The e-commerce market in Taiwan has grown at a rapid pace over the past few years, with a market size of US$37.6 billion in 2016, and a 5-year average growth rate of 10-20%. It is predicted that Taiwan’s online retail platforms will eventually overtake sales in physical retail stores, accounting for more than half of the multi-billion dollar retail sector. Taiwan’s e-commerce penetration rate is one of the highest in the world, which naturally entails a large market of sophisticated consumers who are familiar with global trends.
Top Online Shopping Categories
In 2014, Nielsen reported that Taiwanese shoppers favour a wide variety of product categories when shopping online. Clothes and accessories are the most popular product category (45%), with tours and hotel reservations (42%) and airline reservations (38%) following close behind
- Clothes / Accessories / Shoes: 45%
- Tours / Hotel Reservations 42%
- Airline Reservations 38%
- Event Tickets (Movies, Shows, etc.) 36%
- FMCG: 32%
Apparel and Accessories
Travel Packages, Hotels, and Flights
Shoes, Bags and Collectibles
Computers and Accessories
Beauty and Skin Care
Mother and Baby
Online credit card use
Payment at convenience stores
Payment on delivery
Online banking payments
Placing credit card orders by fax
Bank transfer / Wire transfer
- 75.7% of consumers used credit card as their preferred method of online payment.
- This was followed by convenience store pickup at 66.4%, a more than 20% increase since 2014.
- Another popular option is ATM bank transfers.
Most ecommerce sites support credit cards, credit card installment payments, cash on delivery, bank transfer, and ibon, a payment service in local 7-Eleven stores. (Customers obtain a transaction number after completing an online order. They use that number to print a payment slip via an ibon kiosk, and then pay at the counter at 7-Eleven stores.) Convenience store payments are popular in Taiwan. There are more than 5,000 7-Eleven stores in Taiwan and more than 10,000 convenience stores overall.
Digital Marketing – Social Media
Based on social media use in countries with national populations of 50,000 or more people, Taiwan in 2016 had the highest social media penetration globally at 77%. Taiwan also leads in Facebook and Twitter penetration with a rate of 67%.
Social media has become extremely important to marketing products sold online in Taiwan. Facebook is the preferred method of digital marketing, with 63.4% of online vendors choosing to use it as a major marketing tool.
Loyalty Points Reward Customers
Ecommerce sites in Taiwan often use loyalty points to reward shoppers, who can redeem the points for gifts or for payment of any product.
For example, customers on Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan that pay with the Rakuten credit card get two percent back in Rakuten loyalty points, which can then be redeemed for any purchase.
Cross Border Ecommerce Popular
Taiwan’s geographical proximity to China and Japan has led to increased cross border ecommerce, where Taiwanese shoppers buy from Chinese and Japanese sites, and vice versa. Taiwanese products are considered high quality in Japan and China.
As an example, Yahoo Hong Kong recently announced the launch of its Yahoo Hong Kong-Taiwan cross-border ecommerce platform.
Top online ecommerce shopping sites
These top players warm up the market with lots of good products, promotion, loyalty reward and creative marketing
- Yahoo Shopping Taiwan!