Do you know that?
- South Korea retail e-commerce penetration (as a percentage of total retail) is third in the world?
- South Korea’s e-commerce growth rate in 2020 is expected to be 5 times that of Japan?
- The US is the top cross border country that South Koreans buy online from.
In this post, I will share the 2020 key facts about South Korea’s e-commerce. It is the updated version of my previous post in 2019 about the South Korea e-commerce landscape.
1. South Korea e-commerce sales is the fifth largest in the world
5th place in the world is actually remarkable given that the South Korea population ranks 28th in the world.
From e-commerce penetration (as a percentage of total retail sales) point of view, South Korea ranks 3rd in the world, with more than double Japan’s penetration.
Interestingly, Japan’s e-commerce penetration is lower than the world average. This is amongst countries where eMarketer tracks.
2. South Korea digital buyer penetration is 2nd amongst comparable countries
Some other Western European countries have slightly higher digital buyer penetration than South Korea like the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, etc. However, their total e-commerce sales are a lot lower than South Korea’s.
3. South Korea expected e-commerce growth rate in 2020 continues to be healthy
4. The majority of South Korea e-commerce revenue happens on mobile devices, 2nd to China amongst comparable countries
The mobile e-commerce sales growth rate in South Korea is comparable with those of China and the US
5. Travel and transportation services, Clothing are the two most popular products sourced from domestic online retailers in South Korea
Data from export.gov 2019 report here.
6. Top B2C e-commerce platforms in South Korea are all local players
7. Major buying holidays in South Korea
They are Chu-Seok (the 15th day of the 8th lunar month), Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day), Parents’ Day (May 8th) and Children’s Day (May 5th)
The 15th day of the 8th lunar month is the mid-autumn festival in many Sinic countries like China, Vietnam or Singapore. From Wikipedia, it is a different celebration in South Korea though.
8. The US and Europe are the top 2 cross border retail e-commerce sales that South Koreans are buying from in 2019
From a retail cross border e-commerce growth rate perspective, China and Europe are leading the rest.
That’s all from me.