SEOUL, May 4 (Korea Bizwire) — With food-related online purchases on the rise thanks to mobile delivery apps, the total volume for online shopping saw record-breaking sales in March totaling 9 trillion won.
The first quarter figures for online shopping consumers from China appeared to be somewhat slower due to the lingering aftermath of the THAAD dispute.
Statistics Korea, the national statistics office, said that total transactions for online shopping in March increased 20.1 percent from the year before at 8.9 trillion won. This is a new record, surpassing the 8.7 trillion won mark set in January.
Figures showed that transactions in food services increased by 74.5 percent compared to a year ago due in part to delivery applications that allow users to order food on their smartphones.
Transaction volumes for furniture, electronic goods and telecommunication devices increased by 41.6 percent because of the increase of sales of air purifiers and clothes dryers stemming from fine dust worries.
Sales figures for food and beverages also increased (25.6 percent), Statistics Korea said, in part due to the increase in people eating alone with the number of single households soaring, and with more households preferring to shop online for soup and side dishes.
The transaction volume from online shopping done on mobile devices was tabulated at 5.4 trillion won in March, an increase of 31.4 percent from 2017, which was also a new record. Mobile shopping took up 60.2 percent of all shopping done online.
The sectors in which mobile shopping took up the larger percentile were food ordering services at 89.3 percent, followed by e-coupon services at 81.1 percent and shopping for children and baby products (74.1 percent).
A separate report by Statistics Korea released the same day revealed that sales in China showed less than stellar results. Overall, online shopping sales from overseas in the first quarter increased 8 percent compared to the year before at 800 billion won.
A breakdown of sales per country showed China at 598 billion won, Japan at 96 billion won, ASEAN countries at 41 billion won and the U.S. at 40 billion won.
Sales from China accounted for 72.1 percent of the entire volume. From a year earlier, this was a drop of 3.5 percent for China and 10.1 percent for the U.S.
Sales of cosmetics products totaled 606 billion won and clothing products raked in 133 billion won with cosmetic products taking up 73 percent of total revenue.
Of the total online sales, duty free shops were responsible for 664 billion won in sales, an increase of 9 percent.
“Sales in the first quarter for China were still slow due to the THAAD dispute but will hopefully pick up because the number of tourists from China rose for the first time in a year in March,” explained Min Gyeong-sam, an employee at Statistics Korea.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)