Let The Buyer Beware … Restaurants

One in 10 Korean users of social commerce has faced problems in doing so, with 70 percent of them making complaints regarding food and drink services.

According to figures from the Korean Consumer Agency, 95 percent of social commerce fans visit a commerce site at least once per week, and just under 50 percent buy a coupon at least once per week. Some 10 million Koreans are now estimated to use social commerce sites.

The tables above show that 11.8 percent of respondents said they had had issues with social commerce, of which 70.3 percent arose from food and drink, 5.9 percent from beauty services, 5.9 percent from clothing and accessories, 4.2 percent from travel products, 3.4 percent from tickets to cultural performances, 3.4 percent from convenience store coupons, and 2.5 percent from sports.

The chief cause for complaint (among 50 percent of respondents) was a difference between what was offered online and what the customers actually received. Next up, at 47.6 percent, was a difference between the fixed price and the coupon price. When the customer actually visited the participating business, 31 percent complained of rudeness, while 11.9 percent  griped about being pushed to buy extra things on top of the coupon items.

However, when complaints do arise, social commerce sites are apparently far less likely to handle them to customers’ satisfaction. Of the ¬†41.5 percent of people who complained to the sites, a whopping 97.1 percent said their grumbles weren’t resolved.

The study also found that restaurants are the most common outlet for social commerce shoppers, with 81 percent of them buying coupons for food and drink (hence the relatively high number of complaints). Tickets for cultural events were next with 45.4 percent, followed by beauty services at 15.4 percent.

Finally, for all the gripes, the overwhelming majority of social commerce customers — 87.5 percent — said they planned to keep buying things through such sites.

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