Main trends of the advanced retail E-Commerce market in Japan

Posted on: B2C E-Commerce | Blog on July 20, 2018

E-Commerce growth rates have a tendency to slow down in advanced markets.

The E-Commerce market is relatively young and rapidly growing in most countries worldwide. However, in a number of advanced markets, E-Commerce growth rates have already slowed down. One such country is Japan, the second largest B2C E-Commerce market in Asia. Online retail grew at a single-digit percentage rate in sales from 2016 to 2017.

Internet penetration in Japan is the highest in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan demonstrates the characteristics of a highly developed e-Commerce market: cross-border online shopping, mobile commerce or the omnichannel retailing. The framework for these spectacular results is the high rate of utilization of the different technologies by Japanese consumers. Almost all individuals in Japan use the Internet, and the country has the highest internet penetration rate in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, due to an advanced smartphone penetration rate, M-Commerce sales in Japan are expected to reach almost a half of total online retail sales by 2021.

Payment by credit card and online food purchasing are the top trends of E-Commerce in Japan.

Japanese online shoppers prefer to pay for their purchases with a credit card, the usage rate of which is at least two times higher than that of other payment methods. The smartphone payments for online purchases, with services like Osaifu-Keitai, LINE Pay and Apple Pay, also experience growth in popularity. Fashion is the most popular online product category in Japan as in most E-Commerce markets. More interesting is that the second largest category in terms of online sales is “Food, drink and wine”. Its E-Commerce sales volume was close to that of “Clothes and related goods” by the end of 2017.

The top 3 marketplaces are battling for a larger piece of the Japanese E-Commerce pie.

Amazon, Rakuten and Yahoo! Shopping account for nearly half of the Japanese E-Commerce market. In 2016 Amazon Japan surpassed Rakuten in terms of a market share and in 2017 it strengthened its position becoming the most visited E-Commerce website in Japan. Japanese Amazon users named a wide assortment as the main competitive advantage of the platform compared to other E-Commerce sites.

To access the full report, see the link here “Asia-Pacific B2C E-Commerce Market 2018”.

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