Retail in Asia

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Korea’s online shopping reaches second-highest point in March


Online shopping in South Korea continued to soar in March as more people bought goods via e-commerce platforms amid a non-contact consumption trend caused by the pandemic, data showed.

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The value of online shopping transactions stood at US$14.1 billion in March, up 26.4 percent from US$11.2 billion the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The March tally marks the second-highest monthly reading since December last year when the comparable figure was US$14.2 billion.

The use of online shopping has accelerated since last year as people preferred shopping in a non-contact manner due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 29.4 percent on-year to US$9.8 billion in March. Mobile shopping made up 69.1 percent of the total value of online shopping.

Online purchases of foodstuffs, food delivery services and electronics goods remained firm, the statistics agency said.

Online transactions of food delivery services jumped 62.4 percent on-year to US$696 million, and those of food and beverages rose 21.1 percent to US$309 million.

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Online shopping of travel-related services also rebounded after months of declines. It soared 92.9 percent on-year to US$271 million in March as demand for domestic travel increased amid relaxed virus curbs.