What is Shinsegae’s e-money?

Date : 28 April 2021

Jiong-Jiong Yu

Senior Retail Analyst

Emart, the grocery retail chain owned by Shinsegae Group in South Korea, has announced that it would give customers “e-money”.

It is Emart’s low price guarantee

Emart recently announced that if customers have found the same products being sold elsewhere at a cheaper price, they will match the difference by giving customers online credit points known as e-money.

The new policy applies to both its physical stores and its mobile app. Shoppers can save up to 3,000 points to be used within a period of 30 days.

Emart has strengthened its offline business to compete in the market

Emart has strengthened its edge as an offline supermarket by focusing on experiential elements such as redesigning its stores, offering a distinctive range of groceries,” said Choi Hoon-hak, Emart’s chief marketer.

Choi added that the e-money move would serve as an opportunity to give Emart a price advantage.

The EDLP war is just beginning

Emart’s low price guarantee policy is a direct challenge to Coupang, which launched a campaign in April offering a free trial of its subscription-based Rocket Delivery service.

Market Kurly, another key online player in South Korea, is the latest to announce its price guarantee program for more than 60 grocery products. The retailer pledges to offer products such as rice, instant noodles, fresh vegetables, and fruits at lower prices than competitors. Prices of these items will be adjusted on daily basis.

The EDLP products do not just come with a lower price but have a high quality thanks to our thorough selection process regarding flavors and production methods,” Market Kurly said.

Online pressure is accentuated by the pandemic

Although Emart singled out Lotte Mart and Homeplus as its main rivals in a statement, its real pressure is from online players.

Online shopping has enjoyed a surge in popularity, propelled by coronavirus pandemic. The market tracker WiseApp data shows that Coupang’s transaction reached KRW21.75 tn (US20m) in 2020, a 41% jump from the previous year. Total online sales of Coupang, Emart and Gmarket grew by 18.4% in 2020, whilst the country’s offline sales declined by 3.6% (data source: the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy).