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Line app gets into groceries

Social media and chat app Line is getting into the grocery retailing market with the launch of an online supermarket for Southeast Asia.

Line, with 181 million monthly active users at the last count, will launch the supermarket service first in Thailand on February 4, reports TechInAsia.com. It promises discounts on some everyday groceries that people need to stock up on often, such as bottled water, coffee, and instant noodles. There will be free delivery for Thai shoppers.

Thailand is one of the Japan-based app’s top markets, where is has 36 million active users at present.

The new service was announced by Line’s eCommerce partner, aCommerce, which handles all the supplies, warehousing, and shipping.

“Food and consumer goods-based ecommerce businesses have been around for quite a while now, especially in developed markets like the US and Korea,” said Sedong Nam from Line Plus Corp.

“However, only recently are we starting to see the shift towards mobile-first with on-demand businesses that extend to every part of our life. This campaign is our first step towards moving into developing our channel exclusively for the emerging online groceries category.”

Nam added that the messaging app faces a challenge in this new space and needs “to educate both consumers and retailers in the region on the benefits of mobile commerce.”

Line first experimented with eCommerce in the region in late 2013 with flash sales for make-up products.

Line’s online groceries store will expand to Southeast Asia at an unnamed date. This will likely be limited to certain cities, rather than covering entire countries.

* Republished with permission of TechInAsia.com. For more news on eCommerce and technology in Asia, visit TechInAsia.com and sign up to its daily email news brief.

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