This week marks the final blog post in our APAC series. Whilst last week we looked at the digital landscape of Southeast Asia, this week we’ll be heading back up North and looking at the Japanese market. We’ll be exploring the importance of creating a strong digital presence for any brand looking to expand into this region.

So, let’s dive in! Why Japan?

APAC consists of multiple regions but here’s why Japan should be on any brands expansion hit list and why a tailored digital strategy is important.

Japan is the 4th largest market in the world in terms of retail media and has a population that is heavily mobile-centric. Out of the total population of 127 million, the internet penetration rate is around 85% and the mobile internet penetration is 75%. As well as a high mobile penetration rate, Japan’s eCommerce market is larger than the UK’s. Whilst the UK’s market stands at $103 million, Japan’s market reaches $105 million in comparison demonstrating the potential this market holds for brands looking to expand across APAC.

The best approach.

The common theme that is key to succeeding with your digital marketing strategy in any location of the APAC region is understanding your target audience. The differences in culture across APAC can present challenges and highlight the importance of a tailored digital strategy that can meet the expectations of each location. If you’re a marketer looking to gain exposure and traction in these locations, you need to understand the culture thoroughly to stand any chance of success.

Given its high mobile penetration rate, similarities can be seen between the Japanese market and the other APAC regions in that it’s important to factor in the role of mobile in your digital strategy. However, Japan does differ in its population structure. Japan’s population is primarily an aging one. Therefore, their digital population comprises of more mature users, but those who have higher spending power. An interesting factor for brands to consider.

Let’s talk social platforms… With a declining population growth rate, SNS platforms don’t see the same rapid amount of growth that they once did and still do in other countries. They now only expand to the older user. Therefore, Japan’s approach to social media is different and as a result a brand’s social media marketing strategy would need to adapt for these differences.

The Japanese market’s conditions create a sweet spot for brands looking to expand into APAC. In summary, it’s the combination of a high mobile penetration rate and a large eCommerce market that offers a great opportunity for brands to reap the rewards, as long as they have a strong digital strategy in place.


4Ps isn’t just another performance marketing agency. To discuss how your business could benefit from our knowledge of digital marketing across the APAC region, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 or email us at [email protected] for a no-obligation coffee and chat.