The Japanese e-commerce market is estimated to register a growth of 6.9% to reach JPY22.4 trillion ($194.3 billion) in 2022, as consumers increasingly shift from offline to online purchasing, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

An analysis of GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics reveals that e-commerce sales in Japan grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021 to reach JPY20.9 trillion ($181.7 billion) in 2021.

Japan is the fourth leading e-commerce market globally. China is the top market with total sales of $2.1 trillion, followed by the US with $1.5 trillion, and the UK with $292.1 billion. As these countries are expected to retain their top positions, the global e-commerce landscape is unlikely to witness a change in 2022.

Ravi Sharma, Banking and Payments Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments:

“The Japan e-commerce market has registered sustainable growth over the last five years supported by high mobile and online penetration and high consumer preference for online transactions. Consumers are increasingly shifting from in-store to online purchases, with e-commerce being one of the few areas that continued to register a positive growth even during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to the ‘Survey of Household Economy’ by the Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, over 50% of households (with two or more members) ordered goods and services over Internet in July 2022. In addition, the average monthly expenditure on online shopping per household was up by 17.2% in that month compared to monthly average of 2021.

The Japanese e-commerce market is dominated by domestic online retailers such as Rakuten and Mercari. However, international e-commerce retailers such as Amazon and Yahoo are gaining popularity among the Japanese consumers. Online shopping events such as White Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday have supported the e-commerce growth in the country.

According to GlobalData’s 2022 Financial Services Consumer Survey*, nearly 70% of the Japanese consumers reported having shopped online in the past month, while only 8% indicated that they never shopped online. Simplicity and speed, security, and reward and benefits are some of the key factors driving the online shopping.

Sharma concludes: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a permanent shift in consumer buying behavior pushing them towards online, a trend that is expected to continue. As a result, e-commerce sales will increase at a CAGR of 5.2% between 2022 and 2026 to reach JPY27.4 trillion ($237.8 billion) in 2026.”

*GlobalData’s 2022 Financial Services Consumer Survey was carried out in Q1 and Q2 2022. Approximately 50,000 respondents aged 18+ were surveyed across 40 countries.