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[Newsmaker] Young mobile shoppers spending more on small pleasures: data

Young mobile shoppers in their 20s and 30s are increasingly choosing to open their wallets for products and services that offer small, instant pleasures rather than self-improvement products, data showed this week.

According to social commerce firm Tmon, sales over the past two months shifted from self-improvement products such as health supplements and exercise equipment associated with New Year‘s resolutions to items that offer entertainment.

In particular, board games and remote-controlled electric cars showed a spike in sales at the end of the year, rising 342 percent on-year among shoppers in their 20s and 233 percent among shoppers in their 30s.


Another category showing increasing sales was travel, with sales of tickets to tourist attractions or day tours abroad more than doubling among young shoppers.

“From games and travel products to idol star merchandise, the tendency of consumers to focus on self-satisfaction is expected to continue this year,” said Han Jae-yeong, chief strategy officer at Tmon. 

Among travel products, sales are rising for leisure and entertainment facilities in the Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province area as more consumers opt for short trips to nearby destinations, according to the e-commerce platform 11st.

An internal survey by eBay Korea, the largest e-commerce operator here, also showed that online shopping trends will be driven by consumers choosing to spend on self-satisfaction rather than need. In 2018, consumers will be judging product value not by price, but also by how much personal satisfaction each product brings.

Categories to be watched in 2018 include home appliances such as automatic dishwashers and robot vacuums, high-end hobby equipment such as drones and gaming keyboards. Despite these products’ high prices, they are expected to grow in popularity among consumers who are willing to shell out for more convenience and entertainment.

“The sluggish economy and high consumer prices will continue to pull down consumer sentiment in the new year, but as the general social trend shifts towards a focus on individual satisfaction, a new consumption trend has emerged,” said Chun Hang-il, vice president at eBay Korea. “

As consumers continue to pursue value, products that are customized to personal preferences are expected to become more popular.”

By Won Ho-jung (