SOUTH KOREA

eCommerce is a key component of the overall consumer market in South Korea and is consistently growing. The cross-border eCommerce market in South Korea increased from US$ 2 billion in 2017 to US$ 4.5 billion in 2022, resulting in a 23% average annual growth rate.

1

Brief

2

Key Players

3

Highlights

Brief

The cross-border eCommerce market in South Korea has been continuously growing, from US$ 2.0 billion in 2017 to US$ 4.5 billion in 2022, resulting in a 23% of average annual growth rate. With the Canada-South Korea Free Trade Agreement now in place, Canadian exporters have preferential access to one of the world’s largest economies and are exposed to more opportunities due to tariff elimination in a broad range of sectors.

South Korea is one of the world’s most connected markets. Cross-border eCommerce is a gateway for Canadian SMEs to enter this market. South Korea offers significant opportunities for Canadian companies with excellent offerings, a willingness to provide excellent service, patience, and an ability to build good relationships at all levels.

Key Players

There is a suite of South Korean retailers with different eCommerce models catering to tech-savvy yet time-crunched consumers.  Most major eCommerce companies provide both apps and websites and use different avenues to gain and keep customers.

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Highlights

  • South Korea’s population, at 51.3 million, is 1.38 times that of Canada, at 37.3 million.

  • Over 30% of South Koreans spend more than half of their total monthly disposable income on internet purchases.

  • These almost 32 million eCommerce users are expected to spend an annual average of over US$ 1,000 per person online.

  • In 2016, approximately 44% of Koreans participated in cross-border online shopping, and cross-border eCommerce reached US$ 2.0 billion.

  • South Korea E-market is ranked as the third-largest eCommerce market globally, with 16% of all the country’s retail sales taking place online in the same year.

  • Overall internet penetration in South Korea is over 92%, and mobile penetration is almost 80%. Mobile eCommerce is the main driver of the explosive eCommerce growth.