KT merges units to advance in television business
KT Group KTH, a TV commerce operator, and KT mhows, a mobile coupon provider, have merged under the name KT alpha.
The aim of the merger is to expand the group’s digital purchasing activity.
KTH runs K Shopping, a TV commerce service, while KT mhows runs a mobile voucher business and a Reple mobile resale platform.
Television commerce is similar to teleshopping, but most of the programming is pre-recorded.
KT alpha will offer live TV shopping through K Shopping, which will be reflected on mobile platforms including YouTube, Naver Shopping and Kakao TV.
Live chats between buyers and hosts are shown both on mobile platforms and on TV.
K Shopping launched the mirroring service on June 10, and it will continue under KT alpha to attract younger shoppers through the mobile platform and older shoppers through TV.
KT alpha plans to source products from small and medium-sized businesses and expand to countries in Southeast Asia at the end of next month.
“The competition is very fierce these days,” Chung Kee-ho, CEO of KT alpha, said at a press conference in central Seoul on Wednesday. “Strategic partnerships and exchanges of actions [between Naver and Shinsegae Group] that exceed the level of investment made by KT alpha are made. We are continually looking for partners with whom we could work.
Chung added that even if bigger rivals invest heavily in logistics, KT alpha “will actively use 3PL (third party logistics) because competition in logistics has already reached a level that is difficult to compete directly”.
3PL refers to the outsourcing of e-commerce logistics processes to a third party.
But the company believes partnerships with smaller vendors will be enough to meet its target of 5,000 billion won ($ 4.5 billion) in transactions by 2025.
KT alpha has announced its intention to offer exclusive products by discovering brands that reflect consumer demand and to develop its own private brands.
KT alpha “is going to be a game-changer for commerce,” Chung added. It will “merge and actively acquire [companies] to fill the weakness.
KT alpha’s business model also includes providing know-how on building, operating and marketing an online mall to individual sellers.
Details on the commissions he will receive from sellers have yet to be decided.
The business solutions market is expected to grow 15.6 percent annually to reach 73.8 trillion won by 2024, from 41.3 trillion won last year, according to the company.
KT alpha is 70.49% owned by KT.
BY JIN MIN-JI [[email protected]]