SEOUL, August 12, 2021 — Coupang today announced that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the company’s marketplace grew their sales 87% year-over-year in the second quarter, compared to a 7% decline for total SME offline sales in Korea.
This strong growth can be attributed to the company’s commitment to support small enterprises, which form a critical component of Coupang’s business. The hundreds of thousands of small merchants making their living on Coupang constitute 80% of the company’s total sellers. To support their success, Coupang provides these companies onboarding assistance and training, as well as support with marketing and promotional activities to help them grow their businesses.
In this year alone, Coupang has allocated nearly $350 million to provide such support to small businesses in Korea, working in coordination with the government and local authorities. These investments are a part of Coupang’s commitment to use the funds from its initial public offering (“IPO”) in the U.S. last March to support the Korean economy. Coupang accounted for 43% of all U.S. foreign direct investment into Korea in the first half of 2021, with much of this investment being focused on supporting small businesses and local economies.
“Working with Coupang helped us create jobs,” said Chil-sik Yang, CEO of wet tissue manufacturer Soonsu Korea. “In the last five years since we began working with Coupang, our sales have increased by nine times and our staff has quadrupled.” Yang was particularly grateful to Coupang for its support during the COVID-19 pandemic, attributing his company’s recovery from the crisis to Coupang’s programs created expressly for this purpose.
When the pandemic hit last year, SMEs were disproportionately impacted, particularly in regional areas. Coupang in response redoubled its efforts to support small businesses, launching its “Cheer Up, Korea!” campaign together with seven different regions and cities to help revive their distressed economies. The company allocated millions of dollars to the campaign to help small merchants from these regions join Coupang’s marketplace and promote their products. As a result, companies from these distressed regions saw revenue growth of 121% year-over-year in H2 2020, significantly surpassing the growth rate of SMEs on Coupang overall.
“Last year was nothing short of a miracle,” said Jin-cheol Choi, CEO of food manufacturing company Sias. The company’s sales plummeted after the pandemic hit, but after joining Coupang’s grocery delivery service Rocket Fresh, Sias saw its sales shoot up by 388% from the previous year. Meanwhile, Soonsu Korea saw its sales grow 584% after joining “Cheer Up, Korea!” compared to the same period the previous year.
“Small businesses are essential to Coupang’s ecosystem, with over half the products sold through our Rocket services coming from these companies,” said DJ Park, Coupang’s Head of New Business. “With our massive end-to-end logistics network and cutting-edge technologies, we can help small businesses reach millions of customers nationwide with their excellent products, supporting their growth while wowing customers with an even better shopping experience. We will continue investing the funds from our IPO to make Coupang the best company for customers and small merchants alike.”
Coupang is one of the largest e-Commerce companies in Asia, with a mission to revolutionize the everyday lives of its customers and create a world where people wonder, “How did we ever live without Coupang?” Coupang offers a variety of services, including same-day and next-morning delivery of groceries and general merchandise, delivery of prepared foods through Coupang Eats, and video streaming through Coupang Play. Coupang has offices in Beijing, Los Angeles, Seattle, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Taipei, and Tokyo.