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South Korean online shopping grows over 20% in January

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Online shopping in South Korea grew more than 20 percent in January from a year earlier as the protracted pandemic promoted more people to buy products via e-commerce platforms, data showed.

SEE ALSO : Food delivery service in South Korea grew nearly 80% in 2020

The value of online transactions stood at US$13.3 billion in January, up 22.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The value of online shopping in January slightly declined from a record high of US$13.9 billion in December last year but still was the second-largest ever.

The use of online shopping sharply has gathered pace since last year as people refrained from visiting stores amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 29.2 percent on-year to US$9.3 billion in January. Mobile shopping accounted for 70.5 percent of the total value of online shopping.

In January, online purchases of foodstuffs, food delivery services, electronics and household items continued to remain firm on the back of demand by stay-at-home consumers, the statistics agency said.

Online transactions of food delivery services jumped 90.3 percent on-year to US$844 million, and those of food and beverages advanced 53.1 percent to US$661.3 million won.

Online purchases of electronics and telecommunication products rose 65.3 percent to US$648 million, and those of household goods gained 34.4 percent to US$293.2 million.

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

SEE ALSO : Korean convenience stores outperform department stores in 2020

Online purchases of travel and transportation services tumbled 68.2 percent on-year to US$965 million, and those of cultural and leisure services plunged 79.6 percent to US$114.1 million, the data showed.