Social commerce in Korea to surge sixtyfold over three years

Social commerce to surge sixtyfold over three years

Kim Gyu-sik, Sohn Dong-woo, Won Yo-hwan

2013.09.04 18:12:36

The social commerce market is growing and evolving rapidly due to cheap price chasers, who go for lower prices, and its edge in the mobile environment. Social commerce has recently started diversifying its product line-up from intangible goods including tickets for dining at restaurants and watching performance to electronics, cars and food, seizing on the areas that have been reserved for other online shopping malls. The social commerce market in its infancy totaled 50 billion won ($45.6 million) in terms of the value of total transactions in 2010. Now the number is projected to exceed three trillion won this year. All of the three biggest social commerce players in Korea, Ticket Monster, Coupang, and We Make Price, are confident that their respective transactions would surpass one trillion won this year. There are two primary factors driving the exponential growth of the market. First, the prolonged recession has made consumers more sensitive about prices. Second, social commerce is optimized for the mobile environment by its nature. Many of social commerce deals often secure a certain quantity of selected products and sell them at a discount during a specified period. This gives social commerce companies a competitive edge over other types of online shopping malls that sell products constantly. Furthermore, social commerce appeals more strongly to consumers when they are shopping on smartphones with a four to five-inch display. Unlike other online malls that sell tens of thousands of products on the website, social commerce companies display products selectively, thus offering smartphone users less complex, but more convenient viewing experience.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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