I still remember when I was very young I was more than exciting to drink small bottle of yakult every morning. Since 1971, yakult ajummas delivered yakult to door to door in Korea. These yakult delivery women are called as ‘yakult ajumma’ and they wear uniforms that are similar to the colour of ‘yakult’ which is light pinky apricot. There is no Yakulk Ajeossi (middle-aged men, sort of opposite meaning of ajumma) because the company only hired ajummas for ‘yakult ajumma’. Yes, they do yakult delivery but they are not simply delivery ajummas. They do various social-minded activities to help disadvantaged people such as elder who lives alone, adolescent heads of family etc. As yakult ajumma, they sell yakult to customers but they are more than just ‘yakult delivery women’ rather yakult ajumma as ajummas, they are like our mothers, ajummas who live our next doors. And this friendly and motherly image of ajumma accords with what company aims, for example ‘yakult ajummas deliver health to your door every morning’.
Mother of Working Mom, Yakult Ajumma, YTN TV News, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1JIYmu33bE>
In the past (1980s to early 2000s), yakult ajummas’ biggest customers are ajummas because they handle the household mostly, so ajummas paid the price of yakult once a month, usually paid by cash to yakult ajumma directly. However, these yakult ajumma changed to smart yakult ajumma since 2013 because they hold hands with digital mobile devices and system.
Thus ajumma customers now can order their yakult and pay the price of yakult through using an yakult app on their smartphones. For example, ajumma customers simply put their smartphones on card reader machine of yakult ajumma’s mobile cart, then the money will be charged to their smartphone bill every month. This is convenient for both an ajumma customer and yakult ajumma. In addition, it is innovation of mobile shopping markets because they designed this mobile payment system for the yakult customers, who are the majority of ajummas.
image from Yakult365.com <http://yakult365.com/150>
Through this example of yakult ajumma (smart yakult ajumma) and their digital mobile app, I can see how our ajummas engage with mobile digital technology in daily lives. Also these yakult ajummas are using mobile cart and digital technology to sell yakult, their image of yakult ajumma that is ‘friendly and motherly’ still makes customers to feel warmheartedness of yakult ajumma.
image from Yakult365.com <http://yakult365.com/395>
Actually they tried to change the name of yakult delivery women in 2014. They thought the name of ‘yakult ajumma’ cannot be matched with digital way of yakult ajumma (with mobile cart and smartphone app). So the company invited public participation to create a new name for yakult ajumma. However, people in Korea ask the company for keeping the ‘yakult ajumma’ instead of getting a new funky name for those ajummas. Fortunately, the company keeps ‘yakult ajumma’ and we are able to keep call and see ‘yakult ajumma’ continuously. Yakult ajumma will be staying to deliver health to us everyday but the ways of delivering yakult are evolving constantly as development of new technology. Yes they are now Smart Yakult Ajumma like our Smart Ajummas. Go Ajummas!