The eCommerce market in Taiwan has grown rapidly over the past few years. Taiwan’s eCommerce market (pure online platforms) in 2021 grew at 24.5 percent to reach NT$430.3 billion (about US$14.3 billion), according to Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) data. The impact of the pandemic on the retail industry in 2021 was greater than that in 2020. The drop of customer flow poses a threat to brick-and-mortar stores but
also creates opportunities for eCommerce. The shift of consumption behavior online not only boosted the performance of the whole retail industry but also motivated brick-and-mortar retailers to expand eCommerce channels.
As Taiwan’s eCommerce market continues to develop, an increasing number of younger shoppers choose to shop at online retailers. Digital media and entertainment, apparel and footwear, and consumer electronics remain the top three most purchased products from online retailers. The demand for quick delivery has led to an increase in sales of basic household necessities on online platforms. The evolution of eCommerce consumer expectations has led to new opportunities for eCommerce retailers and service providers.
Internet Penetration Rate
In 2021, the internet penetration rate in Taiwan stood at 92.4 percent of the population. 82.9 percent of Taiwan’s internet users use a mobile phone to connect to the internet, 31.5 percent use a desktop, and 29.5 percent use a laptop. (Source: Taiwan Network Information Center)
Current Market Trends
The Taiwan eCommerce market features a wide variety of products and services, such as the following:
- Beauty and skincare products
- Computers and accessories
- Food delivery
- Household goods
- Digital entertainment and videogames
- Baby-care products
- Shoes, bags, and brand name goods
- Travel packages, hotels, and flights
Domestic eCommerce (B2C)
Taiwan’s e-merchants are generally small-scale operations, 82 percent of which conduct business using preexisting eCommerce shopping platforms rather than maintaining their own websites, which keeps business costs low. These online platforms include Shopee, MoMo, PChome, Yahoo, and ETMall.
Taiwan has a robust business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce environment, with two major web portals run by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). TaiwanTrade is an eCommerce portal that allows businesses to find suppliers, manufacturers and distributors. iDealEZ Online Marketplace is a platform that allows businesses to buy small quantities to sample items directly from suppliers. B2B eCommerce is the most developed in the information technology, chemical, and textile industries.
Online shoppers in Taiwan have several payment options for their eCommerce purchases:
- Mobile payment
- Credit card
- Electronic stored value cards
In 2021, the Marketing Intelligence and Consulting Institute (MIC) reported that given options, over 49.9 percent of Taiwanese consumers prefer mobile payment, followed by credit cards (26.0 percent) and cash (16.4 percent).
Electronic payment is gaining popularity as more Taiwanese consumers use cellphones. According to a 2022 survey, the top three electronic payment institutions based on transaction amount, are Jko Pay (38.4 percent), iPass Mondy (26.8 percent), and E Sun Bank (17.4 percent). This was followed by Gamapay (5.3 percent), iCash (4.0 percent), and EasyWallet (3.3 percent). (Source: Mirai Business Research Institute)
Major Buying Holidays
November 11th (11/11), known as “Singles’ Day,” is an unofficial consumer holiday observed by young people in Taiwan. On this day, young people who are not in a relationship celebrate their single status by indulging in both online and offline shopping for themselves or purchasing gifts to initiate a new relationship.
Some Taiwan consumers are also beginning to celebrate other international consumer holidays. These include Christmas, Black Friday, and Mother’s Day, among others. Suppliers offer special discounts, which leads to higher sales.
Digital and social media are also effective marketing platforms in Taiwan. In 2021, Line (95.7 percent) was the lead social media platform in Taiwan, followed by Facebook (90.8 percent), Instagram (70.6 percent) and Facebook Messenger (68.5 percent). (Source: Digital 2022: TAIWAN) **
**YouTube was the most-used social media platform (89.6 percent) in 2020 but was excluded in the 2021 research.
- TaiwanTrade iDealEZ
Business-to-Consumer and B2B-to-Consumer (B2B2C)
- Shopee Taiwan
- Yahoo! Taiwan
- ET Mall
- ibon Mart
- Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan
- Taobao.com/Tmall.com - China
- Rakuten - Japan
- Amazon - U.S.
- Amazon - Japan
- iHerb - U.S.