South Korea is a formidable e-commerce and beauty market. More than 80% of the population is online and the region boasts some of the world’s fastest internet speeds. The skin care and cosmetics industries are growing 9% a year. Yet, global brands such as Estée Lauder Companies, Johnson & Johnson and L’Oréal Groupe have experienced flat to negative market share growth due to competition from local players. Korea’s native brands are skilled at e-commerce, and dominate the Gifted and Genius ranks in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Korea Beauty. Here are the ten most digitally savvy Beauty Brands in Korea:

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Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 6.13.49 PM1. Etude House

Digital IQ: 150

Strong on mobile and social, Etude House offers m-commerce on its mobile site and is active on the top five global and local social platforms. It is especially competent on YouTube (23 million views) and Facebook (555,407 fans) where it has the most views and fans of all brands in the Index.

2. Bobbi Brown

Digital IQ: 142

Bobbi Brown derives its success in Korea from regionalization. Content on site and social platforms is translated and localized for Korean customers, and made visible with effective SEO and SEM strategies on local search engines across devices. The e-commerce site is localized as well and brought up to meet standards of Korea consumers. As a result, it is the top-performing e-commerce site in the L2 Korea Beauty study.

3. Skin Food

Digital IQ: 135

Skin Food has the fastest-growing fan base on Kakao-Talk, and the third largest community after Innisfree and Etude House. Leveraging its name, Skin Food engages fans with healthy recipes on the brand site.

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4. Laneíge

Digital IQ: 132

In a market that trails every country except Germany in adopting live chat, Laneíge is the only brand adopting this feature. The brand has been able to boost loyalty and engagement on the site by product personalization and offering loyalty points for check-ins and purchases on “Water Point Mall.”

4. The Face Shop (Tie)

Digital IQ: 132

The Face Shop has the largest fan base of any Index brand on KakaoStory. It has optimized its videos for YouTube search as the only brand in the L2 Korea Beauty Index engaging in competitive purchasing.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 6.16.32 PM6. Hera

Digital IQ: 131

Hera’s responsively designed brand site is optimized across devices. The brand boosts its review quantity and search engine position by hosting robust product review events.

6. L’Occitane (Tie)

Digital IQ: 131

L’Occitane is present on all of the major global and local platforms, and is one of the few global brands to have mastered Korea’s local platforms. It is one of the best-performing brands on Naver.

8. Innisfree

Digital IQ: 130

Innisfree’s strength lies in the large communities it has fostered on social media platforms. It has the largest Kakao Talk Plus Friend fan base (1.3 million +) and the second largest YouTube channel (after Etude House) with 14 million views. The brand experiments with online forums and auctions loyalty program points.

9. The Body Shop

Digital IQ: 130

The Body Shop is one of four brands in the L2 study that uses Naver Checkout, a convenient and safe way to purchase products online. It has excelled on e-tailer presence, holding the top spot in visibility for long-tail keyword searches on CJ Mall.

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10. Tony Moly

Digital IQ: 125

Tony Moly’s Facebook page has the fastest year-on-year growth rate (631%) as a result of the brand’s successful user-generated contests.

For more on the digital performance of digital beauty brands in Korea, download a copy of the study:
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