– YAP Releases Vietnamese Version on the 14th with VNG, Top Vietnamese Internet Company
SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — With a sharp increase in smartphone proliferation throughout the world, the time that people spend on their smartphones is rising sharply. Companies are heating up the online to offline (O2O) marketing, blurring the boundary between online and offline to capture the hearts and minds of consumers.
YAP, the leading company in O2O commerce platforms, paved the way to utilize their technology in various marketing tools as it commercializes South Korea’s first beacons in major stores including Starbucks, CU (No.1 convenience store chain in South Korea), TGI Friday, and GUESS with its own technology which was a long time in development. YAP’s proprietary beacon technology provides consumers with information and benefits including various discounts, events, or points to be earned through mobile pop-up messages, even allowing them to make payments when they enter a particular location even when the app is not running. Currently, over 13,000 stores are utilizing YAP’s popcorn service, which is the largest scale in Korea for a single brand. YAP is recently expanding the O2O market bounds from domestic to overseas.
On the 14th, YAP released the Vietnamese version of YAP, in cooperation with VNG, the largest internet company in Vietnam who operate Zalo in Vietnam, the free messenger service similar to KakaoTalk of South Korea. VNG will be in charge of local affiliated store sales, and YAP will handle all technical areas. YAP’s Vietnamese version will provide the key services and functions of YAP as well as the same UI as its Korean version.
The Vietnamese version of YAP partners with Shop&Go, the No.1 convenience store chain in Vietnam, simultaneously with the release, and begins services with over 20 stores in Ho Chi Minh City. It is pushing for the popcorn and mobile stamp service partnerships in stores such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Domino’s Pizza, and Vietopia, and is planning to expand the franchise gradually following Lunar New Year holidays.
Vietnam is a country with sharply rising smartphone proliferation among Southeast Asian nations. As of 2014, the number of smartphone users in Vietnam was approximately 22 million, and showed a 22% growth rate in 2014. The annual growth rate of the Vietnamese smartphone market reached 119% between 2007 and 2012.
YAP, the leading business in O2O commerce platforms, put all functions related to consumption from nearby store information to coupons, mobile stamps, membership points, and payments, into a single app. Popcorn, the beacon with YAP’s proprietary technology, in particular is a hybrid approach that combines Bluetooth with Ultra Sound. As for Bluetooth’s low energy (BLE) applied in most beacons, the service is applicable only to smartphones with high-end specs, resulting in a high barrier to entry. However, YAP’s Popcorn is also applicable to low-end smartphones, which is why emerging countries with high proliferation of low-end smartphones including Vietnam are paying attention to YAP.
For YAP’s entry into Vietnam, VNG, Vietnam’s largest communication platform company, has adopted YAP’s O2O platform. YAP is working on service interworking with leading platform companies in various countries including China, Japan, and the U.S. in addition to Vietnam. The success of this first-time entry into an overseas market will be followed closely.
YAP’s Vice President Ahn Ki Woong stated, "O2O markets are a global trend, and ICT companies throughout the world are in fierce competition to be the first movers…We’ll be leading the O2O market by collaborating with top ICT operators in each country through YAP’s proprietary technology and services, and will take the lead in carrying the O2O Korean Wave worldwide, beginning with Vietnam.
* What is YAP’s PopCorn? It is YAP’s proprietary beacon, more advanced than the beacon of Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) protocol-based short-range wireless communication device. It can cover low-end smartphones that common beacons cannot reach, and is more sophisticated than common beacons in indoor and outdoor environments with a hybrid approach combined with high frequencies. It has been applied to Starbucks Korea’s Siren Order app since last May, acknowledged for its stability and superior quality.