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Online shopping hits record high in Oct. amid COVID-19 pandemic

Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)
Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)
Online shopping in South Korea hit a record high in October on the back of solid demand for food delivery services and electronic goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Friday, in the latest sign that a growing number of people are using computers and mobile devices to buy things, ranging from clothes to electronic goods.

The value of online shopping transactions stood at 16.9 trillion won ($14.35 billion) in October, up 21.7 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The figure marked an all-time high since the agency began to compile related data in 2001.

Online transactions of food delivery services surged 46.7 percent on-year to 2.27 trillion won amid strengthened virus restrictions and the government's relief handouts, according to the statistics agency.

Online purchases of electronic goods and communication devices also advanced 36.5 percent to 2.2 trillion won, marking the largest number ever, according to the data. The growth is attributable to the release of new smartphones and strong demand for heaters and other winter-related items due to cold weather, the agency said.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 28.6 percent on-year to 12.23 trillion won. Mobile shopping accounted for 72.3 percent of the total value of online shopping, according to the data.

South Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, with one of the highest smartphone penetration rates. (Yonhap)


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