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E-commerce in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea is one of the biggest e-commerce markets worldwide. As a consumer society with an internet usage rate of close to 92 percent among the population, it is no surprise that e-commerce holds a strong position in South Korea. Industry figures suggest that the retail e-commerce volume in the country will grow to 90.5 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, up from 41.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. In 2019, around 97 percent of South Koreans in their twenties reported to use internet shopping.

Market leaders

As of 2019, the leading online shopping categories based on sales were online travel arrangement and reservation services, fashion and apparel, and home electronics and appliances. According to a survey in 2019, around 88 percent of consumers bought clothes and footwear online within the previous year. As of May 2020, the most popular online shopping property was gmarket.co.kr with around 8.8 million unique monthly visitors. G-market is an online marketplace currently owned by eBay. A strong contender is Coupang.com, which is known for its fast delivery.

Mobile shopping

Mobile retail e-commerce sales are also particularly strong in South Korea. In 2019, the share of mobile transaction value accounted for around 64.5 percent of total online transaction value. Mobile shopping has become a popular way to pass time. When asked about situations in which mobile shoppers use mobile shopping apps in 2019, around 45.5 percent of respondents stated that they used them when they are bored. The same survey found that around 37.2 percent of mobile shoppers had around four to six mobile shopping apps installed on their smartphone.

COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of online shopping has been increased around the world. Concerns about safety led many South Koreans to an increased use of online shopping services. A survey found that around 57.4 percent of respondents reported that they increased their online shopping compared to their shopping behavior before the pandemic. Leading products increasingly bought online during the pandemic were food and groceries.

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E-commerce in South Korea

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