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Online grocery shopping in South Korea - Statistics & Facts

South Korea has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, as well as an internet usage rate of around 92 percent. Online shopping adapted very well in the country and activities such as mobile shopping became popular pastime activity. Unsurprisingly, an increasing number of South Koreans try online grocery shopping.

A survey conducted in January 2019 found that most consumers still tend to shop for groceries in physical stores rather than online. Nevertheless, almost one third of online grocery shoppers used the service around once per week. Another survey conducted in August 2019 found that households with three or more persons were more likely to use online grocery shopping services than single or two person households.

Consumer behavior and preferences

When asked about the amount of money spent, surveyed users estimated they tend to spend between 20,000 and 40,000 South Korean won per order. Additionally, more than two thirds of shoppers use mobile devices for ordering groceries. The most used online grocery shopping website was Coupang.

One of the biggest disadvantages from a user’s perspective is the fact that they cannot check the quality of the food before buying it. Having no trust in quality was one of the leading reasons for not using online grocery shopping services for around 26.7 percent of respondents in a survey in August 2019. Meanwhile, fresh products like seafood, meat, as well as produce, are among the least popular grocery items to shop for online. Despite widespread concerns about the quality of fresh products, the market is growing anyways as consumers gain confidence in the services. The South Korean online grocery market is likely to grow further, given the high usage of general online shopping and the country’s well-established delivery system.

COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, online shopping in general has been increasing around the world. When the pandemic hit its peak in South Korea, the concerns about the virus had an impact on the online shopping behavior of South Korean consumers and customers increasingly bought groceries online. A survey found that food items were the top item customers increasingly purchased online during the pandemic. Groceries with a long shelf life, like frozen food, snacks, and dry food were among the food items purchased most frequently online.

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Online grocery shopping in South Korea

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