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S.Korea's online shopping hit record high in Nov 2021

Seoul, Jan 4 (IANS) Online shopping in South Korea hit a fresh record high in November, data revealed Tuesday, 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 amid the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic.

The value of online shopping transactions stood at 17.5 trillion won ($14.7 billion) in November, up 16.5 per cent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The November data marked the highest level since the statistics agency began compiling related data in 2001, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The value of online shopping exceeded the 17 trillion-won mark for the first time in November.

The agency said people boosted online purchases of food delivery services, foodstuffs, travel services and household items amid the economic recovery and eased virus curbs.

South Korea relaxed virus curbs in November under the "living with Covid-19" scheme meant to gradually return to pre-pandemic normal life.

The government also resumed discount coupon programs for dining, travel and lodging to spur private spending.

In November, the country held an annual nationwide shopping festival, called the Korea Sale FESTA, in which more than 2,000 retailers offered big bargains both online and in stores.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 22.9 per cent on-year to 12.5 trillion won. Mobile shopping accounted for 71.6 per cent of the total value of online shopping.

Online transactions of food delivery services rose 26.1 per cent on-year to 2.07 trillion won, and those of food and beverages gained 18.5 per cent to 2.09 trillion won.

Online purchases of travel-related services jumped 46.6 per cent on-year to 1.02 trillion won. Those of household items climbed 22.9 per cent to 1.54 trillion won.

South Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, with one of the highest smartphone penetration rates.