Thinking About Starting a Business in South Korea? | 6 Must Things to Know

Updated: Feb 9

Korea is popular for several things like the fastest internet, rapid adoption of new technologies, and high smartphone usage. Korea's market size is quite moderate, having 53 million inhabitants only, but still, it is considered one of the most attractive and profitable markets in Asia. It is because it is straightforward to enter the Korean market.

starting a business in South Korea

Related: E-Commerce In South Korea - A Detailed Analysis

6 Things to Know Before Starting a Business In South Korea

Things to know before starting a business in South Korea

1. Most Korean Do Not Understand English

English is not widely spoken in South Korea. Since most of Korea's population only speak the Korean language, make sure you find professional translation and interpretation service with quality. No matter the industry, having clear communication is a key to succeed in business.

2. Korean People Use Naver As Their Primary Search Engine


If you are in any other country, you might be spending a lot of time and money to improve your brand's SEO for Google. In Korea, your main focus should be optimizing your website, according to Naver. You may also need to create a Korean version of your website for the ease of Korean users. It is a well-established fact that an average Korean person won't trust your brand until he finds relevant information about your brand on Naver.

3. South Koreans Love Discounts And Special Promotions

South Korean customers love special treatment. They enjoy being VIP members. They love getting rewards and accumulating points. This is the reason that you will find the majority of Korean brands and shops offering premium memberships and reward programs. Also, keep in mind that most Koreans make transactions using their credit cards, so their rewards are mostly associated with their banks.

4. Use of Social Media Platforms

Use of Social Media Platform

South Korea is one of the extremely-connected countries in the world.

Facebook is dominated in South Korea, but Korean platform also has a notable presence. KakaoStory which is a social network platform came in second place,

KakaoTalk is a messaging app very similar to WhatsApp, and it is used by 97% of mobile users in Korea. According to some stats, there are around 43 Million monthly users active on this platform.

If you are planning to run a business in South Korea, you need to study all social media platforms and apps used in this country. Not only will it help you to reach your targeted audience, but you can also study your customer's behaviours and shopping habits.

5. Korean People Listen To The Social Media Influencers

71% of South Korea consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

One of the most efficient ways to convince Korean people to use your products and service is with social media influencers' help. You will start getting leads and sales right after you apply this strategy. 

If you think that you are running low on marketing budget, you can search for the famous influencers

6. Focus on The Korean Culture

Koreans have a beautiful culture. Koreans are very dedicated to their culture, and they follow their culture in all matters of their lives. When you are targeting the Korean audience, make sure that your tone is polite. If you are writing Korean, make sure you have written correct phrases and appropriate terms.

Related: 7 South Korean Business Etiquette you must know

Final Verdict

South Korean people love to follow the latest trends. There are a lot of opportunities for international brands in South Korea. It would help if you kept in mind that you will have a tough time here as your competition is with the largest Korean firms that are holding the majority of the market share right now.

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