Gucci, Prada, Chanel are in fashion with online shoppers

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Gucci, Prada, Chanel are in fashion with online shoppers

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Gucci was the most popular luxury item that Korean consumers bought from foreign online retailers over the past year.

Prada, which took the No. 1 spot in 2014, was replaced by Gucci this year and Chanel remained in the No. 3 spot of favorite luxury brands, the Korea Consumer Agency said Monday.

Nearly 22 percent of 1,000 Korean consumers surveyed who recently bought goods overseas through direct channels such as online shopping, bought Gucci products.

Bags were the most popular type of luxury goods, purchased by some 58 percent of consumers. Wallets (22.8 percent), clothes and shoes (13.9 percent) and cosmetics (4.5 percent) were other items that were popular among the survey respondents.

The data showed that the majority of Koreans used online retailers that are based in the United States. According to the agency, 73.2 percent of Korean consumers bought goods through U.S.-based retailers, followed by those in China and Japan.

“In the past, our data showed that Koreans’ dependency on U.S. online retailers was very high but this year’s survey showed that figure for China and Japan has increased rapidly,” said Park Du-hyun, a researcher at the KCA.

In fact, U.S. shopping dropped from 86 percent in 2014 to 73.2 percent this year, while the figure for China nearly jumped from 3.6 percent to 7.8 percent.

The majority of the survey respondents, or 79.5 percent of them, chose to buy goods online from foreign retailers as they believed the prices were relatively cheaper than Korean counterparts.

Korean customers said they could buy goods through foreign retailers and save at least 30 percent more than if they purchased them in Korea.

Consumers said they were most satisfied with online retailers iHerb, Shopbop and Amazon.

Online shoppers purchase directly from foreign sites six times a year on average and spend 270,000 won ($239) per shopping transaction. They spent a minimum of 10,000 won and up to 9 million won.

KCA also noted that not many Korean consumers were familiar with how to properly complete foreign direct purchases since more than 44 percent of survey respondents have just started buying goods through foreign online retailers. The agency warned that consumers should be aware of various scams, such as merchants that fail to refund or deliver purchased items.

“The survey showed that 46.5 percent of consumers were not familiar with how to buy goods through foreign retailers and we urge Koreans who plan to do so to be more careful before making a decision,” said Park at the KCA

The agency has launched a website (crossborder.kca.go.kr) to provide information for Koreans on purchasing from overseas merchants.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]




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