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Korea’s online-to-offline market grew amidst pandemic

food delivery

South Korea’s online-to-offline, or O2O, market burgeoned last year with the food delivery sector seeing a massive surge in demand largely driven by Covid 19 restrictions on restaurant dining, government data showed.

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According to the data from Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT, annual gross merchandise value (GMV) of local O2O platforms totaled about US$113 billion in 2020, up 29.6 percent from US$86 billion a year ago.

O2O refers to services that allow users to order food, call a taxi, and book accommodations and leisure through mobile devices. Under prolonged strict social-distancing restrictions to slow Covid-19 infections, homebound people have had no choice but to rely heavily on O2O platforms for many services.

GMV of food delivery, courier and home moving service platforms amounted to US$31.5 billion last year, up 23.7 percent on year. In particular, total GMV of food delivery apps including Baemin, Yogiyo and Coupang Eats came to US$17 billion, up 43.53 percent from US$12.5 billion a year ago, the data showed.

The combined revenue of local O2O service providers last year reached US$3.1 billion, up 18.3 percent from US$2.5 billion in 2019.

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The number of businesses that sold goods and services via O2O platforms soared by 55.6 percent to 533,000 last year and the number of workers involved in O2O services increased 8.1 percent to about 580,000 people.

(Source: Pulse News)