Japanese E-Commerce Gaining Users

The Japanese consumer e-commerce market will be worth 3 trillion yen (approximately $24.7 billion US) in 2003, according to a study by Japan’s International Trade and Industry Ministry and Andersen Consulting. The 3 trillion yen figure would make the market 50 times its 1998 value of 65 billion yen, according to the study.

According to the story, an increase in the online purchase of cars and airline tickets will fuel the growth. In 1998, consumer e-commerce represented 0.2 percent of total household expenditures in Japan. In 2003, the survey expects this percentage to rise to 1 percent.

By 2003, the travel industry will be Japan’s largest e-commerce market, the study found. The car and personal computer industries will be close behind. Further growth will be seen in e-commerce involving auto parts and the electronics and information industries. The study also predicts accelerated growth for e-commerce in the construction and distribution industries.

The study also found that by 2003, e-commerce companies will increase their use of the Internet for sending and receiving orders and settling accounts seven fold from 1998 to a 88 trillion yen market.

The study, comprised of questionnaires and interviews, was conducted between November and March. It also credits a decrease in telecom costs and an increase in Internet users in Japan with aiding e-commerce in that country.

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