You thought getting that Winnie-the-Pooh toothbrush from Amazon in 2 days was fast? Try finding it on your doorstep after ~7 hours.
South Korea’s biggest ecommerce site is called Coupang. It doesn’t have a presence in the US yet, but it’s already besting the ’Zon at its own game.
Last year, Coupang rolled out its Dawn Delivery program with an ambitious promise: Order an item before midnight, and it’ll be out front by 7am.
This month, Coupang made the No. 2 slot on CNBC’s 2020 Disruptor list.
So why the hype?
A quick rundown:
- More than half of all South Koreans have downloaded Coupang’s app, the company says.
- 99.3% of orders are delivered in under a day.
- That’s because the company is warehoused up: 70% of people live just 10 minutes away from a Coupang center.
Coupang, of course, has some advantages that even Amazon doesn’t. South Korea is the perfect home for ecommerce — 80% of residents live in very populous cities and 95% own smartphones.
‘2021’ might be Coupang’s magic number
Sourdough merchants aside, 2020 has not been kind to anyone, Coupang included. One crisis: A cluster of 117 COVID-19 cases were recently linked to a Coupang warehouse.
Like Amazon, Coupang also struggled to manage a cascade of face mask orders, and its usual speeds took a hit.
But 2021 will be a new chapter. That’s the year Korea’s ecommerce market is expected to become the 3rd-largest in the world, behind only China and the US.
Plus: Bloomberg reported in January that Coupang was readying itself for an IPO as soon as next year.
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