A new report from Germany-based secondary market research firm yStats.com, “Japan B2C E-Commerce Sales Forecasts: 2017 to 2021” reveals the prospects of Asia’s second largest online retail market. According to the report’s findings, despite the moderation of annual growth rates through 2021 compared to the previous five-year period, B2C E-Commerce in Japan is still growing much faster than the country’s overall retail sales, resulting in a higher online share of the total.
Japan’s B2C E-Commerce market is the fourth largest worldwide and second largest in Asia. The country is advanced in terms of online shopping penetration, with close to 50% of all Internet users above 6 years of age and around two-thirds of 20-39 year-olds buying goods and services online, according to statistics in the yStats.com report. While the country’s total retail sales remained mostly flat over the past five years, B2C E-Commerce was expanding at a double-digit rate driven by attractive product pricing and the convenience of online shopping. Although the future B2C E-Commerce sales growth rate through 2021 is projected to moderate to high single digits, online commerce is still projected to outpace overall retail, surpassing the milestone of 10% of retail sales by the end of the forecast period.
The growth of B2C E-Commerce in Japan beyond 2017 is expected to be driven by an increase in online spending per shopper and the rise of mobile shopping, along with other factors such as reduced delivery times, popularization of shopping activities on social networking platforms and expansion of the product range. As of 2017, close to one-half of those who shop online said they spent less than 10% of their overall expenditure on E-Commerce sites, according to a survey cited in the yStats.com report. When asked about the future, close to one-third of online shoppers expected their online spending to increase.
With regard to M-Commerce, Japan has been lagging behind the emerging Asian markets in terms of mobile shopping adoption. This situation is likely to change, as smartphones are becoming almost as important as computers for accessing the Internet in Japan. Although the majority of online shoppers still buy via PC, the share of those using smartphones to conduct a purchase tripled between 2015 and 2016, with M-Commerce getting close to one-third of online sales.