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  • Seoul Provides Support for Small Business Owners and Traditional Markets to go Online in the Untact Era

  • Economy & Investment News SMG 392

    Online and untact consumption has become the standard following the change in lifestyles due to COVID-19 that has even caused the advent of a new type human being, “Homo Untact.” The scale of online shopping, which reached KRW 135 trillion last year, is expected to exceed KRW 160 trillion this year. Residents of Seoul are doing untact (online) shopping 2.3 times per week on average, and 1 out of 10 answered that they would continue with untact shopping even after the COVID-19 crisis ends.
    In line with this trend, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that it will support the stable entry into the online market of “small business owners” and “traditional market merchants,” both of which are not used to the operation of online shopping sites.
    The SMG will lower the barriers for entry into large online shopping sites by offering support in the form of a portion of sales commissions as well as marketing and advertising, and help them expand nationwide distribution networks with online shops and customized branding. Systematic education will also be provided so that merchants can continue running their online shops efficiently.
    <Support for entering large online shopping sites; operation of exclusive “Ssolssol Market”>
    First, the SMG will select 300 small businesses and support their entry into large online shopping sites (Coupang, 11th Street, Interpark). Partnering up with these online shopping sites, the SMG will make an exclusive online mall and lower the sales commission by an average of 2-5%. Online marketing, including various promotions, exposure, and online banners, will be provided, as well as discount coupons for consumers.
    For four months, starting in October 2020 and going until January 2021, “Ssolssol Market: Seoul’s Small Businesses,” a permanent shopping site, will be open within the designated large online site to concentrate on selling the products of the 300 selected small businesses.
    During this period, there will be special sales (three times), which will be advertised to the users of the shopping sites through the banners on the main page and the product recommendation event.
    Support will not be limited to the short-term period. The SMG will help the selected businesses continue operating their online shops and increasing their sales, helping them make and upload detailed pages for their products and become independent with education on marketing and the operation of the open market.
    <Lowering sales commission by 2-5%, marketing support such as special sales and promotions>
    The SMG will select 300 small businesses after measuring their growth potential and product competitiveness. Any small business owner who wants to sell products online can apply by September 21 (Mon.). For more information, visit the website of Heemang Foundation (www.heemangfdn.or.kr).
    Additionally, the SMG is preparing “Special Online Sales” in which about 5,000 small businesses will participate in December. The sales will take place on five large Korean online shopping sites, and the SMG has plans to distribute about 250,000 discount coupons (about 20%) to promote sales.
    <Expanding the number of traditional markets that participate in online shopping from 37 to 65>
    Second, the SMG will systematically assist the entry of traditional markets, most of which are involved in in-person shopping, into the online market. The purpose is to revitalize traditional market merchants that are having a difficult time due to the prolonged COVID-19 crisis and the changes in consumption patterns of younger generations.
    To this end, the SMG will expand traditional markets that participate in “online grocery shopping” from the current 37 to 65 by the end of this year. Using “online grocery shopping,” you can add items sold by traditional markets into your basket as you usually do while online shopping. It will take only 2 hours or until the end of the day to get those items delivered right to the door of your house.
    Currently, 37 traditional markets are registered on three platforms: △ Naver Shopping, △ Coupang Eats, and △ the mobile app Noljang, recording over 9,000 orders and sales of KRW 180 million in just one month (August).
    <Establishing online sites for about 100 stores in traditional markets>
    The SMG will also operate the “Online Store Project” for about 100 selected stores in traditional markets, establishing online sites for them and supporting them to secure a nationwide sales network through customized branding. Currently, 67 selected stores from 9 traditional markets are receiving consultations.
    Online sites will be constructed for these selected stores, and each of them will be provided not only management support but also a connection to open markets and social commerce so that they can actually increase sales. Up to KRW 300,000 will also be offered to each store for marketing and advertising costs.
    The SMG will do its best to provide systematic education and foster personnel for merchants and business owners to expand their driving force and independence, going beyond just opening online sites and stores and offering short-term advertisement for the entry of small businesses and traditional markets into the online market.