• About 92% of respondents regularly purchase from online marketplaces.
  • Most Koreans shop for groceries and household supplies online.
  • Korean consumers would check three platforms to compare prices on average.

South Korea’s e-commerce market reached more than the US $90 billion this 2020.  With a record of 22.3% annual growth rate, the market is expected to reach $141.8 billion in 2024. In fact, social-distancing measures and lockdowns drove the demand for online shopping in the country this year.

More importantly, South Korea, a country known for its fast internet speed, early adoption of technology, and innovation, has most of its population shopping online and getting their goods delivered conveniently at home. Survey data collected via the Real Research application showed some notable South Korean consumer sentiments.

The majority of people shop online in South Korea, having more than 90% of its population digitally connected. There’s no surprise that the online shoppers’ rate is as high as 91.80%, with only 2.20% of the people saying they don’t shop online.

When asked about online shopping frequency, most of the respondents (32.80%) admitted to shopping 2-3 times a month. It was followed by those who shop online 4-5 times a month (21.80%). The rest of the options, including one time, 6-10 times, and 11 times or more, all got an almost equivalent percentage of 12%.

South Korea’s consumers spend most on buying groceries and household goods. Taking into account more than 63.40% of respondents shops online for their daily necessities. This result may also be evident because of the COVID-19 situation where people ought to stay at home.

Meanwhile, shopping for clothing and apparel comes in second but far behind at 12.40%. Electronics and novelty products both sit at a tie with 8.40%.

What kind of products do you usually purchase online?

As for the platform, consumers in South Korea prefer to shop in Coupang, garnering 33.80% of the consumers. Meanwhile, Buyaladdin comes in second with 28.20% and Naver Shopping at 13.00%.

Aside from shopping, online shoppers are used to comparing and canvass prices of items they wish to buy by visiting various platforms. The survey revealed that 40.4% of consumers, almost half of the respondents, visit three online shopping portals on average to check the same product’s prices. In comparison, 28.2% admitted to browsing through at least two portals to compare prices before purchasing.

How many online shopping malls do you visit to compare the prices before purchasing?

Overall, South Korean consumers can be identified as smart buyers who are price-conscious. Also, because they have a number of online shops to choose from with almost the same good service that can deliver to their area, they are used to checking out several marketplaces to get the best deals.

The majority of the respondents showed immense interest when asked if they would prefer an e-commerce platform where price comparisons of various e-commerce shopping sites will be in one platform. Interestingly, a staggering 93.6% said Yes, they would love to use such an innovative and convenient platform, while only 0.40% said no and seemed disinterested.

Would you prefer to use an e-commerce platform that provides a price comparison of all online shopping malls at once?


Real Research conducted a nationwide survey with 1000 participants integrated into the labor market during COVID-19. The sample includes 500 consumers residing in South Korea as respondents. The survey was conducted between October 22 to November 5, 2020. Real Research rewarded all respondents for their participation in the consumer survey.