Global Marketing News – 8th September 2015
Naver and Kakao lock horns in South Korea mobile race
The Korean internet giants Naver and Kakao are in fierce competition over the country’s mobile market.
With more Koreans now using their mobiles to access the internet than their desktops, the two companies are battling for dominance in mobile as the winner will have the upper hand in the internet market as a whole.
While Naver leads the Korean mobile search engine market, Kakao dominates the Korean mobile messaging app market.
In fact, Kakao, previously known as Daum Kakao, recently dropped the “Daum” from its name in order to emphasise the mobile aspect of its brand.
An industry insider revealed that Naver and Kakao are currently ramping up their efforts in the Korean mobile payments, messaging apps, image sharing apps, online-to-offline, financial technology, mobile games, webtoons and videos markets.
The Korean smartphone market is the most mature in the world, with a mobile penetration rate of over 100%, meaning that some people own more than one smartphone.
Bitcoin company Coinbase launches in Singapore
The Bitcoin company Coinbase has just launched in Singapore, its first entry into the Asian market.
Coinbase allows users to buy the virtual currency Bitcoin, and the Singapore dollar option was added earlier this week, allowing Singaporean users to buy and sell Bitcoin.
A spokesperson from Coinbase, which also operates in Europe and North America, commented on the expansion, saying: “Our mission at Coinbase is to make payments more open and efficient around the world… This move into Asia [is] especially exciting for us, as it marks the first time that Coinbase has been able to fully service consumers in this massive market.”
It will face competition from rivals already established in Singapore such as itBit, CoinPip, Coin Republic and Bitcoin Exchange Singapore.
Australians snub loyalty cards
Research by Citrus and Directivity has revealed that an increasing number of Australians are turning their backs on both physical and online loyalty card schemes.
The top reason given by users who had abandoned loyalty schemes was that they simply were not receiving rewards quickly enough. The number of people quitting loyalty schemes for this reason was up 8% on last year.
An increasing number of users also felt they had too many loyalty cards in their wallets, with the number of people giving this reason almost doubling on last year. This was the case even though many retailers now have e-wallet options.
Respondents also revealed the top reasons that would stop them from ditching a loyalty scheme. Almost 80% said they wanted cash discounts on the products they were buying then-and-there, with a similar number saying they wanted vouchers and discounts that they could use in the future.
Swedish online payments service Klarna launches in US
The Swedish online payments service Klarna has launched in the US.
The American ecommerce site Overstock now offers Klarna as a payment option when shoppers get to the payment page.
Klarna allows users to buy and receive the item before paying for it, a popular option as it removes the risk for the buyer of paying for an item that never turns up.
If the buyer fails to pay within 14 days, they are then charged interest, and if they fail to pay within 28 days, they are reported to a debt collection agency.
Klarna is most popular in Northern Europe. It is a payment option on around 50,000 sites and handles around 125,000 transactions every day.
The UN and Baidu create environmentally friendly app
And finally, the United Nations and Baidu have teamed up to create an environmentally friendly app, Baidu Recycle 2.0.
Baidu Recycle 2.0 allows users to take a photo of their old, broken or unwanted electronics, with recycling companies then sending the user the items’ approximate scrap value.
Users can then schedule a pick-up time and date for authorised recyclers to come and collect the electronics, with their parts then being recycled rather than put into landfills.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon commented on the scheme, saying he hoped it would “usher in a more sustainable future”.
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