PChome seeking to cash in on 'Ghost Month' commerce (update)
Central News Agency
2014-07-12 08:43 PM
Taipei, July 12 (CNA) PChome Store Inc. launched a large-scale promotional campaign in Taipei's bustling Xinyi District on Saturday, in a bid to capitalize on the expected increase in consumer buying during the upcoming Ghost Festival. In collaboration with 130 food and beverage brands in Taiwan and overseas, the popular local online shopping platform provider is offering a range of 5,000 different free items as part of the promotion. The value of the free products on offer is estimated at about NT$1 million (US$33,200) but PChome declined to confirm the figure, saying only that it "is by far our largest promotional event." In addition to receiving free foods and drinks, visitors to the site also have a chance to win free smartphones, according to the company. The promotional campaign is aimed at boosting PChome's summer sales this year, particularly during the traditional Ghost Festival period when food for ritualistic offerings is usually in high demand. In Chinese culture, food offerings are part of the rituals observed during Ghost Month, which will be marked this year from July 27 to Aug. 24, a period when it is believed that hungry ghosts emerge from the lower realm and must be placated. Ghost Month is usually a high season in the e-commerce industry, especially in food and beverage sales, PChome said, adding that it is expecting a 30 percent annual increase in the sale of such items. Online shopping has become very popular because there is a wide range of choices and buyers do not have to line up or carry their purchases, said Tsai Kai-wen, vice general manager of PChome Store Inc. "We are very optimistic about the outlook this year," Tsai told CNA during a break in the eight-hour event but declined to estimate the company's annual revenue growth. Tsai's outlook is supported by the company's rosy financial reports so far this year, which include NT$7.87 billion in consolidated revenues for the period January to May, a 21.8 percent increase year-on-year. Many other shopping sites such as Yahoo Kimo, Momoshop, GoHappy and udn also have special promotions for summer shopping. Taiwan's e-commerce market is expected to soar over the next few years as the online shopping sector continues to develop rapidly in line with global trends. With annual growth of some 20 percent, revenue from Taiwan's e-commerce transactions reached NT$767.3 billion in 2013 and it is expected to exceed NT$1 trillion by 2015, according to a May estimate by the government-backed Institute for Information Industry. Yahoo Taiwan's e-commerce group also predicted in late June that the country's e-commerce market will soon account for more than half of the local retail market, which is estimated at an average NT$4 trillion per annum. (By James Lee)
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