SEOUL, April 3 (Korea Bizwire) — The total value of online shopping in South Korea soared nearly 25 percent in February from a year earlier, data showed Friday, as more people refrained from going outside amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Total online transactions reached 11.9 trillion won (US$9.67 billion) in the month, up 24.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
It marked the steepest jump since 30 percent growth posted in October 2018.
Sales of fresh foodstuffs at online malls nearly doubled on-year in February, and those of household products, including hand sanitizers, also jumped 53 percent.
Shipments of home appliances and mobile devices moved up nearly 40 percent.
In contrast, sales of cultural and leisure services dipped 60 percent over the period amid the country’s social distancing drive meant to contain the spread of the virus that has killed 174 people and infected 10,062 others.
The purchase of transportation services nearly halved on-year in the month.
Sales of fashion items, such as clothes and accessories, also lost ground as more people refrained from going outside, coupled with the falling demand from online duty-free stores.
Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets soared 31.1 percent on-year to 8.1 trillion won, accounting for 68.1 percent of all online sales in February.