SEOUL, July 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Online shopping in South Korea continued to increase in May as the lifting of virus curbs bolstered demand for travel and cultural services and foodstuffs, data showed Friday.
The value of online shopping transactions stood at 17.3 trillion won (US$13.4 billion) in May, up 10.5 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices increased 14.6 percent on-year to 12.9 trillion won. Mobile shopping took up 74.4 percent of the total value of online shopping.
In May, online purchases of travel services as well as cultural and leisure services recovered to pre-pandemic levels on the back of eased virus curbs.
On April 18, South Korea lifted most COVID-19 restrictions, except the mask mandate, in a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life.
In May, online shopping of travel and transportation services jumped 97.5 percent on-year to 1.56 trillion won. The May reading marked the largest since 1.69 trillion won in August 2019.
That of cultural and leisure services soared 165.2 percent to 263.6 billion won. The May figure was the highest since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 2017.
Online shopping of food and beverage rose 16.8 percent to 2.32 trillion won in the month.
Meanwhile, online transactions of food delivery services declined for the first time since 2017, as more people chose to dine out amid increased outdoor activity. They fell 3.7 percent on-year to 2.06 trillion won, the data showed.