Shoppers opt for mobile
While mobile shopping was considered supplementary to traditional online shopping a few years ago, major e-commerce sites are reporting a huge shift in ordering preferences.
E-commerce giants G-Market and 11st said on Friday that sales made on mobile tablets and smartphones account for 50 percent of the entire transactions in November for the first time.
“We saw some specific product categories generating over 50 percent sales of 11st before,” said a representative of the online shopping mall operated by SK Planet.
“But this is the first time that the average of all product categories reached 50 percent.”
The leading e-commerce site noted that young female shoppers are driving the growth in mobile shopping.
Products often purchased by women ranked higher in terms of sales by mobile shopping.
For example, 73 percent of women’s clothes sales and 77 percent of wet tissue sales and the sanitary towel category were generated by mobile devices. Other products ordered over mobile gadgets included perfume, cosmetics and baby products.
The company said that 60 percent of 11st online members aged 15 to 34 shop are using mobile devices exclusively.
Rival G-Market also saw a shifting preference. The proportion of sales made through smartphones has gradually increased and hit 50 percent in November.
The average proportion between January and November is 45 percent, a 12 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The increasing sales share came as mobile shopping is enjoying explosive growth across Korea.
Today, people spend more time scrolling through their smartphones than sitting behind desktop PCs with a person spending over three hours on average browsing smartphones.
Transactions made through mobile shopping in 2014 are estimated to be valued at 13.14 trillion won ($11.17 billion), a 122.3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Korea Online Shopping Association.
On the other hand, PC-based shopping decreased 5.4 percent. The group predicted mobile shopping transactions will jump by 70.9 percent this year.
The number of mobile shoppers is also growing at an accelerating pace, while the desktop counterparts are on the decline.
According to a report released by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry last year, the number of mobile shoppers in the first half of 2013 reached 15.53 million, up from 10.75 million in the second half of 2012.
In contrast, the number of shoppers using computers dropped from 29.55 million to 29.4 million in the same
Smaller e-commerce platforms that began as deals of the day sites placed significant focus on developing a mobile strategy and have more enhancements planned for their applications.
Taking the lead is Coupang, which has some 80 percent of sales made on mobile.
Another well-known mobile-focused mall is TMON, which recorded 78 percent of sales.
TMON noted on Friday that consumers are venturing into a wider range of products on mobile shopping.
“In the past, consumers would only be interested in buying cheaper products such as household items, food and fashion accessories,” the company said. “But this year, there were more orders on expensive items such as remodeling and interior services that cost more than 1 million won.”
BY PARK EUN-JEE [email@example.com]