SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) — Online shopping in South Korea hit a record high in November as more people bought products via e-commerce platforms amid the new coronavirus pandemic, data showed Tuesday.

The value of online transactions stood at 15.1 trillion won (US$13.8 billion) in November, up 17.2 percent from the previous year, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

The use of online shopping increased amid the protracted pandemic as people refrained from visiting offline stores on concerns about infection risks.

Purchases made through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices rose 21.9 percent on-year to 10.3 trillion won in November, accounting for 68.1 percent of the total value of online shopping.

In the month, online purchases of foodstuffs, food delivery services and electronics goods jumped on the back of demand by stay-at-home consumers, according to the statistics agency.

Online transactions of food delivery services soared 60.6 percent on-year to 1.64 trillion won, and those of food and beverages jumped 47.1 percent to 1.76 trillion won.

Online purchases of electronics and telecommunication products advanced 42.4 percent to 1.96 trillion won, and those of household items rose 36 percent to 1.24 trillion won, the data showed.

But use of travel-related services and cultural and leisure services continued to post an on-year fall in November as face-to-face service sectors were hit hard by the pandemic.

Online purchases of travel and transportation services tumbled 52 percent on-year to 691.8 billion won, and those of cultural and leisure services plunged 65.8 percent to 67.4 billion won, according to the data.’