Changes in consumer behaviour in the post-COVID-19 era in Seoul, South Korea

Hanghun Jo, Eunha Shin, Heungsoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Korean government promoted strong social distancing policies and restricted the use of confined areas and spaces that are likely to cause widespread infection, including religious facilities. The policies affect the consumption behaviours of Korean citizens. The purpose of this study is to examine changes in the consumer behaviours of citizens following the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Korea. Using credit card data from January to June 2020 in Seoul, this study examines the changes in consumption by industry type. Consumption types were classified into education, wholesale and retail, online purchases, food service, leisure, and travel. The industry that was most affected was the travel industry, which did not recover following the decline in consumption due to COVID-19. To examine consumer changes in credit card transactions due to widespread infection, a correlation analysis was conducted between the amount of consumption according to credit card transaction data (card consumption) and the number of confirmed patients and policy implementation by step. For more detailed analyses, group infections in the Guro-gu and Yongsan-gu neighbourhoods were investigated. In Guro-gu, no significant results were found in the area experiencing massive group infection. In Yongsan-gu, a significant negative correlation in consumption and number of cases was found in Itaewon 1-dong, an area with mass infection, and a positive correlation was found in the surrounding areas. Nevertheless, no significant correlations between changes in consumer behaviours and effects of COVID-19 were found as a result of the analysis herein.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021 Jan 1


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Mass infection
  • Post-COVID-19
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Social distancing


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