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Facebook Shops increased competition in Korean e-commerce market

Facebook Shops

Facebook has entered South Korea’s crowded online landscape to vie for a share in the booming e-commerce market dominated by local names.

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The U.S. social media giant rolled out its online store, Facebook Shops, in Korea. Sellers can create their own collection and customize the look and feel of the shop with images and colors that showcase their brand, it said.

Shoppers can browse the offerings via the brand’s Facebook page or Instagram profile, save the products they want and place an order. Plans are now underway to make purchases right within a chat in WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct, the company said.

Facebook first launched Facebook Shops in the U.S. and several European countries in May. The company said part of its goal is to help small businesses struggling from the pandemic connect with customers online.

Facebook Shops is working with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. Among them is the Korean e-commerce platform Cafe24, which helps local online sellers take their business global.

Shares of Kosdaq-listed Cafe24, whose stock price had hovered just above US$24.8 in early April, jumped to as high as 63,000 won on 26th May after the launch of Facebook Shops. It closed at US$47.09, 1.05 percent lower from the previous session.

Competition in Korea’s online shopping market is likely to intensify, with Google also poised to open its own digital commerce platform, Google Shopping, in the country this year.

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Korea’s e-commerce market is currently dominated by domestic players, including the portal giant Naver, various e-commerce platforms such as Coupang and Gmarket, and shopping mall apps run by conglomerates Lotte and Shinsegae.