South Korea ranked No. 1 in terms of e-commence for grocery shopping, far outpacing other major developed countries, an industry report showed.
According to the report by industry tracker, Kantar Worldpanel, the percentage of fast-moving consumer goods shopping via online and mobile channels out of all purchases in South Korea between June 2015 and June 2016 came to 16.6 percent.
FMCG refers to goods such as soft drinks, toiletries, over-the-counter drugs, processed foods and many other consumables.
Japan came in second with 7.2 percent, followed by the United Kingdom with 6.9 percent, France with 5.3 percent and Taiwan with 5.2 percent, the report showed.
For the United States, the share of e-commerce represented just 1.4 percent, Kantar Worldpanel said. However, with initiatives from Amazon and more established grocery retailers, the region is likely to catch up quickly.
South Korea also ranked the highest in terms of the percentage of households that buy online FMCG products at least once a year.
Industry watchers attributed the broadened digital shopping experience by South Koreans to an aggressive expansion of online-based fresh food delivery services by key e-commerce companies and related startups.
The diversification of fresh food supplies and shortened delivery periods due to heated market competition has led to the overall increase of the transactions and improvement of online shopping services for consumers.
The growing number of single-person households is another factor that has fueled the demand for online grocery shopping here, observers added.
Along with many double-income families that have little time to shop at a supermarket, those who live and eat alone have shown a tendency to spend generously if they can have groceries delivered with a simple click.
One-person households in Korea account for some 35 percent of the total population as of September 2016. The trend has prompted local retailers and e-commerce companies to scramble to launch fresh food delivery services.
(Source: Korea Herald)