“Thanks to Ako's team for their unwavering support and solutions, LINE FRIENDS has successfully launched and thrived online. Their partnership has been instrumental in our growth and continued success. Ako truly stands out as a valuable partner in our journey.” -Albee Chen, LINE FRIENDS Taiwan Limited Business Assistant


LINE FRIENDS was created after the launch of the mobile messaging app, LINE, which boasts an active user base of 200 million globally. As the stickers became increasingly popular, LINE established LINE FRIENDS to develop the business based on these intellectual properties (IPs). Since then, the company has evolved into a worldwide creative studio, leveraging its extensive portfolio of exclusive Intellectual Properties (IPs). This includes 'BT21', characters co-created with the global pop sensation BTS, and collaborations with Supercell’s hit mobile game 'Brawl Stars', captivating the hearts of young people around the world.

Continuing its expansion, LINE FRIENDS has successfully partnered with top industry brands such as Netflix, Supercell, Tencent, and Big Hit Entertainment. These collaborations have led to the creation of a unique range of media and entertainment content, showcasing the expansive potential of character-based IPs.

Overcome High Shipping Costs and Boost Market Entry

LINE Friends approached the Akohub team to help address a significant challenge when entering a new international market. Despite their product pricing being competitive and matching South Korea’s pricing, shipping costs were too high for their new customers. Their products were shipped from South Korea which added expensive shipping costs to new customers’ total purchase price, deterring potential customers.

LINE FRIEND saw an opportunity to implement a loyalty program that encouraged repeat customers to achieve higher rankings and qualify for free shipping. Additionally, they wanted to showcase customer reviews to build trust and encourage these repeat purchases.

One challenge LINE Friends faced was finding a partner who understood the Asian market and could help them customize and scale their project to other regions. LINE Friends had 5 main requirements when choosing a vendor for their loyalty platform:

1. Customizable loyalty platform built for Shopify: The program needed to integrate natively with their Shopify Plus store. Every step in the loyalty program had to be on-brand and seamlessly work with other apps, such as Judge.me for customer reviews.

2.Experienced partner familiar with the Asian market: They needed a partner with expertise in the Asian market who could support their growth and expansion into new markets across the region. 

3.Adaptable set of rules for points and refunds that they could mold to their audience : They needed a loyalty program that gave them full control and flexibility when establishing the program rules. Specifically, they required a system that allows them to refund prepaid customs duties to customers without revoking the reward points earned from their purchases. This contrasts with most loyalty apps that typically retract points upon issuing a refund.

4.Strong sense of trust and community among their customers: The ability to showcase customer reviews and create a sense of community was important. They wanted to highlight positive feedback and ensure transparency while rewarding their customers.

5.Complete CRM Dashboard: They required a dashboard that allowed them to export files through CSV to analyze point usage. This feature was crucial for financial analysis and support for finance staff.

Revamping the Loyalty Program to Overcome High Shipping Costs and Foster Community Engagement

LINE Friends partnered with the Ako team to revamp their loyalty program, addressing high shipping costs in a new market. Using the Ako Marketing: Loyalty Retargeting CRM app, LINE Friends was able to encourage customers to purchase more frequently and increase their AOV to reach higher VIP tiers and gain exclusive benefits.

The loyalty program incentivizes customers by offering coupons for tier upgrades. As customers move to higher tiers, they receive more substantial discounts, including both order and free shipping discounts. To boost the average order value (AOV), these coupons require a minimum purchase amount for redemption. The higher the tier, the more free shipping discount codes customers will receive, making it even more rewarding to reach top levels. During flash sales, LINE Friends frequently provides free shipping, which is particularly attractive to customers in Taiwan. Free shipping is a common expectation on popular platforms like Shopee and Momo, and the Digital 2024 Taiwan report underscores its significance for Taiwanese consumers. This highlights the strategic importance of offering free shipping for LINE Friends.

LINE FRIENDS aimed to build trust and foster a sense of community among their customers. To achieve this, they integrated the Ako Marketing app with Judge.me, allowing customers to earn points for reviewing products and incentivizing higher engagement. As a result, LINE FRIENDS could showcase more customer reviews and create a dedicated section highlighting all product feedback, customer-generated images, and more.

The website frequently introduces new products, and since these items are shipped from Korea, local customers particularly rely on unboxing reviews from the first buyers to better understand the products and avoid any disappointments. To encourage detailed feedback, customers can earn points for their reviews, motivating many loyal customers to diligently review every product they purchase.



Additionally, LINE FRIENDS offers discount codes for high-quality reviews, especially those with images or videos. These discount codes have an almost 100% usage rate, further incentivizing customers to provide valuable feedback. The increase in customer-generated reviews strengthened customer trust and boosted retention.

By integrating the Ako Marketing app with Judge.me, they achieved:

$100 USD AOV
Repeat purchases 20%

Today, LINE Friends' loyalty program continues to thrive and expand into new markets while the Taiwan team deepens local operations and collaborates with local suppliers to promote a wider variety of IPs. The Ako team collaborates closely with LINE Friends to support this growth.

Part of this success was the close collaboration with the Ako team through a dedicated Basecamp project that is available to enterprise partners.

“Thanks to the comprehensive support from the Ako team and their integration with Judge.me, LINE FRIENDS has successfully cultivated a more loyal and engaged fan base. Their apps have significantly strengthened our customer relationships and enhanced our community of devoted fans.”
- Albee Chen, LINE FRIENDS Taiwan Limited Business Assistant