The Korea Herald


Online shopping hits new record high in Dec. amid pandemic

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 3, 2021 - 13:12

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Online shopping in South Korea (Yonhap) Online shopping in South Korea (Yonhap)
Online shopping in South Korea hit a fresh record high in December as more people purchased products via e-commerce platforms amid tougher virus curbs caused by the pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

The value of online transactions stood at 15.9 trillion won ($14.2 billion) in December, up 26.1 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The use of online shopping sharply rose amid the pandemic as people refrained from visiting stores over concerns about infection risks.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 33.8 percent on-year to 11.1 trillion won in December, accounting for 69.7 percent of the total value of online shopping.

In the month, online purchases of foodstuffs, food delivery services, electronics goods and household items jumped on the back of demand by stay-at-home consumers, according to the statistics agency.

Online transactions of food delivery services soared 109.1 percent on-year to 2.2 trillion won, and those of food and beverages jumped 66.3 percent to 2 trillion won.

The rise in such transactions came as tougher virus curbs prompted people to order food delivery and foodstuff online.

Online purchases of electronics and telecommunication products advanced 56.1 percent to 1.9 trillion won, and those of household items gained 54.7 percent to 1.4 trillion won.

But the use of travel-related services and cultural and leisure services continued to post an on-year fall in December as face-to-face service sectors were hit hard by the pandemic.

Online purchases of travel and transportation services tumbled 70 percent on-year to 470.8 billion won, and those of cultural and leisure services plunged 94.4 percent to 10.2 billion won, the data showed.

For all of 2020, the value of online shopping rose 19.1 percent to 161.1 trillion won. Purchases through mobile devices gained 24.5 percent to 108.7 trillion won, it added. (Yonhap)