No. of purchases made online continues to growPurchases made using the internet and mobile devices in Korea continued to show solid growth in March, reaching the highest-ever level, government data showed Thursday, demonstrating the popularity of smartphones, fast delivery and convenient payment options with Korean shoppers.
The total value of transactions made with computers, smartphones and tablets reached a record 8.96 trillion won ($8.32 billion) in March, up 20.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The sharp rise was attributed to increased demand for electronics, daily necessities and food, the agency said.
The total value of mobile transactions soared 31.4 percent to 5.41 trillion won, accounting for 60.2 percent of all online purchases in March.
Mobile purchases in Korea have been on a steep rise for years as smart devices expand their presence in the world’s most wired country and rapidly replace computers as the means of conducting online transactions.
Koreans’ direct purchases from foreign countries surged 20 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to a year earlier on rising demand for cheaper and different products.
Foreign goods worth 643 billion won were bought by Korean shoppers via overseas internet shopping malls during the January-March period, the data showed.
Foreign garments and fashion items were the most popular with local consumers, resulting in 237 billion won worth of purchases, followed by foodstuffs valued at 145 billion won, the data showed.
The United States was the biggest seller, accounting for 362 billion won of the sales. Europe came next with 135 billion won, followed by China with 86.8 billion won.
The data also showed that online sales to foreigners moved up 8 percent on-year to reach 830 billion won in the first quarter.
Online sales at duty-free shops gained 9 percent on-year to reach 665 billion won, with 577 billion won worth of cosmetics sold during the first quarter, according to the data.