Internet retailing continued to expand dynamically at the end of the review period. Growing numbers of consumers are getting used to making purchases online.
Cross-border internet retailing into Japan remains small for three main reasons: Japanese consumers’ reluctance to try new things, language issues and a lack of demand for foreign products. Few Japanese consumers are early adopters, meaning that it takes some time for new channels to gain traction.
While cross-border internet retailing to Japan faces significant obstacles, Japanese companies from small to large are looking to develop cross-border internet retailing from the country, especially to China. Platform giants like Amazon and eBay are supporting small-to-mid-sized companies not only by providing a platform but also through logistics, including holding products, managing export operations and connecting to local vendors.
Aeon is the leading mass merchandiser not only in Japan but in Asia Pacific as a whole. However, the company is struggling to establish itself in internet retailing.
Seven & I Holdings is developing an omnichannel strategy through its Omni7 platform. The company seems to be focusing on maximising synergies between its retailing operations, which include 7-Eleven, Ito Yokado, Sogo and Seibu Department Stores by integrating consumer data.
Large homeshopping retailers such as Jupiter Shop Channel, Japanet Takata and QVC are increasing the proportion of their sales they generate through internet retailing. Homeshopping and internet retailing are particularly compatible in terms of the development of an integrated, multi-channel strategy, as consumers are happy to turn to the convenience of the internet to make purchases following exposure to homeshopping TV programmes or homeshopping catalogues.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Retailing market research database.