A medical staff member in protective gear prepares to take samples from a visitor at a 'drive-thru' testing center for COVID-19 in Yeungnam University Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, March 3, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)
SEOUL - South Korea's online shopping posted a double-digit growth in February as consumers refrained from outside activities on fears of the COVID-19 outbreak, statistical office data showed Friday.
Shopping in the cyberspace amounted to 12 trillion won ($9.8 billion) in February, up 24.5 percent from a year earlier, according to Statistics Korea.
It was the biggest monthly increase in 16 months since October 2018 as people were encouraged to stay at home amid the virus spread. People refrained from outside activities such as the eating-out, travel and shopping.
The online purchase of agricultural, livestock and fishery products more than doubled in the month. Food delivery services and the purchase of food and beverage surged 82.2 percent and 71.0 percent each.
Household items transaction in the cyberspace jumped 52.8 percent, and the purchase of consumer electronics and mobile devices advanced 38.6 percent.
The culture and leisure services usage plunged 60 percent in the cyberspace, and the travel and transport services usage dived 46.2 percent.
Of the online shopping, mobile shopping using smartphones soared 31.1 percent over the year to 8.1 trillion won ($6.6 billion) in February.