In June 2012, LINE started offering services for businesses, originally a messaging service it has grown into a fully fledged Japanese Social Media network.
Lawson, the Japanese convenience chain giant, has always been Social Media savvy. And it’s not unusual for them to start something new before anyone else has tried it, such as when LINE talked to them about their new business offerings.
Lawson’s CRM Assistant Manger, Akiko Shirai, says “Web marketing is a Sales Marketing department’s job. So it’s O2O (Online to Offline) focused. We want to encourage our customers to come from online to the actual stores.” Akiko mentions that the requirements for O2O marketing have been diversified.
The reason Lawson decided to start using LINE’s official business account as an early adopter is because they thought they should do it right now rather than regretting that they should’ve started sooner. Just to let you know, unlike Facebook or Twitter, LINE’s business account is not a free to open. It’s not a massively expensive, but there is an initial fee and then you will be asked to pay monthly fees on top of this. Lawson secured the budget for this within their existing web activity budget.
Lawson’s LINE Marketing — Main 4 features
1. Stamps: Lawson crew Akiko-chan (the girl with a top knot and stripy Lawson staff uniform) and Ponta (the mascot for Lawson’s loyalty point system) are helping raise awareness of the brand.
2. Messaging: Lawson sends out coupons a couple of times a month. When distributing coupons to approximately 1,500,000 users in August 2012, 1,000,000 were successfully exchanged for in store products. They are now testing to see what type of products work best with the LINE community (ie. Fried food is popular amoung young generations).
3. LINE Coupon: This is a geo-location couponing service. LINE Coupon has an official account and it has 3,870,770 friends as of 07th of January 2013. It reads the location information of the user and points out the closest Lawson store. Akiko says “Lawson account has more friends (5,600,000) and so we get better results when sending coupons out from our account. But there’s a limit to how many messages we can send out from the account, so LINE Coupon account becomes useful sometimes.”
4. Collaboration campaign with LINE joint app: Lawson hosted a photo contest “LINE Camera x Lawson’s Funny Photo Contest” with LINE’s joint app in October last year. “We received more than couple of millions of submissions. We sold so much pasta in stores during the campaign. We were satisfied with the results.”
Continues to the next post….
Kana & The JAPAN BUZZ Team