The market size of cross-border EC continues to expand worldwide. In this environment, some of you may be thinking about entering the cross-border EC market in earnest.
Since the characteristics of cross-border EC vary greatly from country to country, it is important to keep in mind the key points that are important in each country. It is also necessary to know the cross-border EC that is representative of that country in order to maximize sales of products and services.
In this issue, we will introduce cross-border e-commerce sites representing Japan, the U.S., China, South Korea, and Taiwan. By reading to the end, you should be able to gain a detailed understanding of each country’s representative cross-border e-commerce sites and find the e-commerce site that best fits your business model.
Cross-border EC Market Size｜Growth Rates in Japan, the U.S., and China
The size of the cross-border EC market continues to expand year after year.China and the U.S. in particular account for the majority of sales in the cross-border EC market.
As you can see from the growth rates below, the difference in market size from Japan is obvious.
|home (i.e. hometown, home country)||Cross-border EC Purchases||growth rate|
|Japan||341.6 billion yen||7.6%|
|America||1,710.8 billion yen||9.9%|
|China||4,261.7 billion yen||16.3%|
Although the growth rate is lower than that of the U.S. and China, we can see that the size of the Japanese market is steadily growing.
In addition, according to the “Market Survey on Electronic Commerce” published by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in 2021, the market size of “BtoC-EC (electronic commerce for consumers)” in Japan is growing as follows.
Reference: Results of a market survey on electronic commerce compiled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
The market size since 2013 shows a steady growth, although it is almost flat from 2019 to 2020.
It should be noted that the main reason for the growth of the global cross-border e-commerce market, besides the impact of the new coronavirus infection, is the widespread use of the Internet and smartphones.
Another factor contributing to the growth of the cross-border EC market is the increasing popularity of cashless payment systems.
Japan] List of representative e-commerce sites
First, we will introduce three representative EC sites in Japan. Please check the details below for a better understanding of cross-border EC.
Rakuten” was the pioneer of e-commerce sales in Japan.We deal in a wide variety of products from daily necessities to foodstuffs.
Rakuten not only sells products, but also encourages customers to connect with Rakuten Group services, such as Rakuten Card, Rakuten Travel, and Rakuten Mobile. By keeping customers in the Rakuten Group, you can continue to sell products and promote the services of other businesses.
In addition, the company incorporates various innovations such as “Shopping Marathon,” an event to increase points, and sales of special sets of products with the Rakuten line.
Shopping” is the shopping site of the well-known “Yahoo! In addition to the large number of products it sells, the site also focuses on integration with cashless payment systems.
For example, they are holding events such as “use PayPay and get 10% back” to attract a different user base than Rakuten.
Shopping operates within Yahoo! JAPAN, which operates many popular websites such as web search, news, auctions, transfer guides, etc. If you open a store within Yahoo! Shopping, you can expect to attract an overwhelming number of customers.
ZOZOTOWN” is an EC mall specializing in apparel. ZOZOTOWN offers more convenience than other e-commerce sites, such as the ability to quickly check seasonal trends and popular fashions.
Even though it specializes in apparel, it is as popular as Rakuten and Yahoo! There are not many e-commerce sites in the world that are as popular as this one for fashion alone. It can be said to be Japan’s leading e-commerce mall.
List of representative cross-border e-commerce companies in the U.S.
Following Japan, we will introduce three representative cross-border EC in the United States. This is the second largest market after China, so be sure to check them out if you are planning to enter the cross-border EC market.
Amazon, which is ranked No. 1 in sales in the U.S., is a popular e-commerce site not only in the U.S. but also around the world. It is a huge e-commerce site that handles all genres of products and offers a variety of services in addition to product sales. Although Amazon (amazon.co.jp) is also available in Japan, there is an option to open a store on Amazon (amazon.com) in the U.S. in order to sell products for the U.S. market.
Since most Americans use Amazon in the U.S., not many people come all the way to the Japanese site. In addition, Amazon’s monthly visitors in Japan are about 80 million, whereas in the U.S. it attracts about 450 million. The difference is obvious, so if you are considering selling products to the U.S., consider Amazon in the U.S. as well.
eBay” is a cross-border e-commerce site visited by people from 200 countries around the world. It is one of the world’s largest auction sites and has offices in 30 countries.
The number of unique users is comparable to Amazon’s, so anyone considering cross-border e-commerce for the U.S. should definitely consider it.
Since eBay allows for a small start, it is also recommended for those who are “new to overseas business” or “don’t have much of a budget to spend. By actually developing cross-border e-commerce, you will gain new insights.
Walmart is a cross-border e-commerce company that sells all kinds of products, from daily necessities to sundries and consumer electronics. Originally the largest brick-and-mortar retailer, the company owns physical stores throughout the United States.
Many people visit physical stores in person, but since the U.S. is a large land and it takes time to travel, many people buy on e-commerce sites.
In recent years, sales in the e-commerce business have been on the rise, due in part to the focus on cross-border e-commerce. This will be a tailwind for those who are planning to enter the cross-border EC market.
China] Representative Cross-border EC List
Three representative cross-border EC in China are introduced below. Since China is the largest market for cross-border EC, selling products to China is key for those who want to achieve success in cross-border EC.
One of the leading cross-border e-commerce sites in China is “TianNeko International.This site is a cross-border e-commerce site operated by the Alibaba Group, with a monthly user base of up to 700 million people.
It is a very popular site, accounting for 27.1% of the Chinese e-commerce market, and large companies from around the world are actively opening stores there. Success on TianNeko International will give you a large share of the Chinese market, making it a must-have site for those considering selling products to China.
However, the conditions for opening a store on Tianneko International tend to be strict. Store opening fees are also comparatively high, so consider your budget before using this service.
Beijing Dongcheng is a very large e-commerce site that boasts the second largest market share in China. It focuses on consumer electronics, but also offers a huge selection of other products such as food and furniture.
According to the “First Quarter Financial Report” released by Jingdong Shopping Center in 2020, net income exceeded 200 billion yuan ($3.13 trillion). In addition, the number of active users increased by 24.8% compared to the same period last year, reaching 25 million.
In addition, Kyodo Trading has its own huge warehouses in various locations, which enables faster delivery.
This site is a direct sales model in which products purchased by the company are sold, similar to the sales format of Amazon in Japan. Please confirm whether this model is suitable for your company’s business model before considering entry into the market.
Suning Easy Purchase
Suning Easy Purchase is a large e-commerce site that boasts the fourth largest market share in China’s e-commerce market. Like Jingdong, it sells mainly electronics products.
Suning EasyPurchase not only operates an e-commerce site, but also has numerous physical stores in major cities. Even after launching online sales, Suning EasyPurchase has continued to focus on its bricks-and-mortar operations to provide customers with the services they demand.
This is the most successful example of “omni-channel” linking online and offline.
Korea/Taiwan] Representative Cross-border EC List
The following is an introduction to one representative cross-border EC in Korea and Taiwan. If you are involved in cross-border EC outside of the U.S. and China, please refer to the details below.
Korea’s “G-Market” is an e-commerce site that offers numerous products ranging from daily necessities to fashion. With approximately 22 million visitors per month, the site can greatly increase sales if utilized properly.
However, G-Market does not support Japanese, so an understanding of English and Korean is required. If you are not confident in your translation skills, consider a cross-border EC operation agency.
Taiwan’s “Yahoo! ChiMa Shopping Center” is the Taiwanese version of Yahoo! Since many users prefer Japanese products, it is considered a good fit for cross-border e-commerce.
Unique users are “CtoC 10 million per month”, “BtoC 8 million per month”, and “BtoBtoC 7 million per month”, more than enough to secure sales.
Since most of the products sold are related to cosmetics and fashion, female users tend to be larger than male users.
In this article, we have described the cross-border EC representing Japan, the U.S., China, South Korea, and Taiwan, respectively.
|home (i.e. hometown, home country)||Representative e-commerce sites|
|Taiwan||Qima Shopping Center|
Cross-border e-commerce is gaining momentum around the world, but the U.S. and China are especially important for increasing sales because of the size of their markets.
In addition, since users and product preferences differ from country to country, consider product development tailored to the country and e-commerce site you are expanding into.
If you are planning to enter the cross-border EC market, please refer to the representative EC sites introduced in this article to find one that fits your business model.