Top Ecommerce Companies in Japan

Posted By Jim Kersey

As one the third largest ecommerce market in the world, it’s no surprise that several domestic and foreign ecommerce companies are active here. While companies like Amazon enjoy a huge market share for the online shopping sector, there are many homegrown Japanese companies like Rakuten and Mercari that have grown into giants in their own right, with operations now expanding internationally.

Overview of the Japanese Ecommerce Market in 2022

The sheer size of Japan’s ecommerce market is impressive, considering its modest size and population compared to countries like the US and China, which it now ranks third after in terms of market size.
This is partly thanks to multiple factors, including the developed nature of the society, stability of the economy and a consumer appetite for high quality or luxury brands. A few more drivers of growth include:

  • The country has an excellent logistics infrastructure with supply routes and efficient delivery services giving sellers access to thousands of households across the country’s major cities and beyond
  • Japan’s digital infrastructure is also highly developed and consumers are avid consumers of online content
  • Success in Japan is an important stepping stone for wider success in the APAC region, which is evidenced by the expansion roadmap of many international brands and businesses.
  • Preference for online shopping, while lagging behind many other developed nations and below the global average, has grown significantly among older demographics since the pandemic

Forecasted Ecommerce Growth

Year Revenue in million USD (US$)
2021 112,465
2022 120,292
2023 128,054
2024 135,666
2025 143,279

Source: Statista

Top Ecommerce Companies in Japan

Mercari app among top ecommerce companies in Japan

There are some clear leaders among ecommerce companies in Japan. Some you may know already but others have yet to achieve significant international success and recognition.

Amazon Japan

Amazon Japan is the preferred choice of many ecommerce retailers operating in Japan, both among foreign businesses entering the Japanese market and domestic companies.

As well as having the largest share of the market, it is also the easiest to navigate for companies that don’t have much Japanese language capabilities. This platform functions in much the same way it does in other nations, with an interface and UX many will find familiar..

Amazon has secured growth by investing significantly in infrastructure, including new fulfillment centers around the Tokyo metropolitan area and local customer service support.

Rakuten Japan

Rakuten is Japan’s homegrown ecommerce giant and people love shopping on its virtual stores, with offerings from thousands of both global and domestic brands.

Several things make Rakuten a whole different beast to Amazon, including its virtual shopping mall model. As well as competing against other products and brands on the initial search pages, sellers must also build a whole new virtual sub-store within the platform to showcase their brand and products in more depth.
This experience can include everything from videos, graphics, product descriptions, reviews and more—functioning like a homepage for your brand.

Many have compared Amazon’s style of service to a digital “vending machine”, offering customers quick access to products that often compete on price, while describing Rakuten as a more immersive virtual shopping mall experience where visitors can walk through the doors of their favorite brands and discover more.

Yahoo! Shopping Japan

Yahoo! has the kind of presence in Japan today that many find surprising, considering its decline in other markets. In addition to its various digital services and products, such as the popular Yahoo News (one of Japan’s most popular sources of news), its online shopping division is incredibly popular. This includes Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auction.

Success for the company is partly thanks to the ecosystem of related online service and products it offers to the Japanese population. For instance, it leverages cross selling across its digital channels strategically, such as redirecting search results from the Yahoo! Search engine to the Yahoo! Shopping ecommerce platform.

While Yahoo! Shopping is the company’s more traditional ecommerce platform, selling anything from electronics to toiletries from thousands of merchants, Yahoo! Auction is its popular ‘flea market’ counterpart, tapping into the growing love for C2C selling platforms in Japan in 2022.


Kakaku is an extremely popular shopping support site where users can compare and examine all kinds of products and services. This includes everything from tech comparisons for phones and laptops to fashion. The platform collects a wide breadth of product information, pricing and user data to offer its users transparent advice, comparisons and product rankings.

A huge feature of is its user reviews. As peer validation plays a large part in the consumer buying journey in Japan as well as the desire for high quality and durable goods that last, we’ve seen Kakaku offer shoppers the much needed purchasing confidence they need from reviews and ratings.


Mercari, founded in 2013, was one of Japan’s first unicorns, raising $1.2B during its IPO in June 2018 — is now one of the top ecommerce platforms in the country, giving people a new way to shop.

The platform is one of a few extremely popular peer-to-peer marketplace, connecting those who want to buy cheaper second hand products with those who want to sell them. s from popular brands.

The app breaks down products into several categories, including fashion, toys, athletic goods and electronics— making it simple for users to browse available goods, interact and exchange.

Following its success in Japan, Mercari has expanded to a few other markets such as the US and the UK. New features have also been integrated, such as a live streaming feature and the Mercari Now service, which allows vendors to accept money instantaneously.

Learn More About Japanese Ecommerce Platforms

Popular Platforms for Ecommerce and Online Shopping in Japan

Zozotown head office among top ecommerce companies in Japan

ZOZOTOWN ZOZOTOWN is known as the best ecommerce platform in Japan for fashion, featuring both local and international brands and among Japanese consumers. This is partly thanks to its access to newly released and limited edition products that can’t be found on other online marketplaces.
Lohaco Lohaco’s market share is small compared to many other players in this list, however, it does well to cater to younger female demographics by understanding buying preferences and adapting to trends in the market.
Au Pay Market (Wowma) Au Pay, formerly Wowma, is a growingly popular marketplace in Japan. Founded by the mobile phone company KDDI, it benefits from its mother company’s large share of mobile users with the au brand having over 38 million registered customers.
PayPay Mall PayPay Mall sells only carefully selected brands and products. It is owned by Yahoo Japan and was launched to revitalize the company’s presence in the Japanese ecommerce landscape. It uses a similar model to Rakuten’s virtual shopping mall system.
Qoo10 Japan Owned now by Ebay, Qoo10 sells a vast range of products, such as fashion, beauty, sports, digital, mobile, home living, living, food, baby, entertainment, and books, welcoming all kinds of sellers.

Japanese Consumer Trends Driving Ecommerce Market

Japanese consumer using top ecommerce companies in Japan

The growth of Japanese ecommerce and the increasing demand for convenient home delivery is a huge driver of growth for ecommerce companies in Japan. As well as high personal wealth, the nation’s developed economy and the fact that most people live in highly urbanized areas, this is a great market for ecommerce retailers.

What Types of Ecommerce Platforms Do Japanese Shoppers Enjoy?

As well as traditional marketplaces (or online shopping malls) Japanese customers also enjoy shopping in several other online spaces too.

Shopping Malls (Amazon, Rakuten etc.) 94.2%
Manufacturer’s Brand Websites 40.9%
Home Electronic Stores 33.1%
Online Auction Sites 27.3%
Flea Market Websites and Applications (C2C) 24.9%
Supermarkets 11.4%
Retails Stores 11.3%
Department Stores 7.9%
Convenience Stores 5.6%
None of the Above 3.1%

Source: Statista

Growth of the C2C Market

The growing popularity of C2C platforms in Japan has added an exciting component to the country’s ecommerce ecosystem, where an increasing number of users enjoy the ability to easily buy and sell second hand items for a reasonable price.

With the inherent lack of space in Japanese households, we predict that more and more people will start to sell products after using them for only a short time — making room for new additions without taking up vital storage space.

Key Drivers of Online Purchases in 2022

Platform feature % who are most likely to buy a product online due to the following
Free delivery options 69%
Coupons 53%
Reviews 29%

Source: GWI

Learn More About the Japanese Market

If you’re getting into the Japanese market and are curious about logistics, ecommerce or consumer behavior, we might be able to help.

We’ve worked with brands and retailers across the world to help them bring their businesses to Japan and would be happy to share some insights on building a successful marketing and localization strategy.

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