Yes24, the Barnes & Noble of Korea

Although Yes 24 is one of the largest book retailers in South Korea, several obstacles hinder its progress. There are two main components to the issue at hand: online and offline. Firstly, the online applications are far too outdated for an ideal user experience. The mobile apps haven’t been updated in months, resulting in loading problems, crashes, and ultimately an extremely low rating on the App Store. Furthermore, Yes24 currently has separate mobile apps for each of its services: one for movie ticket reservations, ebooks, and concerts. This complex clutter of apps deprives users from being exposed to the other appreciable features Yes24 has to offer. To make matters worse, Yes24 only has offline locations in Seoul and Busan, minimizing its availability to the already shrinking market. This severely pales in comparison to competitors such as Kyobo and Aladdin who have locations in well over a dozen regions.

As a means to win back its title, a pragmatic solution to this book vendor is to unify into one central online platform. Consequently, personalization is projected to increase e-loyalty by 23.7% and customer satisfaction by 10.9%.Consumer recommendations to other people would substantially increase activity. In addition, because the consumer demographics of the Internet shopping industry heavily focuses on  users in their 20s to 30s, targeting such age group that is economically active–people capable and willing to spend money on goods and services especially with current cultural trends–will definitely bolster the company’s value.

Perhaps most notably, the new regulations demonstrated on July 1 decreased the tax on book purchases and live performance tickets, two main areas of Yes 24’s business. Following the introduction of new policies, the sales volume of books even increased 15 percent compared to last year. Subsequently, the CEO of Yes 24, Kim Gi-ho, shared optimistic sentiments regarding the industry’s prospects.

Afterall, Yes24 is Korea’s biggest online bookstore, controlling over 42% of the market. Analytics corroborated that more than nine million registered users purchase around 100,000 books each day. It also sets itself as an attractive choice by selling books , on average, 20% cheaper than those from its physical counterparts, promoting authors and books with interviews or video clips through the country’s fast-speed network, and promising fast and low-priced delivery. As a key differentiator of this bookstore chain, Yes24 annually holds 400 events, namely author talks, book contests, and celebrity signings. Yes24’s ongoing efforts to sustain the industry illustrate a laudable future in expanding its role in society.

– Jennie Yeom (’21)

Featured Image: Yes24


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