Online shopping

South Korea’s online shopping grows in May as Covid restrictions lift

Seoul, July 1 (IANS): Online shopping in South Korea continued to rise in May as the lifting of anti-virus measures boosted demand for tourism and cultural services and food products, data showed on Friday.

The value of online shopping transactions stood at 17.3 trillion won ($13.4 billion) in May, up 10.5% from a year earlier, according to data from Statistics Korea. .

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 14.6 percent year-on-year to 12.9 trillion won. Mobile purchases accounted for 74.4% of the total value of online purchases, reports Yonhap news agency.

In May, online purchases of travel services as well as cultural and leisure services returned to pre-pandemic levels thanks to the easing of the fight against viruses.

On April 18, South Korea lifted most Covid-19 restrictions, except for the mask mandate, in a major step towards returning to pre-pandemic life.

In May, online purchases of travel and transportation services jumped 97.5 percent year 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 jumped 165.2% to 263.6 billion won. May’s figure was the highest since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 2017.

Online food and drink purchases rose 16.8 percent to 2.32 trillion won during the month.

Meanwhile, online transactions for 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% year-on-year to 2.06 trillion won, the data showed.