What Are Japanese Consumers Buying?

Japanese consumers shop online for a variety of reasons and they buy an incredibly diverse range of products. Shopping from international sellers allows them to access products that aren’t typically sold in Japan, access more variety, and benefit from lower prices. People buy everything from gifts to groceries, from furniture to fitness gear, and beyond when shopping online.

There are millions of online shoppers in Japan that are purchasing on a daily basis and the only limit to what they’ll buy online is what is available.

While this diversity is amazing and allows for all types of brands to find success selling in Japan, there are still some trends and statistics worth noting:

The Japanese eCommerce market is broken up into three major categories which are retail, services, and digital content. Retail is the largest category and accounts for more than half of all eCommerce purchases made in Japan.

According to a survey conducted by Statista, the most popular type of product that Japanese consumers purchased online was clothing; 41% of responders have purchased clothing online in the past year. 

A report from eShipper says that the fastest-growing category in eCommerce globally is electronics.

According to the list of Japan’s eCommerce market share by category released by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), electronics is the largest category. It’s accounting for about 10% of the market.

The same publication found that supplements, beauty products, and personal care products are the top products that Japanese consumers purchase from international merchants.

The fastest-growing eCommerce categories in Japan include cosmetics, electronics, furniture, and more.

There are some products that cannot be delivered in Japan at this time; Rakuten offers detailed information about these products and provides additional resources.

Note: In order to make sure you’re following all the regulations that apply to overseas entities, it is best to consult with a legal expert and default to Japanese government resources when it comes to what is prohibited.

Best-selling product categories in Japan

Take a deeper look at some of the most popular, profitable, and promising categories in Japanese eCommerce. Click on each category to read more:

Fashion & athleisure
Beauty & cosmetics
Sports & outdoor