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E‐Commerce » Trends, Best Practice | 08/10/2016

Japan B2C E-commerce Report 2016


If you’re looking for a new market for your online business, Japan may be a very good choice. As an established e-commerce market, Japan has the third highest e-commerce turnover in the world and a large potential audience. Ecommerce Europe’s new Japan B2C E-commerce Report 2016 reveals why you should consider growing your business into this unique country.

With 91% of the population using the Internet, 70% of Japanese adults shop online ‒ a very impressive figure. However, it is important to note that Japan has an ageing population with a median age of 46.5 years, which can affect enthusiasm towards e-commerce. Nonetheless, it’s very interesting that people aged above 55 in Japan actually spend the most time on the Internet compared to their younger counterparts, so it’s worth considering how you can target this demographic.

14% of online sales are made through mobile and 54% of the population uses a smartphone. This is a figure that’s growing rapidly, so make sure your website is optimised for mobile to make the most of the m-commerce boom in Japan.

Cross-border e-commerce is beginning to pick up pace in Japan and consumers are looking overseas for a few particular products: 27% of Japanese e-shoppers have bought books, CDs, DVDs, or video games from a foreign online shop, 21% have bought cosmetics, while 20% have purchased fashion items from a cross-border retailer. When it comes to why they are buying abroad, 45% of e-shoppers cite better availability and 38% are motivated by better conditions.

In the report, sponsored by Asendia, our Business Intelligence Manager Alexey Loginov provides some interesting facts and tips for cross-border retailers considering Japan:


  • Japanese e-shoppers are particularly comfortable with buying cross-border on online marketplaces, such as Amazon and Rakuten

  • Flexible and transparent delivery and returns options will help your business stand out from the crowd ‒ so make the most of Japan’s excellent logistics (ranked 10th in the world)

  • Credit cards are still by far the most popular form of payment

  • Building brand recognition is key ‒ as is creating an exceptional customer experience


Japan has a population of very technologically savvy consumers, who are increasingly motivated to buy abroad ‒ making it a great potential market for your cross-border e-commerce business.

Want to discover more about the Japanese e-commerce market? Download the full Japan B2C E-commerce Report 2016 here.