South Korea, home of brand giants Samsung, LG and Hyundai, is a nation punching above its weight when it comes to matters digital and e-commerce – but what should online retailers outside Asia know before setting up store?
It has a population of over 50 million, making it the 27th largest country by population and is one of the most innovative and open economies out there – in fact it topped the Bloomberg Innovation Index again in 2017.
Its ultra-high internet speeds are the envy of the world and mobile is most emphatically the way its citizens choose to connect and spend online. Already its e-commerce market is the seventh largest worldwide (behind China, the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France) and it is expected to double by 2021 to £25.5bn.
Add to that South Korea’s free trade agreements with 75% of the world economy, its position as part of the wider Asia-Pacific region and the fact that it is the only G20 nation to trade freely with the US, China and the European Union and it’s easy to see why South Korea should be on every international business’s map.
However, it’s not a case of merely transposing your UK, European or US operations like-for-like as several well-known brands can attest. As with China and Japan, South Korea has market-specific idiosyncrasies and challenges – from local social media sites and search engines to next-gen payment methods and its mobile-first…