Online shopping hits record in July, with food orders leading
Online shopping in Korea hit record levels in July, and another record is expected in August as an increase in Covid-19 cases in Seoul has driven more people to buy products on the internet.
According to Statistics Korea on Thursday, online shopping in July totaled 12.96 trillion won ($10.9 billion), a 15.8 percent increase year-on-year. That is the highest level since the data were first compiled in 2001.
The previous record was in November last year, when online shopping totaled 12.85 trillion won.
Mobile shopping grew 21.2 percent to 8.78 trillion won, also a new record since the statistics agency began keeping track of the figure in 2013. Mobile shopping now accounts for 68 percent of all online shopping. That’s 3.1 percentage points higher than a year ago.
At the current rate, online shopping is likely to break 13 trillion won in August.
The statistics agency said the novel coronavirus outbreak is driving people toward online shopping.
“In the past, it usually took seven to eight months for online shopping to increase 1 trillion won,” said Yang Dong-hee, Statistics Korea’s service industry trend director. “Now it takes only four months.”
Food delivery grew the fastest, with online grocery purchases rising 52 percent to 2.6 trillion won.
Agriculture, fishery and meat purchases surged 72.8 percent year-on-year to 462.1 billion won, while processed food and beverage purchases rose 46.7 percent to 1.6 trillion won.
Food services, which include delivery, went up 66.3 percent to 1.38 trillion won.
Online purchases of automobile and automobile parts rose 63.4 percent to 105.7 billion won. Furniture sales online rose 47.4 percent to 385.6 billion won, and pet items purchased online were up 25.5 percent to 96.1 billion won.
Online sales of consumer electronics rose 20.3 percent to 2.05 trillion won. Online clothing shopping rose 7.3 percent year-on-year, while online book orders were up 22 percent to 277.1 billion won.
Orders dropped in a number of categories. Transportation service purchases declined 52 percent to 777.9 billion won as fewer people flew due to the pandemic. Purchases of culture and leisure services dropped 67.8 percent to 63 billion won.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]