Japan’s digital buyers are often hard to please, and the country’s online retailers often find themselves scrambling to adapt. This situation also extends to how shoppers in the country engage with ecommerce apps. Research shows that many prefer the mobile web to mobile apps as they access digital retail sites and complete purchases.
An October 2016 study by software developer JustSystems found that more than eight in 10 digital buyers accessed a retailer’s site on a desktop or laptop using a web browser. However, more respondents used a smartphone browser (43.2%) than a smartphone app (37.4%), indicating that a preference for the web carried over when the device being used was a smartphone.
The fact that digital shoppers in Japan prefer smartphone browsers over apps becomes even more important when considering the growing popularity of mobile commerce. Data from Criteo shows that Japan was Asia-Pacific’s leader as measured by retail transaction share in Q4 2016, with mcommerce accounting for more than half of all digital purchases.