In 2021, Japan was still heavily affected by COVID-19 from the beginning of the year, experiencing record high numbers of COVID-19 cases in July-August 2021. The state of emergency was finally lifted in major cities in late September 2021, after fewer cases were observed and vaccines were widely distributed.
With the acceleration of e-commerce, delivery and logistics have become an issue. In terms of door to door delivery services, some adaptation to the increased demand for delivery of packages was observed in the review period.
According to Euromonitor International’s Economies and Consumers annual data, the possession rate of smartphones within total households in Japan exceeded that of personal computers from 2018. Smartphones are expected to have a presence in most households in 2021, seeing a significant increase even from 2018.
In the forecast period, the further expansion of e-commerce is expected in Japan, as this channel is still developing in the country, and has not yet matured. To further accelerate the growth momentum, new online shopping experiences are expected to emerge, such as the gradual introduction of livestream/live selling to the market.
While the leading e-commerce players remain 3rd Party Merchants from Amazon and Rakuten, the direct to consumer selling model gained momentum in the review period and intense competition is observed for platform service providers. Such service providers include local players such as BASE, STORES, and global player Shopify.
As online shopping has become more common, problems have also been reported more frequently, due to the increasing risk of online and mobile fraud. Noticeable problems come from false claims, or consumers misunderstanding claims made by influencers on social media.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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