Kakao, the Korean internet pioneer, has selected ‘Hair Shop’ as its first O2O (online to offline) business in the beauty sector.
Kakao plans to expand its O2O business by releasing new services – relief drivers and the hair industry.
According to industry analysts, Kakao is planning to launch ‘Kakao Hair Shop’ (working title) during the first half of the year through its affiliate Hasys.
If Kakao’s Hair Shop is launched, related businesses could use Hasys solutions such as ‘Hair Zzang’ or ‘Beauty Zzang’ to easily build online and mobile reservation systems. Research on consumer satisfaction and marketing education could also be supported.
Customers could have access to information about various hair shops through a Kakao-based platform, and compare prices at each salon.
Some predict that Kakao will charge a commission for providing the platform when a user makes a reservation through the Hair Shop application and pays through Kakao Pay. However, Kakao claims that the details of the service have yet to be confirmed.
Hasys is a beauty solution business Kakao took over in October 2015 through K-Venture Group, an affiliate of Kakao specialising in investments. Hasys has developed and is providing solutions such as ‘Hair Zzang’ and ‘Beauty Zzang’, which manage clients of beauty salons, skin care parlors and nail shops.
Hasys has 10,000 beauty businesses as members, and ranks at the top of the industry with 69 per cent market share as of September 2015.
Kakao revealed its intentions to launch O2O services related to the beauty industry at the time it took over Hasys. As a first step, Kakao officially entered the hair industry.
Kakao officials said the company is planning to concentrate on the Hair Shop business, as it could be a service that is attractive to people of all genders and ages. “We have no other plans to expand our offerings into other beauty businesses.”
Hasys is currently meeting with owners of hair shops across Korea, explaining about the launch of Kakao Hair Shop. Currently 2000 shops have agreed to become members of the service.
- By Francine Jung of Korea Bizwire.