Koreans Embrace Mobile Shopping Before Bedtime

Su Jin Jang, June 6, 2017, 9:32 a.m.

Korean consumers increasingly buy products online just before they go to bed. Nocturnal shopping is thriving thanks to a growing number of phone apps that enable consumers to buy products for delivery around the clock. Shinhan Card analyzed mobile transactions and discovered a surge in purchases at night.

In 2014, only 1.7 percent of credit card transactions between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. were done through smartphones, but the proportion rose to 3.3 percent last year.

Between 10 and 11 p.m. smartphone transactions rose 85 percent, and between midnight to 1 a.m. 80 percent. That rate of increase is huge given that total online purchases grew just 9.8 percent over the same period.

Namkoong Seol at Shinhan Card said mobile purchases rose especially from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.

In a survey by online shopping trend watcher DMC Media, 48.7 percent of respondents said they buy products with their phones from 9 p.m. until midnight.

The most popular items were underwear, pajamas and home security.

Mobile banking now takes place around the clock, boosted by the arrival of Korea's first online-only bank K-Bank last month. K-Bank analyzed the activities of its 240,000 members and found that 42 percent of them opened accounts and 40 percent took out loans at night.

Another online-only bank, Kakao Bank, is to open next month.

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