“Kakao Hair Shop” to be launched the first half of 2016

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Kakao (C.E.O: Jihoon Lim) is releasing a mobile hair salon reservation service app, Kakao Hair Shop, that allows users to search hair salons, make a reservation and process the payment, in the first half of 2016.

Kakao Hair Shop is a beauty Organization-to-Organization (O2O) service that efficiently connects offline beauty market to users in the mobile platform, implementing an easy and convenient hair salon reservation service for everyone.  Starting with this, Kakao is entering the beauty tech industry, and is competing for the market share  of the beauty market that is worth  7 Trillion KRW (7 billion USD).

Since January, Kakao has been hosting information sessions for major hair salons in Korea, while also explaining the future of Kakao Hair Shop and listening to various opinions of employees. After the series of information sessions, more than 2,000 hair salons have been registered as affiliated stores as of now.

The goal of Kakao Hair Shop is to reduce imbalances between supply and demand the hair salons industry and to efficiently connect hair salons to its customers. Affiliated salons can reduce expenses on customer reservation management and can easily attract new customers.  Because users have to make a payment immediately after their reservation, it prevents the no-show customer problem. Users can use their phones to select hair salons based on their preferred location and can compare them on  available time slot, designers, price range and etc, without having to visit the salon physically or asking them on a phone call. The best part of the app is that users can check the exact price beforehand and can get the treatment without waiting.

Kakao Hair Shop is planning to have a feature that allows users to make a reservation and payment for their preferred location, designer, treatment and time slot. Service details, payment method and detailed policy will be announced when the app launches. Registration fee or commission hasn’t been confirmed yet, but considering the various situation and factors, it will be very competitive and is expected to be around 5% on average. Kakao is planning to inquire opinions from different beauty industry insiders to complete its service.

Kakao Hair Shop will be running its computer-based testing with 200 affiliated salons and 1000 users in March, update the service with their feedback and officially release the app in the first half of 2016.

-Inspired by Platum

Joyce (Jung Min) is a senior at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, majoring in Global Business. In her free time, she loves to drink coffee, listen to music and explore downtown DC. Joyce can be reached at jmyeo@techforkorea.com.

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