The South Korean online market is one of the largest e-commerce market in the World. According to eMarketer report, the South Korea's the e-Commerce market ranked 7th in the world in terms of transactions volume, more than Canada, Russia or Brazil.
Online transactions in Korea continue to grow and according to data from Statistics Korea agency, the annual online transactions value increase every year in 16.3% and in 2014 it reached to $42 Billions. South Korea leading also in Asia. As published on Consumer Barometer Survey 2014 by Google, 51% of the Korean consumers use online market to make purchase, more than any other East Asian country in the world.
One of the main reasons South Korea is one of the largest e-commerce market in the world is the connectivity. According to International Telecommunication Union report, South Korea (together with Denmark) is the most connected country in the world. With 42 million internet users (almost 85% of its population) Korea is more connected than any other East Asian country (Word Bank).
Korea isn't only the most connected country but also provide the highest average internet connection speed in the world – 24.6Mbps (Akamai's report). As for online payments, According the MasterCard report, South Korea's e-Commerce market ranked 5th in the world in terms of Consumer Readiness, Environment, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Mobile Commerce Clusters and Regulation.
Mobile usage take important rule in the e-commerce business in Korea. Google Consumer Barometer survey indicated that 43% of the South Korean consumers use mobile device to make purchase online, more than any other country in the world. According to data from Statistics Korea agency, the mobile shopping transaction value reached US $13.7 billion in 2014, which increased 125.8% from 2013.
Korean buy many kind of products and services online. According to data from Statistics Korea agency, in 2014, the preferred products for South Korean online consumers were: Travel arrangement and reservation services (18.6%), Clothes, Fashion and related Goods (16.3%), Household goods, motor vehicle parts and accessories (11.1%).
Any seller who wish to sell in the Korean online market should be aware of the following information:
- The preferred online payment method in South Korea is credit cards with 73.6% preference. Advance payment and debit card payment are second and third on the list. (Payvision/DHL)
- More than 57.3 percent of female internet users in South Korea purchased goods and services over the internet in the last year. (Statista)
- South Korean consumers prefer to shop from 6pm to midnight (Lotte/Shinsegae)
- Consumers who browse online shop by mobile tend to make purchase faster than those who use non-mobile device. (KCCI)
- While doing online shopping Korean consumers spend more time (24 minutes) on E-commerce platforms such as Gmarket and 11st street. (KCCI)
- The Korean market is A/S oriented market, where sometimes the customer service is more important than the product itself.
- South Korean customers expect to receive their deliveries within 3.9 days, compared to the global 6.5 days average. [DHL]
- South Korean consumers are very sensitive to Product quality and it's the main reason for product returns in Korea. [DHL]
- South Koreans between 25 and 44 years old are the most active online consumers. [Google]