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Life & Info: Online shopping boom in S. Korea Updated: 2019-08-30 07:18:46 KST

Now, it's time for our "Life & Info" segment, where we take a look at useful information for your daily life.
Today, we're going to talk about popular on-line shopping trends.
For more, we have our Yoon Jung-min in the studio.
Jung-min, how popular is e-commerce in South Korea?

Good morning, Mark. In fact, many people here in Korea enjoy shopping on the internet, especially mobile shopping. I heard from some citizens why they use e-commerce. Let's take a listen first.

"I usually search for cosmetics and clothes with my phone. Shopping with mobile phones is convenient because I can compare prices straight away."

"I can buy clothes and other things easily with my phone. I don't have to go around lots of stores and the goods are delivered right to my door."

According to Statistics Korea, online transactions in the second quarter of this year amounted to some 27-billion U.S. dollars. That's up 18 percent from the previous year.
And mobile shopping made up nearly 64 percent of all on-line transactions.

The data shows that many people bought food and home appliances from April to June.
Fashion items and cosmetics were also popular.
These days, there are 'daybreak delivery services' in Korea. If you buy fresh food through the internet, suppliers deliver the products early the next morning.

What's the driving force behind this on-line shopping boom?

Experts say it's because South Korea has strong internet and mobile services. As you know, the internet is fast here and you can access free wi-fi in cafes, on public transport, almost anywhere. Here's the view from an expert.

"The total revenue for online shopping is expected to reach more than 110-billion U.S. dollars this year. The market is growing 20 percent every year. That's because of higher smartphone usage, which is around 95 percent, and good internet infrastructure."

The weather also affects people's shopping habits. It's often hot and humid in Korea during the summer monsoon season, and people prefer to stay indoors and order food and other goods using the internet or smartphones.
As a number of people choose to stay home for their vacations, there is even a term 'homecance'. People enjoying this 'homecance' seem to have bought more food and video games on the internet.

I also heard that many people in Korea buy products from abroad.

Yes, you're right. The internet connects the world, and goods are traded across borders.
According to the statistics agency, people in South Korea sold goods online worth more than 1-billion dollars to overseas buyers in the second quarter.
Also, people in Korea directly bought more than 730-million dollars of products from overseas traders during the same period.
Both saw double-digit increases from a year earlier.
Major traders were based in the U.S., the EU, China and Japan, and various goods ranging from clothing to cosmetics were bought and sold.

Well, that was useful information. As always, thanks for the information, Jung-min.

My pleasure. Thank you, Mark.
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