Selling on Naver: a door to South Korea?
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
First of all let's simply explain what Naver is: Google, but in South Korea. It is the most popular search engine of the country, holding many other interesting features. Just like what happens with Google in many other countries in the world, it is almost impossible to surf the web without bumping into Naver in South Korea.
An important feature I was looking into for a customer, is the effectiveness of the search engine to sell products from abroad to South Korea. I have been to the country many times and every new trip I learn a different feature of this interesting platform. However the one I am constantly amazed about is the blog. Or maybe I should say the blogs.
So, I was in Edinburgh with this Korean friend of mine. Edinburgh is widely known to the general public for not being in South Korea. So when we wanted to try a new restaurant near our block, I thought TripAdvisor was the best idea to look for suggestions. But my friend was already reading his phone, reading reviews on Naver about the place i just suggested. "Yes it looks cool, they say they do an amazing Scottish brunch there, I think we can go there".
This review wasn't the typical review you are used to look at in your phone. No stars, no restaurant page, it was just like if we were reading a... blog!? I did not read much from it, since I don't speak the language, but I can tell there was a lot of effort put into it. There was a little map on how to get there, a lot of pictures of the inside, a lot of toon stickers, and (what seemed) concise text with key information. All within a webpage. And then we read another one, with different content, yet an easy-to-read concept and same content layout (provided by Naver). Here is an example of what I might have seen:
This blogging concept really amazed me, and is really something I wish I could read. I have studied Naver for quite a while and I might have the answer to the question on our title. Is Naver useful to sell in South Korea? Yes, it definitely can be, but not in the traditional search engine way.
As we have explained before, the majority of the public compares Naver to Google, ignoring the way the platform has evolved. While it might be true that the core remains the search engine, the real innovation and the real place where you should be is Naver Blog, which I like to define as a TripAdvisor under steroids. The search engine is not as important as the blog, working correctly on showing up on Google will make you show up on Naver (organically, not paid announcements).
So if you are a shop and you are selling in South Korea as well, make sure your purchase is an experience, and then contact your customer asking if he uses Naver Blog and if he can leave a review for you. And then do it again. And again. If you have a restaurant or a shop that is frequented occasionally by Korean tourists, do the same thing. Ask them for a review on Naver. Any blogger craves for content to write about (you're reading it from someone who's blogging) , I am sure they will be more than happy to do it!
Extra Tip: If you have an online store, you can even put a discount coupon for packages going to South Korea. Ask for a review on Naver of the shopping experience, in exchange for a cut on their next order, in a nice looking coupon card. They might blog about the coupon itself, so make sure the terms are written only on one side (so to post freely about the coupon without exposing the terms and conditions).