Older shoppers find apps more convenient

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Older shoppers find apps more convenient

More and more consumers in their 50s and 60s are turning to mobile apps for grocery shopping, according to statistics from Korea’s No.1 discount chain, Emart.

Between January and October this year, sales made through mobile phones accounted for 66 percent of all revenue at the discount chain’s online website Emart Mall. The figure was merely 8.5 percent in 2013 when the app was launched. Revenue from the app passed 50 percent of the websites revenue for the first time last year.

Despite the perception that the mobile shopping scene is dominated by younger shoppers, Emart said the growing number of consumers in their 50s and 60s has played a huge part in the growth in sales and traffic on its mobile platform.

The number of consumers in their 50s turning to the app has increased rapidly in the last two years. In fact, of consumers in their 50s that shop online, 52 percent do so via the app. In 2015 the figure was only 34 percent. It is the only age group that has seen such a rapid increase.

In 2015, only 28 percent of online consumers in their 60s shopped via the app. That figure has jumped up to 41 percent this year.

Younger consumers also preferred using the app. Of consumers in their 20s that shop online, 57 percent use Emart’s app. For those in their 30s as many as 73 percent use the app, while 62 percent of those in their 40s prefer it. For all three of these groups growth is much slower, increasing only two to four percentage points a year.

Emart explained that they believe the unexpected popularity of smartphone grocery shopping among older consumers mainly comes from the fact that mobile apps are much easier to understand and simper to use.

Korean websites generally require installing a handful of safety tools and programs in order to make purchases, whereas the same process is much simpler using an app.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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