SEOUL, June 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Online shopping in South Korea continued to grow in April as virus containment eased and the economic recovery boosted demand for travel services and groceries, data showed on Thursday.
The value of online shopping transactions was 16.5 trillion won (US$13.2 billion) in April, up 11.9 percent year on year, according to data from Statistics Korea.
Purchases made via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices grew 15.7 percent year-on-year to 12.3 trillion won. Mobile shopping accounted for 74.6 percent of the total online shopping value.
Online shopping has increased as the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted people to avoid offline stores.
Online purchases of travel and transportation services grew the fastest in April as the lifting of virus restrictions boosted demand for travel. They rose by 627.5 billion won, or 89.8 percent, year-on-year to 1.33 trillion won.
The April reading marked the largest amount since January 2020’s 1.53 trillion won, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
It also recovered almost to pre-pandemic levels. The value of online purchases of travel and transportation services was 1.4 trillion won in April 2019, nine months before South Korea reported its first COVID-19 case.
On April 18, South Korea lifted most of the coronavirus restrictions except for the mask mandate in a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life.
In April, online transactions of food and beverages increased by 321.2 billion won, or 16.6 percent, to 2.25 trillion won.
Those in food delivery services grew the least in April as rising outdoor activity slowed demand for food delivery. They rose by 113.3 billion won year-on-year, or 5.7 percent, to 2.09 trillion won.