Japan Digital Marketing 2021
2 Nov , 2021


Honored as the world’s third largest economy and top innovation hub, Japan is always an ideal place for marketers to invest in. Together with its highly developed free-market economy and technologies, Japan has a lot of potential and prospects in establishing digital marketing strategies.

Let’s explore Japan’s digital marketing landscape, trends, and opportunities that aid you emerge in the market and excel among the keen online competition.

  1. Digital Marketing Landscape in Japan

  2. Most Popular Digital Marketing Platforms in Japan

  3. Digital Marketing Opportunities in Japan

Digital Marketing Landscape in Japan

Japan, being a highly urbanized country, achieves a 91.8% urbanization rate of its 126.3 million total population. 93% of Japanese people are internet users, accompanied with 93.8 million active social media users, accounting for 74.3% of the population.

Japan digital marketing landscape.pngJapan’s digital marketing landscape

Japan’s internet users spend an average of 4 hours 25 minutes online daily, with approximately 2.5 hours on videos including broadcast and streaming, and 51 minutes on social media.

Japan daily time spent on media.pngJapan’s daily time spent on media

Given the amount of time Japanese people spend on consuming videos, it’s worth-noting that videos are the most populous online content activity in Japan. Each month, 83.4% of Japanese netizens watch online videos, far surpassing other online content activities.

Insight: Video content can be an effective digital marketing strategy in Japan.

Japan online content activities.pngJapan’s online content activities

Yahoo.co.jp, Japan’s key search engine, ranks the first among the most visited website, followed by Google.com, another prominent search engine worldwide. One thing to highlight is that Rakuten.co.jp and amazon.co.jp, both ecommerce platforms, rank the third and fourth among the most frequented websites in Japan, respectively.

Insight: Japanese netizens are keen on visiting ecommerce websites, which create a great business opportunity for marketers to invest in.

Japan top websites by traffic.pngJapan’s top websites by traffic

Results support that Japanese internet users are interested in ecommerce. Around 81.6% of Japanese look for items and services online, and 73.7% of them have indeed made an online purchase. Almost half of them have a shopping app on their mobile devices that fosters purchase anywhere. Here lies great digital marketing opportunities, e.g. search engine marketing, display ads and shopping ads etc. for Japan businesses to boost their online sales further.

Japan ecommerce activity.png Japan’s ecommerce activity

Most Popular Digital Marketing Platforms in Japan

Top 5 Most-Used Social Media Platforms in Japan

The top 5 most-used social media platforms in Japan are YouTube (74.3%), Line (69.6%), Twitter (51.5%), Instagram (38.6%), and Facebook (30.5%).

Insight: Line is a social communication app originated in Japan, and is the most popular messaging app for exchanging texts, images, videos, and audios. It also offers various digital advertising services, including Line Pay, Line Today, Line TV, and Line Manga. As a Line Partner, AsiaPac has extensive experience in Line advertising and can provide premier digital support for businesses looking to grow on the platform.

Japan most-used social media platforms.pngJapan’s most-used social media platforms

Top 5 Mobile Apps in Japan

Japan’s top 5 mobile apps are Line, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo! Japan, and Amazon. It is noteworthy that 3 e-commerce platforms, including Amazon, Rakuten Ichiba, and Mercari, are among the top 10 mobile apps with considerable amount of active users.

Insight: Instant messaging and lifestyle sharing platforms are still favorable among Japan’s mobile users. Meanwhile, Amazon, Rakuten Ichiba, and Mercari might be potential customer touchpoints in Japan. It would be beneficial for businesses to list their products or services on these ecommerce platforms so as to maximize reach to Japan’s wide mobile audience. Equipped with 15+ years of experience in ecommerce digital marketing, AsiaPac managed to keep you ahead of the fierce global online competition.

Japan mobile app rankings.pngJapan’s mobile app rankings

Digital Marketing Opportunities in Japan

1. Video Marketing in Japan

Video marketing is nothing new, but it’s definitely proven to be a powerful and effective digital marketing strategy in Japan, with it being the most favored content form among Japanese and the amount of time Japanese spent on consuming videos. Meanwhile, video-based platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and BuzzVideo have surged in popularity and have become cornerstones of online video consumption in Japan.

By creating short, interesting, and scroll-stopping videos, brands can disseminate product or service information, highlights, and brand message to the public in just a glimpse, gaining huge brand awareness. Effective video marketing present products in a conversational format, which is more likely to engage audience and ignite positive emotions. To bring your videos to new heights, brands are also encouraged to collaborate with influencers to maximize digital marketing performance.

Japan top social media and streaming video apps.pngJapan’s top social media and streaming video apps

2. E-commerce in Japan

In today’s hustling society, people prefer to shop online rather than visiting a brick-and-mortar store outside. In addition to the pandemic, e-store has become essential for brands to come in contact with consumers. Given the fact that three-quarters of Japanese netizens are fond of making online purchases and visiting online retail stores, e-commerce in Japan has enormous potential to continue to expand.

Thanks to the well-developed logistic e-infrastructure and openness to overseas business, E-commerce marketing in Japan does enjoy some advantages. To begin with, businesses in Japan can sell or promote offerings to Japanese consumers via the most popular e-commerce platforms in Japan, such as Amazon, Rakuten Ichiba, and Yahoo Japan. Brands can also develop an easy-to-follow, mobile-friendly website that allows customers to make online purchases while simultaneously view your products and search their desired products at ease. With a simple but unique e-interface, your brand will be able to increase brand exposure and awareness, as well as conversions and online sales.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Japan

Most of the Japanese internet users tend to use search engines as their primary means of discovering and researching on brands. Maintaining your brand’s visibility in front of designated audience is critical. Search engine optimization aids in this endeavor. Your website can be prioritized and ranked higher on search engines, allowing consumers to reach your brand through organic search, not to mention SEO doesn’t cost you any advertising spend.

To achieve this, conduct keyword research. Knowing how your target audience searches for your content, services, or products can help you find the right strategic keywords to optimize in your website's content. By ranking high on the most popular search engines like Yahoo Japan and Google, your site and brand will have a better chance of being exposed to potential audiences in Japan, thereby increasing your brand awareness and online sales.

Japan sources of new brand discovery.pngJapan’s sources of new brand discovery

Japan primary channels for brand research.pngJapan’s primary channels for brand research

Summary of Digital Marketing in Japan

Japan has an enormous footprint in the world of trade and business. Accompanied with its high internet consumption rate and sturdy economic ground, Japan serves as a premium market for marketers to implement digital marketing plans. To transcend among, video marketing, e-commerce, and search engine optimization (SEO) will all demand additional attention. If you’re looking to maximize your digital marketing performance in this lucrative market, click here to contact us now!

About AsiaPac Net Media

With an extensive digital marketing experience of serving more than 2,500 clients across Asia in sectors such as ecommerce, finance, gaming, travel, retail, beauty, FMCG, education, health products etc., AsiaPac’s expert team is highly recognized for the excellence in providing performance-driven services to businesses across Asia, and global corporates targeting Asia markets. If you’d like to learn more about AsiaPac and the work we’ve done, visit our Cases page. For more information on AsiaPac/ AdTech and our services, please contact us at info@asiapac.com.hk/ info@adtechinno.com.