December 8, 2023

Industry Trends: Key Factors Driving Japanese Online Shoppers


Japan Online Shopping Oct 2023



In the age of digital transformation, understanding the online shopping habits of Japanese internet users is vital for businesses aiming to penetrate this market. From frequency of purchases to the value of transactions, privacy concerns to product preferences, these insights are invaluable in crafting strategies that resonate with this audience. Despite the rise of e-commerce, physical stores remain a central part of Japanese consumption habits, reminding businesses that a balanced, omnichannel approach may yield the best results.



Understanding Online Shopping Habits of Japanese Netizens

In Engagement Lab’s latest October survey, the majority of Japanese internet users, irrespective of gender and age, use online shopping platforms at least once a month (31%) or once every 1-3 months (20%). Furthermore, approximately 15% of respondents indicated they have never used online shopping, while less than 20% of both men and women reported frequent usage (once a week or more).


Understanding How Much Japanese E-shoppers Invest per Transaction

When it comes to the amount spent per transaction, the most common range was between JPY 2,000 to 5,000 (about 45% of both men and women). Interestingly, young users aged 16-30 tend to make lower-value purchases (less than JPY 2,000) more often than other age groups (20%). However, users in the 31-40 age bracket showed a tendency for higher-value purchases with 29% spending between JPY 5,000 to 10,000 and 9% spending between JPY 10,000 to 20,000 per transaction.


The survey revealed that 63% of internet users allocate 20% or less of their monthly total consumption budget to online shopping, suggesting that physical stores still play a central role in consumption habits. Moreover, those allocating more than 40% of their monthly budget to online shopping are in the minority, with 15% men and 18% women. Very few (about 5%) depend heavily on online shopping, allocating over 60% of their budget.


What Matters Most to Japanese E-shoppers

When it comes to what users value most in online shopping, 59% ranked "protection of member information" highest, followed by "customer service and delivery quality" (57%), "product promotion prices" (56%), "product reviews and ratings" (56%), and "diversity of payment methods" (54%). The least valued factor was a "user-friendly interface" (33%), though it is still considered important by most users (only 12% think it's not important)..

The most frequently purchased online category for men is "magazines/books" (42%), while for women, it's "beauty/fashion products" (42%). Women's participation in this category was significantly higher (63%) compared to men (23%). Men, on the other hand, were more likely to purchase "communication equipment and peripheral products" (36%).


B2C vs C2C: The Knowledge Gap in Japanese E-commerce Understanding

Interestingly, over 70% of internet users do not clearly understand the differences between B2C and C2C online shopping platforms. This lack of understanding is most prevalent in the 16-30 age group, suggesting a knowledge gap among the younger generation about these platforms' operating models.

The results of this survey offer valuable insights for business decision-makers across multiple sectors, allowing them to deepen their understanding of consumer behavior in the post-COVID era and develop strategies that cater to these preferences effectively. Engagement Lab will continue to track the Online Shopping of the Japanese public and update survey data, monitoring market trends and changes in consumer demand.



Research by: Engagement Lab
Survey Date: 2023-10-12 to 2023-10-16
Methodology: Online survey
Target Group: Japan internet users aged 16-60
Sample Size: 1325
Editor: TNL Research
Review by: Tatt Chen