October 15, 2013, 4:33 PM

86% of Japanese Internet users visit retail web sites

While Amazon leads in visits, Raukuten.com claims more of their shopping time.

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In Japan, 86% of all Internet users visit retail web sites, according to a new report from web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc. That’s far greater than the 9% of Internet users worldwide who visit retail web sites, the firm says.

While Amazon.com Inc. draws the most unique web site visits among Japanese consumers—nearly 45.4 million in May 2013—local online marketplace operator Rakuten Inc. claims the most browsing time per Japanese shopper, who on average stayed on its web site for 32.9 minutes in May, compared to 27.4 minutes on Amazon.com in the same month, comScore says. Rakuten in May drew roughly 37.6 million unique Japanese visitors.

In terms of annual web sales, Amazon is No. 1 among North American retailers, according to the 2013 Top 500 Guide; Rakuten is No. 2 in the Asia 500.

For the 10 most popular types of e-retail sites, according to comScore, the percentage of Japanese online shoppers who visit each, with the corresponding percentage for Internet users worldwide, is as follows:

  • Comparison shopping: 55%, 22%
  • Computer hardware: 23%, 17%
  • Books: 23%, 14%
  • Computer software: 19%, 16%
  • Apparel: 19%, 24%
  • Consumer electronics: 16%, 26%
  • Movies: 14%, 5%
  • Food: 13%, 8%
  • Music: 10%, 3%
  • Mall: 9%, 5%

Japan’s online shoppers tend to be older than in the rest of the world, with 54% of them aged 45 or older and only 34% of them below the age of 35, comScore says. Globally, just 27% of mobile shoppers are aged 45 or older, and 52% are under the age of 35.

Japanese consumers are also using smartphones and tablets to shop online, with the four most frequent mobile activities, in order of most to least frequent, being to look up store locations, research product features, find coupons or deals and compare prices from other retailers, comScore says. And the four types of products Japanese shoppers buy most often from a mobile device are: physical books, clothing or accessories, groceries and coupons or daily deals. 

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