Naver to launch premium online shopping subscription service next month
SEOUL, AJU - In a bid to solidify its position as South Korea's largest web service operator, Naver will launch a premium subscription service that is similar to Amazon Prime, an American premium subscription shopping service that offers special benefits for customers.
Naver currently has the country's largest pool of online users who were attracted by the web portal's one-stop online shopping, entertainment and community services. The services are interlinked to provide benefits such as special reward points that can be spent on shopping or enjoying a film online.
Naver said Monday that its premium subscription service, "Naver+ Membership," to be launched on June 1, will offer special reward points of up to 8.5 percent of the money spent on online shopping. Normally, online business owners using Naver's shopping services provide reward points that worth up to 10 percent of the total shopping price.
"We will continue to upgrade the subscription service by adding more benefits and partner companies," a Naver official was quoted as saying. Naver did not disclose the price of the premium membership subscription.
Naver's move followed the footsteps of other South Korean online shopping mall operators that attracted shoppers with premium membership subscriptions. Online stores have garnered popularity from online shoppers with a premium membership service.
With an annual subscription fee of 37,000 won ($30), the premium membership service offers free delivery fee coupons and cashpoints. Auction and Gmarket provide exclusive discount and sale offers only to Smile Club members who normally buy everyday products, groceries and clothing. eBay Korea, which runs Gmarket, has more than 1.3 million Smile Club membership subscribers.
Amazon operates the world's largest online subscription for its shopping services. Amazon Prime has more than 150 million subscribers worldwide.