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COVID-19 Pandemic Boosts Online Grocery Spending in South Korea

Photo by Scott Warman / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated online grocery spending due to the touchless environment.

According to WiseApp/WiseRetail, spending on most applications increased their grocery sales revenue.

In addition, the increase through grocery-based e-commerce startups has shown a transaction increase of over 87%.

Market Kurly, a food-based e-commerce service such as Blue Apron or Hello Market, increased its sales by 126% from January to August this year compared to last year.

As a result, the transaction amount of food products was KRW 574.6 billion (USD 490 million).

Another food-based e-commerce service, Oasis Market, increased its sales by 87% in the same period. As a result, the transaction amount was KRW 172.6 billion (USD 150 million).

Other food cooperatives showed similar sales (0.1%) or a slight decrease in expenses (-4.2%).

The research showed that offline retailers such as Lotte Premium Food Market, Bachelor's Vegetable Store, and SSG Food Market (owned by E-Mart) had increased transaction amounts.

Transaction data from South Korean consumers' credit card transactions, debit card transactions, and bank account transfers.

The study did not include corporate credit card transactions, money transfers, and gift certificates.