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Ship to Taiwan: A Guide to the Growing E-commerce Market

Renee Chou
Renee Chou
5 min read
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This article covers
Taiwan online shopping trends
Tips to attract local consumers
Customs advice to help your business ship to Taiwan, smoothly

Online shopping in Taiwan is growing. With the right local insights, customs knowledge, and – of course – an international shipping partner, your business can cash in on this emerging opportunity. Read on for a comprehensive guide to help you ship to Taiwan.   

ONLINE SHOPPING IN TAIWAN: CONSUMER TRENDS 

 

graphic of DHL logistics activities

A post-pandemic shift to e-commerce

Revenue in Taiwan’s online shopping market is projected to reach US$8.41bn in 2024 – rising to US$12.24bn by 2029(1).

graphic of shopping activities

High internet adoption

Thanks to the country’s well-developed telecommunications infrastructure, it has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Asia(2). Over 94% of its 23.9 million(3) inhabitants are internet users.

graphic image of map of Taiwan

Cross-border shopping is big business

Though only 40% of Taiwanese online shoppers have made a purchase from abroad, cross-border e-commerce takes 20% of the country’s total e-commerce value – suggesting those that do shop with overseas brands are spending more(4).

 

Where does Taiwan import from the most?

Value of goods imports in Taiwan, by leading exporting country or region5

(In billion US dollars, 2023)

graphic image of graph

EXPORT TO TAIWAN: CONSUMER TRENDS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Where do consumers in Taiwan shop online?

Online marketplaces can be a helpful gateway for cross-border businesses wishing to sell to a new country for the first time.

Most visited Taiwan online shopping sites, 20246

  1. Shopee Taiwan
  2. Momoshop 
  3. Ruten 
  4. Taobao 
  5. Amazon

 

Online shopping in Taiwan: what are consumers buying?

Leading product categories during Taiwan’s top shopping festivals, 20237

 

graphic consumer items

How do Taiwanese consumers like to pay for their online purchases?

After all, e-commerce shoppers are more likely to abandon their carts if they cannot pay using their preferred payment method.

Leading payment methods for online shopping in Taiwan8

(By share of transactions, 2021)

graphic image of statistics

Digital wallets’ share of the Taiwanese online payments market is set to grow to 20% in 2024. Line Pay and Apple Pay are the country’s leading digital wallet brands – retailers should consider offering these options at checkout if they’re to appeal to local shoppers9.

 

What matters to Taiwanese online shoppers?

These insights will help your business stand out!

 

graphic of shopping activities

Product reviews

Taiwanese shoppers like to check out customer reviews before making a purchase – particularly with a brand they haven’t bought from before. Include plenty on your e-commerce website to build trust.

graphic image of internet shopping activities

Social commerce

Taiwan has one of the highest per-capita Facebook penetration rates in the world(10). On Facebook Shopping, brands can utilise live streaming to showcase their products and engage directly with potential customers.

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Fast and reliable shipping

With DHL Express’s On Demand Delivery, you can offer your customers fast, convenient and flexible delivery options – with full tracking, too!

 

Online shopping in Taiwan: leading sales events

Be sure to add these dates to your calendar so your business can cash in!

 

graphic image of shopping holidays

Lunar New Year, January/February

Taiwan’s most important holiday. People have several days off work to spend time with their families, exchange gifts, and join in cultural celebrations.

Qixi Festival (“Chinese Valentine’s Day”), August

The most romantic day of the year and a very lucrative time for chocolate, jewellery and flower businesses.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, November  

Online shopping in Taiwan ramps up during this global sales bonanza. Competition is fierce, so you’ll need to offer some big deals to entice Taiwanese consumers through your online doors.

Singles’ Day, 11 November

Originating in China, this is now the largest shopping sales event in the world (beating even Black Friday!) Prepare to offer significant discounts to help your business stand out.

Double 12, 12 December

Another huge shopping event in Southeast Asia, this date gives bargain hunters not satisfied by the Singles’ Day sales another opportunity to grab some deals!

Christmas Day, 25 December

In recent years, more and more Taiwanese people have begun to celebrate this holiday. Expect to see a surge in e-commerce traffic throughout December. Offering express delivery will help you win some last-minute shoppers, too!

 

SHIP TO TAIWAN: CUSTOMS TIPS 

Exporting to Taiwan: required documentation

graphic image of taxes

When shipping internationally, there are several pieces of documentation commonly required to clear your goods through customs smoothly, and help authorities determine what import taxes and duties are due:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Air Waybill
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Export and Import Licenses
  • Export Packing List
  • Insurance Certificate                               

 

Prohibited and restricted commodities

Several commodities are not permitted for shipment by DHL under any circumstances, following full consideration by the operational, legal and risk management teams. They include animals, hazardous or combustible materials, and illegal narcotics. Further information can be found here.

Taiwan import tax and shipping costs

 

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Unless exempt, all imported commercial goods are subject to customs duties and taxes based on their Harmonised System (HS) Code tariff classification. Generally speaking, it is the Importer of Record (i.e. either your business or your chosen logistics carrier) who will pay the import duties and taxes. 

You can find the correct HS code for your shipment easily via DHL’s MyGTS (My Global Trade Services) – a free, user-friendly platform that will help you navigate all aspects of international shipping. This includes calculation of Landed Cost for goods in any country – i.e. your product cost, duties & taxes, and freight charges – enabling you to enhance your pricing strategy and give your customers transparency over shipping fees.

 

Ship to Taiwan: DHL’s expert tips

 

graphic of DHL logistics activities

  • Letter of Authorisation is a document required by Taiwan customs for those that would like to proceed through customs clearance with customs brokers’ support. With the document applied for and signed before shipping, DHL can directly process all the prescribed customs clearance procedures related to all the import, export, and transit of goods on behalf of your business. If you are likely to have frequent shipments to Taiwan, we recommend you sign up for long-term authorisation.
  • Consider shipping your goods with DHL’s DTP (Duties & Taxes Paid) service. Whilst the payment of Taiwan import tax and duties is typically the responsibility of the receiver – i.e., your customer – DTP will invoice your business to cover the costs instead. This means your customer will not receive additional fees when their package arrives – which may damage their opinion of your brand.

Looking to ship to Taiwan?

You’re in the right place! We know that the above guidelines may seem a little overwhelming, but that’s where partnering with DHL Express will pay off. As international shipping experts, we’ll support you through all customs procedures so that your shipment avoids delays. Sell to the world with DHL!

Start your journey here