Wed, Mar 14, 2018 - Page 12 News List

EHS to launch its own cryptocurrency by June

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Eastern Home Shopping & Leisure Co Ltd (EHS, 東森購物) yesterday said it plans to launch its own cryptocurrency by June in a bid to increase the liquidity of its customer loyalty program and improve customer retention amid escalating competition in the nation’s retail industry.

“Japan’s Rakuten Inc is to launch its cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin; Line Corp will also tap into cryptocurrency transactions... We need to accelerate our pace to catch up with the global trend,” Gary Wang (王令麟), chairman of Eastern Media Group (東森集團), the parent company of EHS, told a media gathering after EHS’ e-commerce forum in Taipei.

EHS’ operations include TV, catalogue and online shopping, as well as a shopping channel on Chunghwa Telecom Co’s (中華電信) multimedia-on-demand platform.

EHS last year issued approximately NT$10 billion (US$341.86 million) worth of loyalty points to customers, but the redemption rate was low, as too many companies have launched loyalty programs or issued small-value vouchers, causing consumers to forget to use them, Wang said.

EHS plans to convert the loyalty points distributed in the first half of this year into its virtual currency in June, then encrypt the currency to create a cryptocurrency by September to enhance security, he said.

Customers would be able to use the cryptocurrency to redeem discounts on EHS’ shopping platforms and participate in marketing events, Wang said, adding that unregistered members would also be able to use the cryptocurrency.

The validity of the firm’s cryptocurrency is to be one year, compared with that of points in its loyalty program, which are measured in days or months before expiration, he said.

Meanwhile, EHS is to invest in improving the user experience of its app to improve mobile shopping customer retention, he added.

Wang said he foresees China’s introduction of 31 incentives for Taiwanese will pave the way for growing cross-border e-commerce transactions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

“For industries, including retail, media and entertainment, it is an opportunity to expand operational scope from a market of 23 million people to a market of 1.3 billion people,” Wang said.

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