opened the China mall last June, their sales have been rocketing from USD $500,000 to USD $9 million.
Shilla invested over USD $2 million to build the online China mall and mobile app. The company is continuing investments in finance and human resources to maximize its service to Chinese travelers. Also, Shilla works closely with Cheil Pentai, which is in the top 5 digital marketing agencies in China to develop its service.