Koreans, the People of Delivery

The People of Delivery

The younger Korean generation calls themselves “The People of Delivery”. There may be a kernel of truth in what sounds like an overstatement.  Almost everything can be delivered to your door in Korea today. The most common form of delivery in Korea is food delivery. One is able to deliver practically any type of food, whether it is a hamburger, chicken or sushi, all at the touch of the phone.


<Image Source: (From Left to Right) Baedaltong, Yogiyo, 11th Street, Gmarket>

Mobile Food Delivery Apps

Mobile applications specialized for delivery orders are in partnership with restaurants nationwide that provide delivery service. These mobile channels categorize partnered restaurants according to their type of food. Moreover, a GPS tracking system is built in smartphones that allow mobile delivery applications to pinpoint nearest restaurants around mobile users. Such mobile tools serve as a platform for mobile users to order whatever they want, whenever they desire, wherever they are.

Not Just Food Delivery

Delivery service in Korea is far from being limited to only food delivery. Today in Korea, it is possible to have oneself a bottle of water without stepping out the door. An ever-growing number of the younger and middle-aged population use mobile applications.  Instead of making a run to the local store, to go grocery shopping.

One of the most popular choices by Korean mobile shoppers is Coupang.  Coupang is the top e-commerce platform in Korea and offers a policy called “Rocket Delivery”. Rocket Delivery, which requires ordered products to exceed the minimum price limit of ₩19,800 or approximately $20, guarantees the delivery to be completed within 24 hours from the time the order is made. Through Coupang, one is able to buy anything from a pack of noodles and a tray of eggs to luxury apparels and cosmetics.

<Image Source: Statistics Korea, One-person Household Projection>

Trend Forecast

The current trend of utilizing mobile platforms to purchase daily necessities is largely propelled by the consistent increase in the number of one-person households in Korea. Due to their modest consumption, one-person households order items in small quantity at a frequent rate. Naturally, mobile shopping is a much more convenient solution to their lifestyle than going to the grocery store every time they run out of supplies. According to the projection above provided by Statistics Korea, in 2010, one-person households only constituted 15.5% of the entire households in Korea. However, the number steadily rose and in 2015, one-person households formed 27.2% of Korean households, nearly 12% more than the percentage 10 years ago. And, as the growth in the number of one-person households is forecasted to continue well into 2045, expediency and convenience are becoming more and more essential for businesses to thrive in Korea.

John Kim
John Kim

John Kim is majoring in Management and International Law at Handong Global University. He specializes in Korean domestic tech startups (Fintech), foreign tech startups looking to break into the Korean market, and NGOs. He also covers Korean culture to familiarize readers about lifestyle and trends in Korea.

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