Social commerce firms report business is good

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Social commerce firms report business is good

Korea’s leading social commerce companies like Coupang and Ticket Monster beat large discount store chains in terms of average transaction amount and online open markets, such as Gmarket and Auction, in number of visitors thanks to the robust growth of mobile shopping.

Ticket Monster said yesterday its average amount per transaction in July was eight times more than in January 2011.

And while the average transaction was 42,592 won ($39.62) in the first quarter of 2011, it rose to 72,052 won in July, and the number of transactions soared from 200,000 in January 2011 to 1.6 million in July.

E-Mart recently reported that its average transaction amount fell to about 40,000 won last year, lower than it was in 2002, according to Ticket Monster.

The expansion of age groups using social commerce sites has contributed to the rise in average transaction amounts due to the purchasing power of older people, the company said.

When it began, the social commerce industry targeted consumers in their 20s.

The number of customers in their 40s exceeds 300,000 each month at Ticket Monster, and while purchasers in their 20s spend 50,000 won per transaction, the figure for those in their 40s is 70,000 won to 80,000 won.

Social commerce has also received a boost from the recent introduction of premium products and additional categories.

“Due to the prolonged economic slowdown, the trend of smart consumption through social commerce seems to have spread among consumers,” said Shin Hyun-sung, CEO of Ticket Monster. “With more thorough product certification and services tailored to premium products, we are putting our efforts into consumer satisfaction.”

Coupang also said its visitors numbered 6.27 million in the third week of September, making it the second-most popular shopping site ahead Gmarket and Auction, according to the Internet research institute Korean Click.

The No. 1 shopping site for the third week of September in terms of the number of visitors was 11st, which had 230,000 more than Coupang reported.

The number of visitors soared 147 percent at Coupang in August compared with January 2012.

The continuous growth in the number of visitors was also helped by the rapid growth of mobile shopping, industry sources said.

“We have been leading the paradigm change in domestic electronic commerce by providing services that consider the consumer first. We plan to emerge as Korea’s Amazon through continuous innovations as well as providing customer-oriented shopping experiences,” said Kim Beom-seok, CEO of Coupang.


BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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