SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) – Online book stores are pushing back their deadlines for same-day delivery, and jumping into the current delivery war that started when Coupang launched its ‘Rocket Delivery’ service.
While the bookstores’ new service is expected to attract more customers, concerns over driver safety are increasing.
Yes 24, the largest online bookstore in Korea, announced that it will extend the deadline for same-day delivery service by one hour. Customers will be able to receive purchased products on the same day for orders placed before 2 p.m., with those in Seoul benefiting from an extra hour and a 3 p.m. deadline.
Yes 24’s changes follow a move by competing online bookstore Aladdin, which has already pushed back it’s same-day delivery deadline by an hour.
Coupang started the wave of delivery wars in Korea with the launch of an ultra-fast delivery service called ‘Rocket Delivery’ in March 2014, and the establishment of its own logistics system.
Henry Ro, vice-president of Coupang, commented that the Rocket Delivery service offers the greatest customer experience. “Rocket Delivery is an integrated ‘end-to-end’ service that has never been attempted in other countries.”
However, despite consumer satisfaction, Coupang is expected to log over 400 billion won (US$326.9 million) in operating losses when it files its 2015 audit report in mid-April, due to rising costs in building new logistics centers and hiring new staff, according to industry sources.
Other negative side effects are also pervasive. While Korean consumers are accustomed to ‘super quick’ deliveries provided by almost every type of business, the number of of delivery people injured on the job is skyrocketing.
According to data from the Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, 4,460 delivery people were injured on the job between 2012 and 2014. News reports of delivery people involved in fatal accidents are also becoming common.
Popular 30-minute delivery services are an example. Pizzerias used to compete to deliver pizza within 30 minutes, promising free pizza if the delivery is late. However, 30-minute delivery is now banned, as it was identified as the cause of numerous accidents.
In the meantime, other online bookstores are looking into joining the delivery war with Yes 24 and Aladdin.
Interpark plans to extend its deadline for same-day deliveries as well, and Kyobo Books is also looking into providing the service.
Bookworms are thrilled that they can get the books they ordered right away. One customer commented on the convenience of the service, noting, “we no longer have to make the long trip to the bookstore every time we want to buy a book”.
However, some point out that bookstores should be focused on providing other services instead of fast deliveries. “The books are so expensive. I would rather have additional benefits such as discounts or book points that can be used at the bookstores,” one customer said.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)