SEJEONG, August 4 (Korea Bizwire) – Even though consumption in Korea froze as a side effect of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, the portion of online shopping increased, reaching an all-time high.
With consumers avoiding crowded areas, online shopping presented a safe and convenient alternative.
According to the ‘Sales Trend in Retail and Online Shopping’ report from Statistics Korea, while overall sales decreased 0.6 percent compared to the same period last year, the turnover for online shopping businesses increased by 26.6 percent.
Among total retail sales, online shopping was worth 15.1 percent. It was the highest number since January 2010 (8.3 percent) when statistics for online sales were first released.
In addition, sales of food and drinks online showed a drastic increase (54.8 percent growth). Because of the outbreak of MERS, people tried to avoid crowded places such as large grocery stores and department stores.
The turnover for mobile shopping also increased. Among the total online shopping trade, 44.6 percent were derived from mobile shopping. This is also the highest since 2013, when statistics related to mobile shopping were first released.
Sales at convenience stores also increased, showing 34.6 percent growth. Ever since the cost of cigarettes was increased to 4,500 won from 2,500 won, sales started to soar, and as consumption patterns change due to the increase in single person households, sales at convenience stores are rising rapidly.
On the other hand, sales at large supermarkets with duty free shops decreased 9.5 percent, and department store sales also dropped 12.4 percent.
By M. H. Lee (email@example.com)