Online Shopping Sites in Japan: The Best of Japanese E-Commerce

This is my list and guide to the best, largest and most popular online shopping sites in Japan of November, 2018. For all of your e-commerce needs.

Which Japanese online stores ranked as the most popular?

  1. Biggest, most popular in Japan is Rakuten Ichiba 楽天
  2. Easiest to use, and second most popular is Amazon Japan アマゾン

Shop in Japan

The Japanese retail business has shifted from local stores to online shopping. With a long tradition of delivering door-to-door, the delivery service industry is a booming business, supporting cost-effective and efficient e-commerce in Japan.

These are the most successful and well known online shopping portals;

Rank 1. Rakuten Ichiba 楽天

The Tokyo based e-commerge giant is the most popular shopping platform within Japan and also operates worldwide through a huge number of subsidiaries.

Their Japanese website at Rakuten.co.jp is a platform where companies registered in Japan can engage in business-to-consumer and business-to-business online retail.

Many smaller companies however are not using Rakuten because of it’s relatively expensive and complicated registration process.

Shopping categories include: Books, Music, Games, Cosmetics, Health and Pharmaceutical Products, Nursing Care, Fashion Items, Clothing, Consumer electronics, Personal Computers, Mobile Phones, Food, Drinks, Cameras,  Flowers, Sports Equipment, Interior, Kids & Baby Toys.

Also there are other business sectors operated by Rakuten, such as hotel booking, travel tickets, real estate, online video entertainment and banking services.

Rank 2. Amazon.com, Inc. Japan

Having gained the second biggest online market position in Japan, Amazon is a big and steadily expanding retail business in the country. Located at the address Amazon.co.jp, the shopping services are very similar with US equivalent and the rest of the portfolio of international Amazon websites.

The portal has also gained significant market ground with Japanese companies using their intermediator services. Selling goods directly through the website, either by Amazon managed order processing, directly through their warehouses or by managing the sending process by themselves.

Now Amazon JP website has an English version available.

The main categories include: Kindle Store, Amazon Video, Japanese & English Books, Digital music, Computers, Office Goods, Comics, Home & Kitchen, Bedroom, Drugstore, Beauty & Fashion, Food Products, Electronic Goods, DVDs, Fire TV, Contact Lenses, Cosmetics and a whole lot more.

Rank 3. Yahoo! Shopping ヤフオク!

Yahoo Japan managed, “Yahoo! Shopping” comes third in the race of market share and is one of the biggest online shopping malls in the country.

Located at shopping.yahoo.co.jp, providing convenient, everything under one roof style services in the Japanese language.

Main categories include: Accessories, Food Items, Technology, Beauty & Health, Children’s Toys, Home Supplies, Books, Ladies & Mens Fashion, Car accessories, Games, Bicycles and much more.

They also have a sister website known as “Yahoo! Auctions“, located at auctions.yahoo.co.jp, which is one of the most popular auctions marketplaces in Japan (beating eBay locally). Connecting sellers and buyers, for bidding and direct retail, shopping requires a registered Yahoo account.

End Notes on online shopping in Japan

While a significant number of jobs have been lost due to the online shift in business, there have been benefits as well. Still about half of the e-commerce market is operated by smaller companies. With entrepreneurship common in Japan, many independent sellers have put up shop for local and specialized goods.

Others have used bigger shopping portals that have helped small businesses to flourish and enter the nationwide or even international markets. Around 80% of Japanese shop online, which is an activity almost as popular as checking email.

Questions about online shopping and e-commerce in Japan?
Leave your comments, as well as suggestions on online stores below.

当サイト「kachi.jp」は、amazon.co.jpを宣伝しリンク することによってサイトが紹介料を獲得できる手段を提供することを目的に設定された アフィリエイト宣伝プログラムである、Amazonアソシエイト・プログラムの参加者です。

This website, kachi.jp is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.co.jp.

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4 comments

  1. The first two are pretty much all the sites I’ve ever used.

    Other smaller, individual ones can be a real pain to use with difficult payments, and a messy checkout process. Japan has a lot to improve there..!

    • Thanks for your comment.

      While I agree with you, this is of course not the case for all online stores. E-commerce is getting better, but development can be slow.

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