SMTNT has launched “Santa’s Pond,” a lottery-style shopping mall
Winning customers are given the option to redeem a product … Patented
With the aim of being a “collaborative solution for SMEs” … Effect of liquidity support
SEOUL, South Korea, Dec. 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This is an article on “Santa’s Pond” by reporter Oh Jeong-min from Hankyung.com:
“‘Santa’s Pond,’ a lottery-style shopping mall, gives you the pleasant feeling of getting a Christmas present along with the chance to win something special, including expensive luxury goods. This patented shopping style gives customers more options, benefits them and opens up sales channels for SME products.”
Following the introduction of Santa’s Pond, which launched last month, SMTNT CEO Kim Moon-sik (photo) emphasized, “For customers, this is ‘the beginning of a new investment technology’, where they can buy SME products with guaranteed quality at a lower price than the market, and resell them on a second-hand trading platform when they are no longer needed.”
CEO Kim, whom we met at SMTNT’s headquarters in Gangdong-gu, Seoul, on the 15th of this month, was full of confidence in Santa’s Pond. Santa’s Pond started when CEO Kim came up with a unique idea for an online random shopping mall where shoppers can’t know what’s in the package until it arrives.
CEO Kim, who established SMTNT in 2002 and launched the One Shot text messaging service and the Mova parking security number application, believed that even random shopping should be able to satisfy ‘psychological value-for-money’ as well as ‘economic value-for-money’. To this end, he introduced a first-of-its-kind approach in the country that allows consumers to check the random prize they have won before receiving it and choose to exchange it in the given category. Regarding this method, SMTNT also obtained a domestic patent for a “Method of offering products in a lottery-style closed mall platform, providing games and gift items in a random box, tailored to the member based on big data analysis.”
The unique name, which perfectly reflects the character of the platform, was inspired by a story created by Kim based on Santa delivering Christmas gifts and a fairy tale, “Gold Axe, Silver Axe,” which depicts an honest woodcutter who dropped his axe into a mountain god’s pond. Consumers can win random prizes by buying an “axe” ranging from KRW 5,000 to 30,000 at the shopping mall and throwing it into a pond like the woodcutter in the fairy tale. The prizes range in value from as little as KRW 5,000 to more than KRW 8 million. In addition, consumers can check the prize in advance and choose whether to exchange or return it. “On the other hand, businesses can reduce the rate of refund requests by offering consumers products that give them value for the money,” CEO Kim said, adding, “As an IT company, we were able to source the necessary high-quality personnel such as developers and designers in-house, so it took less than half a year from planning (our service) to launch.”
CEO Kim also stressed that Santa’s Pond is a “collaboration solution for SMEs,” opening up sales channels for them from the planning stage. SMTNT has been steadily engaged in various exchanges with SMEs since it was selected as a Hi-Seoul company by the Seoul Business Agency (SBA) in 2017. CEO Kim explained that this established relationship allowed them to sell the quality products of SMEs at Santa’s Pond. “Because of the relationships we have built in our business for more than 20 years, we have been able to secure a number of products from SMEs that have been hit by the recession. We are confident in providing companies with liquidity while offering customers quality products that are worth more than they have paid for,” CEO Kim explained.
In order to differentiate the mall and ensure its success from the outset, Santa’s Pond featured luxury goods sourced directly from department stores, as well as a variety of products that could attract the attention of the Millennial + Z (MZ) generation. For example, the souvenir tumblers distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the opening of Apple Hanam, the 6th Apple Store in Korea, were also featured as prize items. As this was the first time that tumblers with the Apple logo were given out in the country, it caused quite a stir.
CEO Kim, who has been in the business for more than 20 years, was confident that the differentiated lottery-style shopping mall would be a hit. He is also considering expanding overseas to Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand along with Japan sometime next year. “Although it’s been less than a month since its launch, sales have already reached KRW 50 million, and our goal is to increase them to KRW 100 billion in the future,” he said. “We will aggressively increase our consumer base by giving them points when they refer their friends.”
CEO Kim also plans to join hands with local governments to bring local specialties to the shopping mall. On top of that, the company plans to introduce a way for consumers to choose donation services at the product selection and refund stages, so that they can give back to society.
“We are currently selling red snow crab and other seafood in conjunction with fisheries companies, and in the long term, we plan to contribute to society by bringing in specialties in partnership with local governments,” he said with a smile.