Japan 110917

Insights into the growth of Japanese eCommerce with payment methods, target audiences, marketing, social media, economy and logistics all profiled


Japan is home to 126.99 million people with a total GDP of 4.94 trillion USD and is ranked as the 4th richest country, according to the World Bank GDP per capita rankings. Japan’s GDP per capita is currently 35,794 USD and expected to reach 39,506 USD by 2021.

Digital User Insights

There are currently 82.59 million eCommerce users in Japan, with an additional 6.33 million users expected to be shopping online by 2021. Four years from now, these 88.92 million eCommerce users will spend an average of 1,257.37 USD online.

Japan Online

Dividing internet usage into age groups gives a better picture of the Japanese eCommerce market – 96% of 16-24 year-olds, 96% of 25-34 year-olds and 98% of 35-44 year-olds log on daily. The older generations also log on regularly with 45-54 year-olds and over 55s showing a 94% and 95% daily penetration rate, respectively.

Japan Usage

Product Categories

Total Japanese eCommerce revenue across all product categories is 84.53 billion USD, and is expected to grow to 111.80 billion USD by 2021. Electronics & Media is currently the leading product category in Japan, accounting for 23.73 billion USD market share, followed by Fashion, which generates 22.28 billion USD in sales.

By 2021, Fashion will become the most purchased online category, with an estimated value of 32.23 billion USD, and former favourite, Electronics & Media, will have an expected worth of 29.31 billion USD.

Japan Revenue


In 2016, Japan was ranked 12th in the World Bank Logistics ranking.

Preferred Online Payments

According to eMarketer, 75.5% of Japanese shoppers prefer to use credit cards online, compared to 4.5% who like to pay with cash on delivery.

Japan Payments

Where does Japan buy from?

China supplies Japan with 152 billion USD in imports – ranging from gas to computers. Japan’s other key import partners are the US (63.5 billion USD), Australia (30.7 billion USD), South Korea (25.5 billion USD) and the United Arab Emirates (21 billion USD).

Japan Imports

Internet and Device Usage

Internet penetration in Japan is currently 82.1%, and should reach 83.2% by 2021. Smartphone penetration is a lot less (47.8%), but is projected to grow to 54.4% in the next four years.

92% of online shoppers in Japan buy via desktop, a stark contrast to the amount of smartphone (6%) and tablet (1%) shoppers.

Japan Devices


In 2017, advertising spend in Japan was estimated to be 37.39 billion USD. 

Japan Ad Spend

Social Media

52.56 million people in Japan are active monthly social network users, thanks to YouTube, Twitter, LINE and Facebook, which are the leading social networks.

Japan Social

For more market insights, check out the eShopWorld series of blogs covering a range of emerging eCommerce markets.