Consumer Affairs Agency, Government Of Japan
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White Paper on Consumer Affairs 2013 [Summary]

Part 1 Today’s consumer issues and consumers’ behavior/attitude

Chapter 1 Consumer-related socioeconomic situation and consumers’ behavior/attitude

Section 2 Consumers’ behavior and attitude

Primary focus in choosing products/services is price and function

About 90% of consumers said they were “often aware” 1) of “price” and “function” when choosing products/services. About 80% indicated the same level of awareness as to “safety” as well.

In contrast, those “often aware” of “corporate policy/philosophy or social contribution activities” accounted for only about 20%, with a greater proportion of the respondents “less aware” 2) of this aspect.

Figure 1-2-1 About 90% of consumers focus on price and function when choosing products/services

About 70% of consumers are likely to look at and check the product before buying

In describing their consumption behavior, more than 70% of consumers said they “check the actual product before buying.” About 60% of them also said they “choose better quality goods even if prices are somewhat higher” and “carefully examine function, quality, price, etc. before purchase.” These figures show that a large part of consumers are careful when making purchases.

Figure 1-2-3 About 70% of consumers check the actual product before buying

Figure 1-2-4 More than twice as many consumers in their twenties love new things than those in their seventies

Many consumers closely examine labels and directions when choosing products

More than 60% of consumers answered they “closely examine labels and directions to fully understand the nature of goods/services before making a choice,” whereas consumers making themselves “ready to respond to potential problem” were limited, accounting for slightly less than 30%.

Figure 1-2-5 More than 60% of consumers try to closely examine and understand product labels and directions

Figure 1-2-6 Consumers become more inclined to buy eco-friendly goods as they grow older

Online stores second only to offline stores as a place to shop

In the past year, 45.4% of consumers have shopped online, and 37.2% purchased via catalogs. More women said they purchased via catalogs than men. The percentage of those who said they had shopped online was smaller among the elderly than in other generations.

Figure 1-2-7 Nearly half the consumers have shopped online in the past year

Figure 1-2-8 The elderly shop online less often than other generations


Sum of the answers “Constantly aware” and “Often aware.”


Sum of the answers “Occasionally aware” and “Rarely or never aware.”

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