On 19 November (Thursday) we were honored to be joined by Bina Cho, the Vice President of Marketing Strategy of apM Coin, to our latest AMA session at TomoDEX Telegram channel, sharing their approach to empowering the traditional wholesale industry with their blockchain backed customer rewards management platform.
Below is a summary of the AMA.
Host: Please tell us about what apM Coin is in a few simple sentences.
apM Coin project is a customer reward platform which is planned to be deployed in the Korea’s largest B2B fashion malls apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe. Partnering with apM Group, the platform will provide a loyal program and CRM services to 1,300+ wholesale brands and hundreds thousands of local and global buyers.
Host: So, apM malls and apM Group are partners of apM Coin, right?
Yes, apM Group is our dedicated partner for service applications. apM Group is the owner company of these three wholesale fashion malls, apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe. Partnering with apM Coin, these malls will adopt apM Coin’s customer reward platform to provide customer rewards services and CRM services to their wholesale brands and customers(buyers).
Host: Since most people here are non-Korean, and not familiar with wholesale fashion industry. Can you tell us how big apM malls are?
Sure. apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe are one of the largest wholesale fashion malls in Korea and one of the most popular wholesale fashion malls in Asia. There are more than 1,300 wholesale brands in three malls. Due to COVID-19, the number of visitors has decreased though, before the pandemic, the malls were visited by more than 10,000 daily buyers.
These buyers are customers of wholesale brands, which means they are not general customers. Most of them are business persons in clothing distribution or retail businesses, and almost 80% of these buyers are flying in from Korea’s neighboring countries, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and other Asian countries. The malls’ large user base visits the malls almost every two weeks to place orders and check out the market trend, which shows high customer loyalty towards apM malls.
Host: In that case, your users may not be familiar with crypto that much then. Do you have any adoption strategy in this B2B fashion market?
Yes, you are right. Given that our service users will be wholesalers and buyer customers of apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe, they would not be familiar with this technology or crypto-related topics. In this regard, one of our key service adoption strategies is making our users not aware that they are using blockchain/crypto-applied service.
Our services, particularly the end-user services including apM Members mobile app, have been developed and will develop to provide user-friendly and easy-to-use service experiences. This is the reason why we are planning to provide our services via apM Members mobile app.
Additionally, we’re planning to offer exclusive tiered benefits for the app users in order to encourage our buyer(customers) to keep using our services. Also, the wholesalers can access huge market/customer data collected on the platform. By doing so, they can manage their customers and develop their own business strategy by picking up some insights through the data.
Host: So your service will be offered through this mobile app. What stage is the project or the product at?
Actually, the app is ready to launch. However, due to the pandemic since February, we’ve postponed the service launch next year.
The wholesalers and buyers of apM malls, who are main users of our service, have gone through hard times led by the pandemic. Of course, I think the malls and their ecosystem participants have dealt with this difficult times fairly well – regarding how apM malls are going though the current challenges, please refer to our Medium article (https://medium.com/apmcoin/fyi-about-apm-how-apm-shopping-malls-cope-with-covid-19-outbreak-a3892d542ac1).
But, in order to get full attention in this market and attract the majority of wholesalers and customers as our service users in the beginning stage, considering some unique features of this market, we decided to launch our service next year when the malls have secured high resilience and found their feet in the pandemic.
However, we are not just sitting and watching till the pandemic is over. We’re upgrading some features, keeping up with latest market trends and Korean regulations. The details will be announced next year right before our service launch.
Q: How much do you want your project to be in competition with existing big projects, and what are your plans for the future? (Twitter user @riskasaja12)
This question looks like asking what our competencies are.
I think apM Coin’s most eye-catching competitive edge is that the project has worked with apM Group to deploy its service to wholesalers and customers of Korea’s leading B2B fashion malls – apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe.
apM shopping malls have established a strong business foundation consisting of wholesalers and loyal customers for more than 20 years. Partnering with apM Group will allow us to provide our services to apM Group’s solid business foundations and implement their business know hows to develop/upgrade our users.
And our ultimate goal is that our customer reward platform is actively used by most of these 1,300+ wholesalers and hundreds thousands of daily customers; we can also provide the services that meet the needs of users so that more users enjoy various advantages of our loyalty program and CRM platform that they experienced in current B2B fashion markets for the first time.
Q: Where does the APM token come in to play? What are the tokenomics and how is the token used? (Twitter user @semogaberkahXD)
The tokens will be used to have an access to the tiered loyalty membership for the buyer customers and the CRM system for the wholesalers.
When the buyers deposit a certain amount of APM via apM Member mobile app, they can receive exclusive tiered benefits available in the malls including the malls’ facilities. And these exclusive benefits will include a number of customer services that the customer have preffered, like discount offers, free coupons, logistics supports, etc., and will be categorized based on the number of tokens deposited.
In case of a token utility for the wholesalers, the wholesalers will use our CRM system when they stake some apM Coin tokens and pay the subscription service fees on the app. The wholesalers can have access to the malls’ quality and massive customer/market data, which enable them to manage their current/future customers through the system. They can also promote their brands on the app, which will create more opportunities for them to attain more customers online.
Q: As you know Covid-19 has a large impact in the crypto Market, So How can apm company maintain its project and also the team that are working hard during this pandemic? (Twitter user Twitter user @ArmadaJaya6)
As I mentioned earlier, the pandemic also hit apM shopping malls.
For the successful service launch, apM Coin has decided to postpone our service launch till the current difficulties get better, which will be next year. The reason is that the full support and active participation from 1,300+ wholesalers and hundreds thousands of buyers are highly necessary for the successful launch and service application. They will be our most active users as well as the majority of users. We thought this year is not the perfect time for them to experience the new system since they have gone through this COVID-19 crisis, while focusing on enhancing their capabilities in this new transition.
apM malls and their key ecosystem participants, the wholesalers and buyers, have coped with these difficulties and taken them to enhance their capabilities. They are expanding many ways to conduct businesses on-/off-lines. apM Group’s online B2B mall has achieved dramatic growths for the last couple of months (and I think this growth will continue). You can find details about how apM malls are upgrading its strengths on our Medium articles:
Q: APM is a famous shopping mall in Korea. WHY AND HOW are you interested in the limited market in Korea? (Twitter user @kimyj038)
To clarify, APM is the token symbol of apM Coin project. And apM, apM PLACE and apM Luxe are the name of Korea’s largest B2B fashion malls which will apply our customer rewards platform for their wholesalers and buyer customers.
Having said that, the malls are located in Seoul, Korea, but they are mostly visited by global buyers, especially from Southern China regions and Vietnam. Also, apM malls are expanding their offline business in Vietnam and China. Actually, there are one of the key reasons that we’ve announced our partnership with TomoChain in order to scale our technology and business capabilities across ASEAN regions.
Most of users are still not aware with Blockchain & its related projects So,How apM platform create awareness about their project with NON-CRYPTO users too? (Telegram user @Lanre_Akorede)
Yes, most users of our platform will be non-crypto people. But, we don’t think they need to learn or know all technologies on our platform. What’s mostly important for our service development/application is making the service easy, efficienty and secure, so that the wholesalers and buyers don’t need to feel any difficulties when use our services.
Q: Your objective is to bring paid technological innovation to the fashion-related market, but … What are the markets that APM wants to reach in addition to fashion and why did they mainly choose this market? (Telegram user @heyyy9)
Considering that apM malls are mostly visited by global buyers, I think we have various opportunities to work with travel/hospitality industry and logistics company.
Q: Are you open to other blockchains in case Ethereum gets complicated? Why honestly use blockchain? (Telegram user @Vladimir87658)
Yes, we always look for amazing cooperation opportunities in blockchain industry. One of the reasons that we’ve issued our tokens on Ethereum and developing our platform on Ethereum is that Ethereum is vasly used platfom in this industry.
However, we have an amazing dev team who can integrate our systems with other great blockchain platforms like TOMO.
To add one more sentence, we’re happy to work with a number of great blockchain projects regardless of industry, if we can acheive mutual growth!