The total value of online shopping in South Korea reached a record high in March, government data showed on May 3, in the latest sign that a growing number of people are using computers and mobile devices to buy things, ranging from clothes to electronic goods.
Total online transactions reached 11.19 trillion won ($9.5 billion) in March, up 18.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the preliminary data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The reading was the highest since January 2001, when the statistics office started collecting data on online shopping.
More people bought goods via online shopping as the country was blanked by fine dust in March.
In March, sales of electronic goods and computers jumped 27.3 percent on-year to 1.86 trillion won, demand for clothes rose 4.5 percent to 1.27 trillion won, and online sales of food and beverages surged 21.7 percent to 1.01 trillion won.
Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile gadgets soared 27.9 percent on-year to a record 7.04 trillion won, accounting for 63 percent of all online sales in March.
During the first quarter of the year, online shopping transactions also reached a record high of 31.44 trillion won, the data showed.
In the first quarter, Koreans’ direct purchases from foreign countries reached 905 billion won.
The data also showed that online purchases by foreigners hit an all-time high of 1.21 trillion won, with Chinese nationals buying goods worth some 1.05 trillion from Korean online shopping malls.
By Ram Garikipati and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)