Discovering the Insights and Key Findings ofJapan’s Top 10 Shopping Apps


The advent of shopping apps has transformed the landscape of online shopping, delivering enhanced convenience and efficiency to consumers. This article presents a comprehensive analysis of Japan’s top 10 shopping apps, available in the App Store and Play Store, revealing valuable insights obtained from the examination of metadata keywords, design patterns, notable features, and user reviews. 

To conduct this analysis, a meticulous evaluation was conducted to identify the leading 10 apps within the Shopping category of Japan’s App Store and Play Store as of June 2023. It is worth noting that the rankings and overall popularity of these shopping apps may evolve over time

These apps were selected based on their popularity, ratings, and relevance.

Source: Statista Report on Japan App Market & Japan Leading Shopping Apps

According to Statista on Japan’s App Market, the estimated annual growth rate of the mobile market in Japan is 5.79%. Mercari was downloaded 7.6 million times in Japan in 2021, making it the leading shopping app in terms of downloads during that year.


App Store

Shein, a young fashion brand, has secured top positions in the shopping category of the App Store. Known for its affordable and trendy clothing, Shein has attracted a large number of users with its budget-friendly fashion options since its new presence in 2008. The app is available in 150 countries, reaching 6.8 million downloads in the U.S as of 2022, according to SensorTower.

The remaining positions in the top 10 shopping apps are filled by reputable and well-known brands in the industry. This includes international giants like Amazon and Nike, as well as popular Japanese-developed apps such as Mercari, a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to buy and sell secondhand items. The list also features popular brands like Uniqlo and GU, known for their high-quality clothing and fashion offerings.


Play Store

In the top 10 shopping apps on the Google Play Store, the majority of popular apps have maintained their positions, indicating their continued prominence. Alongside these established apps, there are notable additions such as Rakuten Fashion, Paypay Free Market, and Nanaco Gift, which are the shopping-focused branch apps of the well-known retailer and service provider. 

This consistent pattern observed in both app stores highlights the significant dominance of popular shopping apps within the Japanese market, reflecting the preferences of Japanese consumers for trusted and reputable platforms.


The paid section of both the App Store and Play Store showcases a limited number of apps. Among them, a few are dedicated to supporting shopping activities, while the remaining apps cater to specific industries. For instance, there are apps developed by automotive companies like Toyota and Subaru, which target the automotive market rather than general customers.

Indeed, it is evident that shopping app developers often opt to offer their apps for free. This strategy allows companies to broaden their reach and appeal to a larger user base. Given the fierce competition in the mobile app market, especially within the shopping sector, offering free apps enables companies to gain a competitive advantage and entice users to choose their platform

Also, the majority of shopping apps represent the digital presence of existing brands, which already have a dedicated audience with brand loyalty. By offering free-to-install apps coupled with loyalty programs and member-exclusive benefits, brands can leverage their existing customer base and create a seamless experience across their online and mobile platforms, ultimately fostering stronger relationships with their customers and encouraging repeat business.

Category and Promoted Functions

The top 10 shopping apps in Japan’s App Store and Play Store consist mainly of general shopping apps and retailer-specific apps like Amazon, Shein, and Rakuten Marketplace. Additionally, auction and secondhand apps such as Mercari are popular among users looking for used items. Loyalty and rewards apps like d Point and Nanaco Gift also have a significant presence, offering incentives and exclusive benefits to engaged users.

Metadata Analysis

One crucial aspect of app visibility and discoverability is the effective use of keywords in the app’s metadata. Through our analysis, we identified common keywords that frequently appeared in the metadata of popular Japanese shopping apps.

In the case of retailer-specific shopping apps, which account for the majority of the ranking, some vital keywords can be found within the descriptions. Take Shein, the top-ranked retailer app in both platforms, into consideration, the significant keywords below are found:

In the same free-to-install section, a Japan-developed app, Mercari, which was the most downloaded app among shopping category in 2021, is reported with these below keywords:

With the above-mentioned examples, it can be seen that tailoring the meta keywords matters, with the significance of providing a clear, attractive description in local language.

Design Pattern Analysis

Visual design plays a significant role in user experience. When it comes to designing shopping apps in Japan, there are several popular design patterns that reflect the essence of learning and appeal to users. These patterns include:

App Icon

  • Clarity and Professionalism: Simple subject with solid background is a popular design as it focuses on clarity and simplicity, making it easy for users to identify the app at a glance. 
  • Brand Logo and Color: Mobile shopping apps prioritize the use of unique brand colors to create visual impact and immediate recognition. The brand’s logo and visual elements are often simplified or adapted to fit the app icon format, while still maintaining the distinctive color and style associated with the brand.

User Reviews Analysis

User reviews provide valuable insights into the app’s effectiveness and user satisfaction. Through the analysis of user reviews for the top shopping apps, we identified common reactions, concerns, and suggestions expressed by users.

Amazon, the third-popular app in both platforms, receives an overall rating of 4.61/5 with over 650k ratings. The significant keywords in user reviews are as below:

Other common keywords can be found cross-app in the shopping apps are:


From the comprehensive analysis, app creators can regularly monitor and analyze user feedback to understand user satisfaction, identify areas for improvement, and address any concerns or suggestions raised by users. 


Insight Summary

Based on the above elements, marketers can incorporate these below insights into app development and marketing strategies to better position the app to meet the needs and expectations of the Japanese audience.

  • Aside from general shopping platforms, most popular shopping apps are the digital presence of existing brands. This serves as an online store, as well as point accumulation functionality, which emphasizes the preferences of Japanese consumers for convenience and loyalty rewards.
  • For online shopping, Japanese consumers value security and a seamless checkout process. Aside from credit cards, many shopping apps now include other cashless payments, namely LINE Pay, ID, and Paypay, all are Japan-based digital payments with a large number of users.
  • Japanese users prefer a simple, minimal icon and a information-fulfilled in-app visualization to provide them enough essential information
  • Meta keywords should include: keywords in your native language, English, kanji, katakana, and hiragana. The translation of these keywords should be done meticulously.

As a collectivist culture, Japan values recommendations and reviews. Optimizing in-app product or service reviews will improve the user’s experience in online shopping apps.


With the increasing demand for shopping apps, it is clear that they have become indispensable tools for Japanese users, offering convenience and personalized experiences in the digital realm. The in-depth analysis of the top shopping apps in Japan has provided valuable insights into market trends and user preferences.

By carefully examining keywords, design elements, features, and user feedback, app creators and developers can gain a deeper understanding of what resonates with Japanese shoppers. Armed with this knowledge, they can tailor their offerings to deliver more effective and user-centric shopping apps that prioritize convenience, personalization, and an enjoyable shopping journey. Ultimately, this leads to an enhanced app experience for users across different backgrounds and preferences in Japan.

Share Post:

Stay Connected

More Updates


Keyword Optimization
Creative Optimization
Review Optimization