South Korean Bookseller’s Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing
This paper is inspired by the profit-sharing affiliate scheme established by Aladdin.co.kr, one of the largest online book retailers in South Korea. This scheme, which is called “Thanks to Bloggers,” offers book API (application program interface) to bloggers so they can easily use information about the book they would like to write and post a review about in their blogs. The Aladdin also gives 1% of the book’s retail price (as a form of cyber money) to the blogger when customers specify that the specific blogger’s review was helpful when they decided to make a purchase of the book.
In South Korea, as one of the most wired countries in the world, online word-of-mouth is becoming a more and more important and popular source of information that consumers can trust and rely on with their decision. In particular, because of the nature of online book selling (where it is not possible to see the contents of a book before buying remains its major obstacle), providing substantial contents of a book is crucial in book selling. Moreover, ordinary readers’ book reviews may have a major affect on enormously affect the book market. Taking the “Thanks to Blogger” scheme as a case study, this paper will explore, through e-mail interviews and observation, how online book retailers utilise word-of-mouth marketing and how customers (both review readers and reviewers) receive the marketing.
Keywords: Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Booklogs (Book Blogs), South Korea, Online Book Retailers
Choon Key Chekar
PhD student, Cardiff School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies, Cardiff University