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S. Korean traditional markets offer smart shopping experience Updated: 2020-01-17 13:32:51 KST

This store in Amsa traditional market in Gangdong-gu District used to be many locals' go-to place ahead of Seollal to get the holiday's staple food, rice cake.
But now, it is selling its rice cakes to the entire city, thanks to the launch of an online store.

Registered at a special e-commerce site for traditional markets, it delivers products ordered before 1 pm in less than two hours within the district and within the day for other parts of the city.
Despite just going online recently, the store has already experienced the benefits.

"In the beginning, there were only one or two orders, but now we have more than ten each day. We've seen a steady upswing in sales and I am expecting a bigger jump in the future."

This online service is also welcomed by customers, especially during the cold winter season and among busy workers.
With just one touch of their finger, they can buy fresh products like vegetables from traditional markets, at nearly half the price as in the supermarket.

"Currently, 15 percent of the market participates in the e-commerce.
But the number is expected to rise with the market helping more stores to do so by offering a joint delivery center."

While diversifying their sales platforms, traditional markets are also changing their payment system.
Since last October, some stores are taking mobile gift certificates through the online payment system Zero-pay.
They say it was adapted to suit people's changing preferences.

"Many people come and ask if our shop takes mobile payment. We are expecting this new payment system to boost our future sales."

More and more merchants are joining in this smart transformation.
Last year, some 2,7-hundred items from 1-hundred-25 markets were registered on the e-commerce site, which is up a staggering 4-hundred percent from the previous year.
There were some 8-hundred orders through the site last month, which is five times as many as six months ago.

While this growing trend will contribute to revitalizing the local economy, it will also help keep traditions going.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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