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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
July 16, 2024

Economy

Overseas direct purchases to lead e-commerce trends: data

  • PUBLISHED :March 15, 2024 - 17:27
  • UPDATED :March 15, 2024 - 17:27
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(123rf)

Amid escalating competition in Korea's e-commerce landscape, direct overseas transactions between individual sellers and consumers have become a growing trend, according to eBay.

On Friday, eBay unveiled insights into this year's online direct purchase market, drawing from comprehensive annual sales data of Korean sellers gathered through its platform. Three major keywords were "Collectibles," "North America" and "March."

Particularly, the keyword "Collectibles" emerged as the top-performing category among Korean sellers, with "trading cards" associated with games and animations, witnessing an astounding 293 percent increase in sales compared to the previous year. Watches and watch parts experienced 19 percent year-on-year growth, fueled by demand for high-end luxury watches, known for their robust resale value. A 12 percent uptick in auto parts sales complemented the surge in exports by Korean automakers.

"North America" emerged as the primary hub for Korean sellers at eBay, constituting 64 percent of total sales, buoyed by growing interest in Korean products due to the rising popularity of Korean culture. Europe trailed at 19 percent, while Asia and Australia together accounted for 13 percent.

Notably, the peak sales period from February to March surpassed sales of traditional shopping events like Black Friday. The sales peak was credited largely to high-end product sales of luxury items and cameras during the period.

Meanwhile, in Korea, domestic small and medium-sized enterprises have long encountered challenges in accessing channels for overseas direct purchases, primarily due to the limited availability of such channels within the nation's market.

Responding to the shifting market landscape, Korean e-commerce giant Coupang has introduced an online channel since last year, facilitating Korean sellers to market their products in Taiwan, with Japan following suit in March.

Korean retail giant Shinsegae's e-commerce platform Gmarket has also launched online service channels in Japan and Russia, and is also aiming for the Mongolian market.

On Thursday, China's Alibaba Group announced its commitment to promote Korean merchandise through its global e-commerce platforms, with a pledge to support 50,000 Korean SMEs for global exports over the next three years.

Looking ahead, eBay predicts a spotlight on individualized trade and startup ventures, fueled by intense domestic competition in Korea.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)
The Korea Herald

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