Today's information and communication society
Part 1 : Today's consumer issues and consumers' behavior/attitude
Chapter 2 : [Feature2] Consumer issues and development of ICT: How consumers cope with the Internet society
Section 1 : Today's information and communication society
E-commerce and the information and communications industry play increasingly important roles in the economy
- The e-commerce market grew more than 2.5-fold from about 3円.5 trillion in 2005 to about 9円.5 trillion in 2012. The information and communications industry accounts for an increasing part of Japan's gross domestic product (GDP).
A shift to smartphones is driving the growth of the smartphone and mobile commerce market
- As more consumers have replaced their traditional mobile phones with smartphones in recent years, the mobile content market for smartphones and other mobile terminals is rapidly growing. The market expanded about 4.6- fold in a year, from 80円.6 billion in 2011 to 371円.7 billion in 2012.
A wider variety of payment methods are used, including online payment by credit card
- As to the payment method used for Internet shopping, more than half of consumers said they have used credit card payments in the past year, and the percentage of such consumers increased from the level at the end of 2011.
- Payment methods are diversifying with a wide variety of options available, including cash on delivery, as well as payment at convenience stores, at teller windows/ATMs at banks or post offices, and through online banking.
Consumer problems are increasing along with the spread of communications services
- Driven by the recent advancement of information and communications technology, communications services are more widely used and increasing in sophistication and complexity. This has resulted in the continued increase in consultations on these services. The number of consumer affairs consultations on telecommunication services received by local consumer affairs centers across Japan increased about 1.7-fold, from about 24,000 in FY 2009 to about 40,000 in FY 2013.
- A marked increase has been seen in the number of consultations on "Internet connection lines," especially for the elderly. Another common source of problems is optional services offered when consumers sign up for smartphones.