Taiwan is among the world leaders in terms of ecommerce penetration. Roughly 62 percent of residents in Taiwan shop online. Ecommerce now holds an 11-percent share in the Taiwan’s total retail sales. Ecommerce web design in Taiwan is similar to Japan, with highly dense pages that contain a lot of content.

The three largest ecommerce sites in Taiwan sell broad-based consumer goods. The sites are PCHome, Momoshop, and Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan. PChome and Momoshop are local sites that sell directly to consumers — they are not marketplaces — without the backing of large international players. Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan, a marketplace, is owned by Rakuten, Inc., the Japan-based Internet conglomerate.

Ecommerce sites in Taiwan utilize popular social networks to drive traffic. Product pages are typically linked to social networks to enable sharing. Taiwanese shoppers heavily use Facebook, Twitter, and Plurk, a Taiwanese network.

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

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. Via the platform, the first group of more than 100 Taiwan-based brands accredited by the Made in Taiwan designation (as recognized by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs), in categories ranging from food to fashion and to beauty and cosmetics, will enter Hong Kong market. This is the first step for Yahoo Hong Kong to create the cross-border ecommerce network. As its next step, the company will bring Hong Kong’s most popular products to Taiwan.

Mobile Commerce (mCommerce)

Taiwan’s robust online infrastructure has catapulted the country to rank among the top of Asia Pacific’s mobile commerce users. More than 70 percent of the Taiwan’s online shoppers reportedly use their mobile phones to buy products and services. Taiwan’s consumers also heavily use showrooming — the process of comparing prices on a smartphone while in a brick-and-mortar store — as the overall Taiwan retail environment is very price competitive.

Payment options

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.