Expanding Your Electronics Store to Japan: Key Things to Know

Consumer electronics has been the second-largest eCommerce category in Japan for several years running with a market share of over 18%. It trails behind clothing, the top category, by just 1%. Electronics is something that Japan was synonymous with for decades; the shift that took Japan out of the spotlight happened only recently.

Even though that’s true, products like phones, computers, televisions, and other tech are still some of the most frequently purchased by online shoppers in Japan. Revenue is projected to reach $14 billion USD in the year 2020.

The category has a projected growth rate of just 4.5%; however, user penetration is expected to surge from about one-third to nearly half of consumers over the next four years.

Revenue per user is very promising

One thing that makes electronics such a desirable category for those in eCommerce that want to sell in Japan is that the average revenue per user is higher than any of the other featured categories.

In fact, it is one of the highest across the board in terms of the nation’s eCommerce market.

Surprisingly, electronics are typically more expensive for Japanese consumers to purchase domestically. For example, brand new smartphones can come in under $200 when purchased from an international seller online; that same phone could be as much as $475 more from a Japanese seller.

Electronics market in Japan

There were a handful of factors that kept prices high; market domination from specific entities eroded incentives to lower costs and Japanese consumers are not likely to purchase electronics secondhand or from a retailer that they don’t trust.

For a long time, prices couldn’t budge. Legislation shifted the market a few years ago; however, the trend has stuck.

Electronics regulations in Japan

Online shopping for electronics in Japan

Many Japanese consumers turn to the internet when they’re shopping for electronics. American retailers typically offer better prices and better quality products when purchased internationally. If electronics are what you want to start selling in Japan, though, there will be regulations.

The biggest one to keep in mind is that you will need to acquire a PSE Mark or Giteki Mark. All electronic products with chargers are required to obtain the PSE mark on the charger, whether sold by an international or domestic entity in Japan.

This is also true of the Giteki mark. This must be present on all electronic products with radio, signal, WiFi capability and features, and Bluetooth. This article from InCompliance outlines the intricacies of product compliance in electronics.