South Korea is the third largest online retail market in Asia-Pacific, and one of the most advanced in its region and worldwide. This country had the highest online shopper penetration rate among Internet users last year, ranking alongside China. As a result, the online share of total retail sales in South Korea remained the highest in its region in recent years. Despite attaining these high rates, B2C E-Commerce in South Korea is projected to maintain strong growth through 2021, driven mostly by mobile shopping.
South Korea has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world. More than nine in ten Internet users accessed the Internet via smartphones in 2017. Smartphones have also become the favorite device of South Korean consumers for making online purchases. Mobile shopping was nearly 1.5 times more popular than shopping from a desktop computer as of last year. Furthermore, over a half of total B2C E-Commerce sales in South Korea is generated by M-Commerce.
Among the product categories that have the highest mobile share of online sales in South Korea are goods for children, fashion and footwear, plus food and beverages. O2O services like food delivery, taxi and restaurant reservations also are experiencing growth in mobile usage. Moreover, advanced mobile services infrastructure results in popularity of various mobile payment solutions, including Naver Pay, Samsung Pay and NHN Payco.
The leaders of South Korea’s M-Commerce include 11Street which ranked first in the mobile shopping apps segment in terms of unique audience as of early 2018. Gmarket, the leading E-Commerce brand in terms of online turnover, holds only fourth position among mobile shopping apps. Social online marketplaces such as Coupang, Wemakeprice and Tmon also were among the top five mobile shopping apps in South Korea.
If you’re interested in the full report, click here: “South Korea B2C E-Commerce Market 2018”.