The total amount of online shopping transactions in South Korea surpassed 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) in April on the back of brisk sales of simple meal kits and air purifiers as people kept to indoors to avoid dusty spring air, government data showed Wednesday.
According to data released by Statistics Korea, the value of online shopping transactions reached 10.6 trillion won in April, up 17.2 percent from the same period a year earlier. The monthly amount has been on a rise since October last year, when it first surpassed 10 trillion won mark, and thereafter, for three more months until January. The value went below 10 trillion won in February but it picked up again to reach 11.2 trillion won in March, an all-time high figure since the agency began compiling related data in January, 2001.
By product category, online sales of food service jumped 91.7 percent in April compared to a year ago while food and groceries 29.2 percent amid service diversification and preference to simple home-meal kits that have led to a change in consumption trend. Online sales of home appliance, electronics, and communication devices also increased 21.1 percent during the same period as consumers purchased air purifiers to combat dust and also air conditioners before summer sets in.
Data also showed that online shopping transactions of products, excluding services, accounted for 21 percent of total retail sales in April, a similar level with the first three months. Of 1 million won spent on products, for example, 210,000 won was consumed online.
The total amount of mobile shopping transactions, meanwhile, surged 23.8 percent to 6.69 trillion won in April from a year ago. The figure was less than the all-time high of 7.06 trillion won in March but it still surpassed 6 trillion won for a seventh straight month since October, last year.
By Kim Tae-joon and Lee Eun-joo
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