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Which age group is the biggest online spender in Korea?


Koreans in their 50s are emerging as potential big online spenders as they were found to have spent the largest amount on average per transaction during the first three months of the year.

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According to market tracker Nielsen Korea, the number of customers who shopped online for the first time for daily necessities increased 19.6 percent from January to March compared to the same period last year.

Those aged 50 or more accounted for more than half of the new online shoppers, with the number of people in their 50s increased 24.9 percent and 60s 29.2 percent. People in their 50s spent US$29.8 on average per transaction, compared to US$23.9 for those who in their 30s, US$25.6 for 40s and US$26.3 for 60s.

Just 54 percent of people in their 50s said they shopped online during the period, up from 45.8 percent, but it still means one out of two has never done online shopping. According to data from the Ministry of Interior and Safety, the number of people in their 50s stood at 8,615,884 as of the end of 2018, accounting for the highest proportion of 16.6 percent among other demographic groups. E-commerce firms can cater to this age group to create a huge business opportunity.

Most of them visited Coupang and more often, but they also used online channels of stores they frequently visit offline such as Homeplus or Lotte Mart.

“People in their 50s who tend to be still skeptical about online shopping used online apps of stores they regularly visit offline after sharing information via Kakao Talk or Naver Band communities,” Nielsen Korea said.

They do not browse many items online but tend to purchase items that they frequently buy at brick-and-mortar stores. They are more likely to shop online when they perceive it to be convenient.

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“Most of them find it cumbersome to verify identity or choose payment method when they shop online,” Nielson Korea said, adding that simplifying shopping procedures is important to attract more elderly customers.