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Gen MZ’s Top 5 Fashion apps in South Korea

Gen MZ - Korea's Top Fashion Apps Waterbe Marketing

In the vibrant streets of South Korea, where fashion is more than just clothing—it's a way of life—the MZ Generation reigns supreme. Picture this: a bustling cityscape adorned with diverse styles and trendsetters who defy convention at every turn. Join me as we delve into the dynamic world of South Korean fashion, where the MZ Generation's insatiable appetite for new trends and cutting-edge technology sets the stage for a journey through style and innovation.

What is the MZ Generation? It is a newly coined word in South Korea that refers to Millennials (Generation M), those born between 1980 and the early to mid-1990s, and Generation Z, those born in the mid-to-late 1990s to the early 2010s. (ages 16~40).

Many people know Korea as a one of the top fashion hubs in the world and while all ages are interested in fashion, the MZ generation is known to be the fastest to adapt to new trends.

South Korea Fashion Apps Ranking according to Gen MZ

The past years recent statistics show that at the end of 2023 the Top most popular shopping apps used Gen MZ were Musinsa, Ably, ZigZag, Cream, and 29CM respectively. Musinsa held the majority of users with almost half of respondents saying that they use Musinsa thanks to the vast amounts of reviews it provides and the diversity of fashion products from clothing to shoes to accessories. Ably and Zig Zag each held about 20% of the Gen MZ market share with people mainly using it to buy clothes and accessories. Coming in 4th the app Kream has moved up on the scale from being 10th place in 2022 to 4th by the end of 2023. Unlike its competitors, while Kream does sell clothing and accessories, it’s the number one app for people who are looking to buy shoes online. Most users expressed their satisfaction with Kream thanks to its feature to guarantee authenticity of their favorite brands. 

Gen MZ's spending Habits by App

As South Korea is one of the biggest shopping countries and with a high standing in the world of fashion, what are the resident Gen MZ’s spending habits like for fashion?

Let’s look at the stats by these top apps:

Gen MZ's fashion app spending habits

So how are these fashion apps in Korea different?

Delivery Service

When in Korea, speed is crucial. With such a fast-paced atmosphere focused on efficiency, even consumers want the quickest convenience. A big factor Gen MZ takes into account when shopping online is the delivery service. Within these Korean Fashion Apps, ZigZag and Ably are favor thanks to their quick delivery with about 6 out of ten and 4 out of ten people using the quick delivery option.

Offline Market

While Musinsa started as an online community platform for sneakerheads and 29CM started off as an online lifestyle shop, both have grown into huge online platforms. Both of these fashion apps open new doors for local brands to connect with the right consumers and give people a chance to follow the most recent fashion trends in Korea. While online stores are the craze,  MUSINSA and 29CM have opened offline stores in Seoul to match the experience-oriented MZ generation’s needs. Most participants shared that they mainly go to the offline store to spend time by looking around and to check the fit or material of the clothes. 7/10 Musinsa visitors leave with an intent of visiting again, however only about half stated that they would come again to 29CM’s offline store. 

While offline stores are slowly making a comeback, online usage is still predominantly used in Korea with 66.8% of Gen MZ respondents preferring online rather than offline. 

Graph of Korea Gen MZ's Fashion App Key Features

Sneaker Heads

Apart from the other top fashion apps, CREAM has a main focus on footwear with most of Gen MZ associating it as the go-to footwear fashion app. As mentioned before, many users favor this app's feature to check authenticity but another detail that sets them apart is the resell and bidding features. While Korea has another app for selling used items, reselling for sneakerheads and footwear are strictly associated with KREAM thanks to their reputation of trustworthiness and ease of use. About 40% of Gen MZ shoppers have used the resell option and around 70% of shoppers try to negotiate a prices below the retail value.

As we wrap up our look into South Korea's vibrant fashion scene and the preferences of the MZ Generation, it's evident that the e-commerce market in Korea is booming. Leading fashion apps like Musinsa, Ably, ZigZag, Cream, and 29CM have captured this market by offering tailored experiences such as comprehensive reviews, fast deliveries, and innovative features like reselling. The rise of offline stores alongside online giants highlights the demand for immersive shopping experiences. For brands and retailers, seizing the opportunity in Korea's e-commerce space now is essential, given the high demand for convenience, authenticity, and variety. This moment presents a prime opportunity to establish a strong presence and shape the future of fashion in South Korea.


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