Pointer Blog / Global Brand Protection: Get to Know the Top 5 eCommerce Platforms in Japan

Global Brand Protection: Get to Know the Top 5 eCommerce Platforms in Japan

The Asian eCommerce market has grown into a thriving and unstoppable force. With nearly 1.4 billion people in China, it comes as no surprise that they boast the largest eCommerce market in the world. This year alone, China is expected to amass €871 billion in revenue from its eCommerce platforms, surpassing the US which is expected to reach €526 billion in revenue in 2019. By a massive margin, Alibaba reigns as the biggest eCommerce platform in the world, taking in roughly 80% of China’s online sales. Of course, the more popular the platform, the more criminals there are lurking behind counterfeit listings. It’s important to be aware of the platforms, how they work, and their policies surrounding counterfeit listings.


However, there are more players in the Asian market than China alone. Vietnam’s eCommerce market is growing at a rapid pace, for instance, and the Korean and Indian markets are also building notoriety for themselves. This blog post, though, will be taking a look at the densely-populated, fashion-forward Japan, and specifically which online platforms are the most prominent in Japan. Listed below are the top five eCommerce platforms in Japan.


Rakuten – Rakuten Ichiba still sits as the most popular eCommerce platform in Japan, but eCommerce isn’t all they do. With over 70 business ventures, they also have a stake in digital content, communications, FinTech, and so much more. They host Japan’s largest online bank as well as the number one credit card company in the country. They are no doubt a force to be reckoned with on the global scale, operating in 29 countries and raking in €7.5 billion in 2017.

Rakuten Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts: In 2007, Rakuten launched a program called the Rakuten “Quality Assurance” Shopping Service which cooperated with brands to ensure the authenticity of the products being listed on their platform. They work with over 1,100 brands in Japan to keep the counterfeiters at bay.


Amazon Japan – Japan recently bumped up as the second-largest foreign market for Amazon, with Germany taking the runner-up position. Amazon Japan has seen immense growth in regional popularity over the last few years. They’re also the most successful international retailer in the nation by becoming the first foreign firm to surpass 1 trillion Japanese yen, which translates to nearly 8 billion euro. They’ve invested a great amount in setting up a local distribution network in the country, simplifying the accessibility of their vendors to their online retailing. In 2017, they managed to amass more than €11 million in revenue.

Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts: Though they abide by only selling authentic goods, they also state on their website: “It is each seller’s and supplier’s responsibility to source, sell, and fulfill only authentic products.” Though, if they find out an item breaches their standards, they will rectify it by removing and terminating the account.


Yahoo Japan Shopping – Though Yahoo Japan’s eCommerce platform dipped by 5% in their revenue over 2017, they still took in a whopping €491 million in operating profit, placing them as one of the most popular online marketplaces in Japan.

Yahoo Japan Anti-counterfeiting Efforts: On their website, they state that they have implemented “control measures and system enhancements” to better protect their customers, as well as taking measures to preserve the IP rights of the rights holders. They’ve partnered with a number of third parties to actively combat counterfeit listings, but awareness should still be maintained.  


Kakaku.com –  Unlike our previous three listings, the next eCommerce site on the list has a rather different approach to online shopping services. Kakaku is a Japanese price aggregator website and is touted as the “price comparison king.” Unlike a traditional online marketplace, Kakaku offers shoppers detailed price comparison’s so they can easily find the best deals. Once a shopper finds their preferred item, they are then redirected to the online store where they can directly by the item. Founded in 1997, it’s had a steady pace of growth throughout the previous two decades. Their revenue until March 2018 is listed at €371.5 million.

Kakaku Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts: Not much can be said of their anti-counterfeiting efforts, as there is no noted policy on their website. Keep in mind, they are still accountable for counterfeit listings because the trademark is used on their website in the course of trade.


Zozotown  – Focusing solely on apparel, Zozotown sneaks in at the number five spot on Japan’s most popular eCommerce platforms, with a market cap just under €8 billion. Founded in Tokyo in 2004, Zozotown has gone on to become Japan’s largest online fashion retailer, besting out close competitor Uniqlo.

Zozotown Anti-Counterfeiting Efforts: In perusing some message boards, it appears that some shoppers have encountered fakes on Zozotown before, but their website doesn’t appear to state anything about potential counterfeit concerns.  

With the top three platforms—Rakuten, Amazon Japan, and Yahoo Shopping Japan—accounting for roughly half of the country’s total annual eCommerce revenue, shoppers may assume there’s safety in numbers. However, their online shopping experience can be easily disrupted. So, now that you know the top five eCommerce platforms in Japan, it’s also important to always be aware of potential counterfeiters across all eCommerce platforms, no matter their size and popularity. If you’re searching online for your next big purchase, but you find the listing suspicious in any way, you can always report it with us. We’ll look into the listing on your behalf to ensure a safe online shopping experience for everyone.

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