Online shopping

Online shopping hits record high in 2021 amid pandemic

Retail sales in South Korea (Yonhap)

Online shopping in South Korea hit an all-time high in 2021, driven by strong demand for food delivery services and electronics amid the pandemic, data showed Thursday.

The value of online shopping transactions totaled 192.9 trillion won ($160 billion) last year, up 21 percent from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea.

It is the highest value since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 2001.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 27.6 percent year-on-year to 138.2 trillion won. Mobile purchases accounted for 71.6% of the total value of online purchases.

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted online shopping as more and more people refrained from visiting offline stores to avoid viral infections.

Online shopping for food delivery services, groceries and electronics remained strong last year despite spikes in COVID-19 cases, the agency said.

Online transactions of food delivery services jumped 48.2 percent year on year to 25.7 trillion won, and those of food and beverages rose 26.3 percent to 24.9 trillion won.

Online purchases of electronic devices rose 25.8 percent to 22.8 trillion won on strong demand from home consumers.

In December last year, the value of online shopping transactions rose 15.8 percent year-on-year to a record high of 18.4 trillion won. Purchases via mobile devices rose 22.9% to 13.6 trillion won. (Yonhap)