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An overview of e-commerce trends in South Korea

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Basic elements to consider for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) doing business in South Korea via e-commerce channels

Quick facts

Consumer spending

Top devices used for making online purchases (2017)

Top packaged foods sold online, 2017 US$ millions

Categories Internet Retailing
Rice, pasta and noodles 1,207.0
Dairy 543.3
Baby food 193.2
Savoury snacks 95.1
Sweet biscuits, snack bars and fruit snacks 79.3
Sauces, dressings and condiments 51.3
Confectionery 43.5
Edible oils 38.2
Baked goods 13.9
Ready meals 10.2
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South Korean customer behaviour & trends

South Koreans favour online grocery shopping for its convenience, price deals, and variety. Thanks to these trends, Canadian SME’s can easily do business abroad and optimize on the growing demand for online groceries.

South Korean shoppers want:

South Korea is a highly-advanced nation in terms of digital connectivity, ranking high on digital readiness, home and mobile connectivity and convenient mobile payment system.

Understanding South Korea’s online marketplace

South Korea’s top online retailers US$ millions

Brand US$ millions
G Market 3,822.3
Tmon 2,391.6
Coupang 2,319.8
11th Street 2,270.9
H Mall 1,258.1
Lotte imall 1,111.4
GS SHOP 999.8
CJ Mall 961.5
Lotte.com 888.1
E-Mart 788.0

Note: Only includes top retailers that sell groceries online.

Data represents total e-commerce sales (i.e. food and other products).

GMarket saw the highest online sales with a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% from 2013 to 2017.

Coupang experienced the fastest growth at a rate of 164.6% from 2013 to 2017.

Source: Euromonitor International, 2017.

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