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Japan is one of the world’s biggest markets for ecommerce. eMarketer estimates the country will account for 4% of all retail ecommerce sales worldwide in 2016, ranking Japan fourth among the top 25 countries globally by that metric. But the country’s shoppers have high standards when it comes to ecommerce, a stance which can make satisfying those customers difficult.
Retailers in Japan aren’t exactly giving digital buyers much to cheer about. In May 2016 polling of ecommerce buyers in Japan by JDA Software, nearly one-third of respondents said they had had a bad online experience in the past year. When asked what caused the bad experience, late delivery was the biggest source of trouble, mentioned by 36% of respondents, while another 22% mentioned missed deliveries as another problem. Meanwhile, 16% mentioned they received damaged products, the third most popular response.
These negative experiences also end up impacting buyers’ long-term opinions of digital retailers. According to JDA’s survey, negative experiences have a strong influence on an ecommerce retailer’s ability to generate future repeat business in Japan. When asked about the likelihood of returning to a digital retailer after a bad experience, more than 40% of digital buyers in JDA’s survey said they would probably buy from someone else, the most popular answer.
Even though consumers in Japan are fickle about bad digital shopping experiences, it’s worth noting they are also loyal advocates of their favorite ecommerce brands. As noted in a December 2015 eMarketer article, 25% of consumers in Japan who used ecommerce platforms referred friends and family to their preferred site, higher than any other category studied.
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