Since March 2020 many businesses in Japan have seen sales plummet as a result of the measures taken to contain COVID-19. With consumers choosing to remain at home to control the spread of the virus and with many companies switching to work from home arrangements this resulted in a profound shift in the way consumers obtained goods and services.
There were notable signs of a digital shift in the use of e-commerce platforms and mail order services among elderly age groups during 2020. These consumers are seen to be at higher risk from COVID-19 and as such were advised not to make unnecessary trips outside the home during 2020.
The surge in demand for e-commerce due to COVID-19 had a major impact on logistics in Japan. One of the most difficult tasks for logistics companies during 2020 was to manage the additional workload and maintain operations, while at the same time avoiding a spike in COVID-19 infections among staff.
Due to COVID-19, there have been restrictions on the sales of goods and services in physical stores, and some retailers have found it tougher than ever to survive. As a result, many areas of e-commerce are expected to see a strong increase in sales over the forecast period as a result of consumers increasingly buying essentials online.
COVID-19 led to an increase in employees working from home, while many retailers had to close or shorten their opening hours. In response, companies started to increasingly focus on introducing their products or services through their websites or through livestreaming, while there was also a shift from real events to digital events.
Since 2011, the use of smartphones has expanded rapidly in Japan and now exceeds the use of PCs. With smartphones now the primary method used for accessing the internet in Japan, it is crucial for e-commerce businesses and other businesses that are developing internet services to create content around the use of smartphones.
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