Japan online retail market: 6.1% of all retail sales by 2016
The early adoption of 3G mobile technology meant that the price of fixed internet connections, where most online shopping takes place, was initially very high. Government investment in infrastructure means prices have come down and the penetration rate of fixed broadband internet subscriptions is increasing, but marketers must be prepared to target the large number of consumers who access the internet through their phones.
While consumer spending in Japan is recovering from the global financial crisis and the 2011 tsunami, these events have accelerated the evolution of online shopping, driving more consumers online in the search for low cost products and encouraging the Japanese to be more open with their public personas on social networks.
Consumers have been reacting to the effects of the global recession, including the following recovery period, on their discretionary spending and retail markets have been no exception. While the country by country market changes have varied, nowhere has been left totally untouched. This report quantitatively examines the components of change in the market by looking at historic and future growth patterns, including how changes in consumer behaviour have affected the online retail sector for different product categories.
Key Market Issues
- Japanese consumers, who are known to use the internet extensively, find online shopping too complex or prefer to physically examine products before purchasing, which impacts the online retail market. In addition to selling the product, marketing campaigns in Japan will therefore have to convince consumers of the benefits online shopping offers.
- Early and widespread use of third-generation mobile phones in Japan has limited demand for fast fixed connections at home. Furthermore, high costs when broadband internet first became available drove low initial adoption rates. While prices have come down significantly, use of Fixed Broadband connections in Japan lags behind other countries.
- While smartphones are widely used in Japan, opportunities for m-commerce are more limited. Factors such as online payment security, a preference for purchase using laptops or computers and the desire to evaluate products physically before purchasing means that shopping using mobiles remains a niche activity.
- Social Media in Japan is evolving: previously, Japanese consumers were reticent to share public details online. However, the growing popularity of Facebook in the country shows that the division between private and public online personas is disappearing.
- Japanese consumers still have concerns regarding the security of online payments. They therefore expect online retailers to offer a number of alternative payment systems, including cash on delivery and payment at Konbini stores.
- Online retail's share of total retail sales increased from 1.9% in 2006 to 3.9% in 2011 and is expected to reach 6.1% in 2016.
- In terms of online market penetration, Music, Video and Entertainment software was the leading category, with 30.7% of purchases being made online in 2011. Books and news are also popular products to purchase, and often consume, online.
- The total number of internet users in Japan passed 100 million for the first time in 2011. Penetration rates are expected to record steady growth, driven by population growth and adoption by older consumers.
- Long commutes provide marketers with an opportunity to target consumers who often text, browse or shop online through their mobile phones in order to pass the time. Marketers seeking to make the most of online retail, and particularly m-commerce, should therefore study their target groups' commuting patterns in order to increase their chances of success.
- Interest in natural and organic food has grown as consumers raise concerns with modern production methods such as the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops. Online retailers such as Oisix provide an example of a scalable business model reaching niche interests across the country.
This report provides in-depth analysis of the latest trends in online consumer shopping, covering drivers of online shopping, consumer insights, market dynamics (covering 25 product categories) and reviews of the latest best practice in online retail site design- Based on the latest data, the report not only provides details of the size and growth of this increasingly important channel, it also provides essential contexts on the penetration of online sales by product groups, how growth has developed over time, and key drivers of this market in the future
The report provides the magnitude, growth, share, and dynamics of the online retail market in Japan. It is an essential tool for companies active across Japan's online retail value chain and for new companies considering entry into the Japan online retail market. It provides data for historic and forecast online retail sales, and also includes the business environment and country risk related to Japan online retail environment.By examining best practice from leading national large-scale online retailers (but specifically excluding the likes of Amazon whose sites are well-known and vary little by country), as well as reviewing innovative approaches from smaller companies, the report provides insights and ideas about how best to approach growing online sales for your business.
Key Features and Benefits
- Understand consumer behaviour and the online trends in Japan.
- Understand which products will be the major winners and losers in the coming years.
- Learn from best practice approaches outlined in the case studies of leading online retailers.
- Improve market and strategic planning using highly granular, forward-looking market data. Detailed category coverage is provided, covering 25 products, across eight product groups that include: Apparel, Accessories, Luggage and Leather Goods, Books, News and Stationery, Electricals and Electronics, Food and Grocery, Furniture and Floor Coverings, Home and Garden Products, Music, Video and Entertainment Software, and Sports and Leisure Equipment.
- Assess the impact of the economic recession and recovery on market growth.