8 key facts about Japan e-commerce

Hi there,

This is part of my series about key facts about digital marketing & e-commerce in JP, China and South Korea. Articles before this post include:

If you want to download the presentation version of this post, you could try this Google drive link.

Update Apr 2019: as this post is quite old, here is the 2019 update on Japan e-commerce landscape.

1. Japan is the number fourth market in the world in terms of retail e-commerce sales (with China holding the number one spot)

japan retail ecommerce vs us uk cn germany in 2014 - 2018

As you could see, JP is behind China, the US, UK and ahead of Germany. Please note that the above sales revenue excludes travel and event tickets.

2. Japan is the number fifth market in the world in terms of digital travel sales, with the US being number one market and China being 2nd

japan digital travel sales vs us uk china germany 2014 - 2018

3. JP has 76.9M digital buyers (69% of the total population) in 2015, second highest penetration globally, higher than the US (65%), Germany (66%) and China (36.6%), lower than the UK (75%)

japan digital buyer population and penetration from 2014 - 2018

4. Spend per digital buyer (including both retail e-commerce and digital travel sales) in JP is significantly lower than buyers in the US and China

annual spend per digital buyer in japan vs the us and china from 2014 - 2018

5. Food/beverages/alcohol/books/CD/DVD are the top product categories purchased digitally by digital buyer in Japan in 2015

top product category purchased digitally in japan in 2015

6. 80% of digital buyers in Japan bought on Amazon JP in 2015, following by Rakuten and Yahoo JP shopping

top e-commerce sites in japan 2015

7. Compared to many other countries in APAC, JP internet users still heavily use desktop to research and purchase online vs. smartphone or tablet

Internet Users in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific Who Research vs. Purchase Digitally, by Device, June 2015 v2

8. While credit card is the leading payment method used for digital purchase in JP (53%), direct debit through internet/mobile banking ranks second at 14%

leading Payment Methods Used for Digital Purchases by Digital Buyers in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific in 2015

That’s it from me. Thank you very much for your time and any comments are welcome.


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