Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Chunghwa to grow shopping site

NEW SERVICE:The telecom said it hopes to see membership levels reach a million subscribers within three years as it outlined plans to update its online shopping site

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday said it aims to grow its e-commerce Web site’s membership to 1 million within three years, in its latest move to improve its position in the nation’s NT$43 billion non-salary compensation shopping market.

The new Web site is a new joint venture between the nation’s biggest telecom company and Japanese firms Benefit One Inc and Itochu Corp. It is slated to offer online shopping services from July this year.

Chunghwa Telecom said it has attracted more than 140,000 people to register for membership of its e-commerce Web site, GoodsCome.com, which opened in 2008.

This Web site is to close upon the launch of the new e-commerce Web site, Chunghwa said.

Unlike typical online shopping sites, Chunghwa Telecom’s e-commerce site is open only to employees of its corporate members. Once an employer signs a contract with Chunghwa Telecom, its employees, including those entitled to non-wage compensation, can purchase goods or services on the Web site.

“Chunghwa Telecom joined the e-commerce market because we see it as having huge growth potential,” company president Shih Mu-piao (石木標) told a press conference.

To expand its share of the online-shopping market targeting certain companies’ employees as consumers, Chunghwa Telecom earlier this month established a joint venture, Chunghwa Benefit One Co Ltd (中華優購), with Japan’s largest employee benefit manager, Benefit One, and general trading company Itochu.

The joint venture has capital of NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) and will be in charge of running Chunghwa Telecom’s existing e-commerce site, chief executive officer Simon Yeh (葉奇鑫) said.

Citing studies conducted by Chunghwa Telecom, Yeh said Taiwanese companies pay employees on average NT$43 billion in non-salary compensation every year.

Employees who are entitled to these perquisites spend about 170 percent more than the actual compensation they receive on goods and services offered by different e-commerce Web sites, he added.

With technical and financial assistance from Benefit One and Itochu, Chunghwa Telecom’s e-commerce site will be able to provide a bigger selection of goods and services, including those made in Japan, at lower prices than other online shopping sites. Yeh said.

He said Chunghwa Benefit One plans to further expand the site’s product selection to include about 200,000 items of goods and 300,000 items of services within two to three years.

After the planned upgrade to its e-commerce site, Chunghwa Telecom will not charge any transaction fees to retailers, so that they can offer goods and services to consumers at a lower price, which is a good way to attract shoppers, Yeh said.

In the future, Chunghwa Telecom’s e-commerce site will charge members annual subscription fees of about NT$1,000, Yeh said, adding that the subscription fee would “be the only revenue source for the site.”

Chunghwa Benefit One is expected to break even as soon as next year, Yeh said.

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