Friday, March 18, 2011

Smartphones Boost Mobile Commerce

As reported in The Korea Times, the rapid diffusion of smartphones in the South Korean market is giving a measurable boost to mobile commerce. 11st, an online market operated by SK Telecom, announced that it recorded 1.85 billion won in monthly sales through mobile shopping last month, the most since it started the service. Its mobile shopping application had 625,000 downloads, and Auction and G-market have also launched similar applications. Mobile commerce currently marks 4 billion won in monthly sales, and is expected to grow to 50 billion won this year. This is still a small part of the online shopping industry, but the growth is remarkable. According to the Korea Online Shopping Association, the market is set to double, exceeding 120 billion won next year. Not only open markets but also TV home shopping channels are stretching to the mobile sector. CJ O Shopping, Hyundai Home Shopping, GS Home Shopping, and Lotte Home Shopping have launched applications to attract smartphone users. They find it appealing as they can reach out to customers regardless of time or place. On top of showing the shopping programs in real-time, the home shopping channels are linking the mobile service with their other online and offline shops.

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