April 9, 2019
Japan Fair Trade Commission
I Purpose of the Survey
In recent years, the size of the B2C e-commerce market in Japan has seen rapid expansion, and the market environment has undergone a major transformation such as with the emergence of new online shopping mall operators. The development of such e-commerce ramps up competition in the retail market which is thought to benefit consumer interests. On the other hand, there are concerns that acts that restrict competition will be easily conducted as it is easy for companies to grasp the actions of their competitors and transacting parties.
Based on those awareness of the issues, a survey was conducted on trade practices regarding B2C e-commerce in general, such as trade terms between manufacturers and distributors, the sales methods of manufacturers and distributors’ websites, and the state of transactions at online shopping malls. The survey was conducted broadly from two viewpoints: the pro-competitive effects and the anti-competitive effects based on the acts of manufacturers, retailers and online shopping mall operators, while comparing the trade practices of brick and mortar stores. A survey was also conducted on the consumption habits of consumers pertaining to e-commerce.
II Subjects of the Survey, etc.
1 Subjects of the survey
Transactions regarding products that consumers purchase from enterprises through the Internet
2 Survey method
The survey was conducted in the following manner from January to November 2018.
(1) Questionnaire for enterprises (January to February 2018)
A questionnaire was sent to 4,339 enterprises and 1,208 responses were obtained (848 retailers, 360 manufacturers - response rate: 27.8%).
(2) Interview survey (as needed)
The survey was conducted for a total of 117 enterprises (retailers, manufacturers, online shopping mall operators, price survey companies, automatic pricing tool providers, and price comparison website operators)
(3) Questionnaire for consumers (September 2018)
The survey was conducted for 2,000 general consumers who purchased products at least once a month through online shopping malls (contract survey).
＊Every announcement is tentative translation.
Please refer to the original text written in Japanese for more details.