Mobile shopping is currently the hottest trend in Korea, effortlessly diverting customers’ attention from the long-established Internet shopping sphere. According to Nielsen Korean Click, an Internet user research firm based in Korea and part of the world-renowned AGB Nielsen Media Research, sales by mobile as a percentage of all e-commerce sales grew more than twofold in just one year, from 12.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013 to 27.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Therefore, social commerce companies like Wemakeprice, Coupang, and Timon (TicketMonster), which do about 60 percent of their business via mobile, are reaping the benefits. In contrast, mobile shopping sales are only about 30 percent of the open market and 15 to 20 percent in mega marts and corporate-scale shopping malls. So mobile shopping through social commerce platforms is expected to grow bigger in the future.
Wemakeprice has been zeroing in on improving customer satisfaction by providing exactly what their customers want, and it finally paid off last September when the company got the highest number of online visitors of all social commerce companies. Wemakeprice rallied on “soldouts” by offering vouchers and coupons for the most popular trend-setting items like T.G.I.F. steaks, Sennheiser headsets, Codes Combine clothing, Lotte World free passes, and Lotteria Lots Burgers. In 2013, it introduced 5 percent mileage for all purchases and a payback policy to guarantee the lowest price, both of which customers can experience right away, thus contributing to customer satisfaction.
Wemakeprice also received a spotlight in the industry by becoming the first company to “offer the best deal.” When the company first launched in October 2010, it sold 100,000 Everland All-Day Passes for 14,900 won each, 60 percent of the regular price, and recorded 1.5 billion won (US$1.4 million) in sales in just one day. This incident actually established a new marketing concept for social commerce, called the “Super Deal,” meaning offering great products at a great value. Recently it introduced parallel import clearance certifications and a free exchange and return policy for fashion merchandise to offer better service, resulting in making a new wave not only in social commerce, but also in the e-commerce industry in general.
On Nov. 5, Wemakeprice became the first in the industry to receive the Secretary’s Award from the Ministry of Security and Public Administration in the 2014 Korea Marketing Fair for contributing to the market expansion of SMEs. Wemakeprice entered the market in 2012 with the products of about 660 SMEs and recorded 1.7 billion won (US$1.5 million) in sales. And, last year, it increased its product range to 1000 and earned 3.3 billion won (US$3.0 million). It dispatched its staff exclusively for SMEs to assist in finding new sales channels and provide consulting, which resulted in having SME products take 60 percent of the top 100 selling products.
Yujin Park, Wemakeprice’s chief of PR, said, “Proud of being a social commerce company made purely with Korean capital, we are going to try harder not only to grow bigger on the outside, but also stronger on the inside to really satisfy our customers,” and, “With customer-oriented management as our foremost goal, we will make this the stepping stone to make us Korea’s number one Internet shopping company.”