L2’s Korea Beauty research team finds that 47% of prestige cosmetic brands, both global and Korean, link to third party sellers while only 28% offer direct e-commerce to consumers from their brand site. On the other hand, 43% of mass brands offer direct e-commerce whereas only 28% link to third-party sellers.

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But in the convoluted world of third-party e-commerce in South Korea with over 50 e-tailer websites, most prestige brands are setting up shop on B2C e-commerce sites and highly recognized online department store malls such as Lotte.com, Hyundai Hmall, Shinsegae mall, and AK Mall to avoid being sold on the same site as gray market products. On the other hand, most mass brands are found in C2C e-commerce sites or so called “Open Markets” such as Gmarket, Interpark, GS Shop, 11st, and Auction, but without official brand shops.

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