Online shopping increased nearly 12% in January amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)

Online shopping in South Korea rose 11.5 percent in January from a year earlier, with the proportion of transactions via mobile devices hitting an all-time high amid the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released Thursday.

The value of online shopping transactions stood at 16.54 trillion won ($13.74 billion) in January, up from 14.84 trillion won a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea.

But the figure marked a 7.1 percent drop from the previous month, when it hit a record high of 17.82 trillion won, it added.

Online transactions of food and beverages rose 17.5 percent year-on-year to a record high of 2.48 trillion won, and those of agricultural, animal husbandry and fishing products increased by 26 percent. 3% to a record high of 876.6 billion won, according to the data.

Online purchases of travel and transportation services more than doubled year-on-year to 1.17 trillion won in January, mainly due to a weak base effect caused by the novel coronavirus and strict distancing rules social, the agency said.

Mobile shopping for clothing and footwear also recorded double-digit year-on-year growth in January, which was attributed to increased outdoor activities following the rigorous vaccination campaign against COVID-19, a- he added.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 17.5 percent year-on-year to 12.5 trillion won.

Mobile purchases accounted for 75.5% of the total value of online purchases, the highest level since the country began compiling related data in 2013, the data showed.

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

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