SEOUL -- South Koreans spent a total of more than 227 trillion won ($171.1 billion) through ecommerce platforms in 2023, earmarking the biggest-ever recorded amount since the total online transaction exceeded 200 trillion won in 2022.
According to a survey of 1,001 South Korean adults randomly contacted through their mobile phone numbers, conducted by South Korean pollster Gallup Korea in July 2023, 97 percent of adults used smartphones. People aged 60 years and more showed a distribution rate of 98 percent while 85 percent of people aged 70 and more used a smartphone.
Thanks to the high distribution rate of smartphones South Korean consumers have easy access to ecommerce platforms. They can order food, reserve accommodation, and book flight tickets without any physical barrier. Consumers can have groceries delivered to their doorsteps with a few flicks of their thumb. Shoppers do not have to stay overnight outside stores to get their hands on limited-edition luxury goods or limited-edition sneakers.
According to data released by the national statistics information service, the total online transaction made in 2023 was 227,347,000,000,000 won, up 8.3 percent compared to 2022. The travel and transport sector saw the steepest year-on-year growth of 44 percent to stand at 24.9 trillion won. Statistics Korea analyzed that the explosive growth witnessed in the travel and transport sector was attributed to the increased consumer demand for overseas travel that skyrocketed after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, less money was spent on buying computers and accessories, and home appliances. Consumers spent 8.7 trillion won (-4.6 percent on-year) on computers and accessories, and 14.5 trillion won (-1.5 percent on-year) on home appliances in 2023. The food service sector which thrived during the pandemic also saw its sales shrink to stand at 26.4 trillion won (-0.6 percent on-year).
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