SEJONG, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — Online shopping soared 27.5 percent from a year earlier in August, data showed Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic prompted more shoppers to buy goods via e-commerce platforms.
The value of online transactions came to a record high of 14.38 trillion won (US$12.29 billion) in the month, up 3.1 trillion won from the same month last year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.
The sharp increase in August was largely attributed to the pandemic that forced citizens to use online shops.
The coronavirus outbreak, with the first case confirmed in South Korea in late January, has forced many South Koreans to stay at and work from home, leading them to resort more to nonstore spending.
Online sales of daily necessities, including sanitizers and detergents, surged 59.3 percent on-year in August.
Online purchases for offline activities, on the other hand, dropped sharply, with purchases for cultural events and tourism programs plunging 56.7 percent on-year.
Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices jumped 27.8 percent on-year to 9.32 trillion won in August, accounting for 64.8 percent of overall online shopping.