E-commerce in Japan - statistic & facts

Japan is one of the world’s largest e-commerce markets, characterized by the dominance of business-to-businesses (B2B) transactions, a growing focus on business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, and an emerging consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market. In particular, the B2C market has more than doubled in size within the last decade. As online stores are closing in on in-store retailers’ sales, businesses are shifting to a multi-channel approach to defend their market positions.
The country’s attractiveness for online retailers derives from its highly developed economy, primarily urban population, and almost nationwide access to the internet. Easy delivery and convenience are provided by a strong, service-oriented business philosophy in combination with Japan’s small country size and advanced infrastructure.

Online retailers

The Japanese e-commerce landscape maintains a highly sophisticated shopping environment with a variety of trusted, domestic online retail sites. Therefore, cross-border e-commerce imports are significantly lower.
The B2C e-commerce market is dominated by domestic online marketplaces, with Rakuten leading the ranking. However, local branches of major international e-commerce companies such as Amazon or Yahoo are greatly contributing to the rising popularity of online shopping among Japanese consumers. In the C2C segment, the mobile re-commerce application Mercari represents a successful business venture competing alongside the flea market and auction platforms of established B2C providers.

The slow shift online

Non-food products, such as travel services, fashion and beauty goods as well as consumer electronics account for the lion’s share of e-commerce spending in Japan. Since the busy lifestyle of many of the country’s citizens demands efficiency in both professional and private life, online grocery experiences, including smooth, tailor-made door-to-door delivery provided by highly developed distribution channels, are emerging. Large companies such as Aeon, Ito Yokado, and Seiyu are among the most well-known supermarkets offering their services online.
Nonetheless, Japanese consumers are reluctant to fully shift their purchases online. Physical stores remain the preferred procurement channels for daily necessities, in particular for foodstuff.

Interesting statistics

In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "E-commerce in Japan".


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