Japan Luxury

Understanding New Trends and Opportunities in Japan’s Luxury Industry

Japan is the second-largest luxury market in the world – behind the United States and ahead of mainland China – with 3.6 trillion yen (about US$33 billion) spent each year in luxury goods.

  • Luxury labels, built on exclusivity, used to mean that having an online presence was not necessary; not the case anymore
  • digital channels must used by companies to get leverage in the market (search engines, social media, email, websites and mobile apps etc.)

Japan’s luxury industry:

  • GFC then disasters in Tōhoku and Fukushima, luxury spending in Japan shrank by over 1 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) by 2012
  • report by McKinsey & Company: Japanese luxury market… to maintain positive growth
  • 82% of luxury executives surveyed responded that their sales outlook for 2017 is significantly better than 2016.
  • by 2020, it is anticipated that the market will grow by a moderate rate of 3% to 4% per year
  • Japanese department stores are still the main venue of purchase for Japanese luxury consumers
  • 70% of people polled buy in Department store representing 50% overall revenue
  • Younger generation is buying brands like Céline, Balenciaga, and Gucci
  • Older generation are purchasing from brands like Hermès and Chanel, which are perceived as “very reliable” and “have a heritage.”

Digital marketing in the luxury industry:

  • a renewed interest in Japan in the past year or so due to recent market growth
  • Japan accounts for 11% of global luxury spending
  • Luxe Digital recently published a report suggesting that digital influences at least 80% of all luxury sales

Digital marketing techniques that are currently trending in the luxury industry:

  • Content is King
    • Storytelling, being able to tell the story behind the brand, explaining the values that define it: Luxury goods as much about image, style, and intangibles than about the actual quality of the product
    • Create contents that are aspirational and appeal to the customer’s desire to display their status
    • A luxury brand gives their customers an opportunity to showcase a lifestyle and a value system
  • Successful digital marketing campaigns
    • Burberry: social media campaigns and creative videos that combine history, fashion, and the appeal of a glamorous lifestyle. YouTube – 99 million viewers, 317,000 subscribers. Recent ad received 12 million views within a month (holiday campaign tribute for the movie Billy Elliot – Celebrating 15 years of Billy Elliot).
  • Social Media Marketing
    • Visual social networks like Pinterest provide a huge opportunity for luxury brands
    • Photographs are one of the best media for marketing luxury products
    • Chanel: one of the most ‘pinned’ brands on Pinterest – over 1,244 pins of Chanel products pinned per day
  • Boost SEO
    • A well-executed SEO strategy is one of the most lucrative digital marketing investments that a luxury company can do.
    • Google is one of the most significant channels for luxury
    • A large proportion of luxury brands have begun investing in SEO strategies
    • Tiffany: bought into SEO, have firm, successful strategies which have led to them dominating the search results

Importing Luxury Goods In Japan? We got you!

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

How to Start Selling Your Consumer Product in Japan through ECommerce

Are you planning on selling your consumer product online in Japan? Do you know exactly what is necessary for a successful B2C e-commerce strategy in the Japanese market? Although there are some hurdles that overseas retailers need to overcome in order to trade in Japan, the obstacles are greatly diminished when selling online or on Japanese eCommerce marketplaces. Here we will introduce the easiest and fastest ways for you to start selling in Japan.

Top 3 easiest ways to sell your product in Japan

D2C via your eCommerce website:

This is probably the easiest way to start selling in Japan without having to set anything up in Japan physically. If you are already selling online via your website, you can easily create a localized version in Japanese. We do, however, recommend that you properly localize your entire website into native Japanese as English literacy is below 10% in Japan. Without a Japanese website, it will be difficult to win the trust of Japanese online shoppers and, as a result, your conversions will be low. In addition, as a newcomer to the Japanese marketplace, you will need to run brand awareness campaigns and promotions across all digital channels, utilizing search engine marketing and social media. Selling direct to customers on your own website will require some investment into online advertising, but you won’t have to open an office in Japan or hire anyone locally. 

B2C via eCommerce marketplaces:

If you’re an unknown brand in Japan, then utilizing one of Japan’s popular marketplaces would be a great way to get your foot in the door. The top marketplaces (or “EC Malls”) include Amazon Japan, Rakuten and Yahoo! Shopping, and what is great about these platforms is that millions of Japanese online shoppers are already using them. Japan’s most popular marketplace, Rakuten offers support to overseas sellers in English.  You can also leverage your visibility with marketplace PPC advertising. Furthermore, should you choose to sell on Amazon Japan, they offer Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) in Japan, which means logistics is taken care of by Amazon. Moreover, if you use their Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) service, they can fulfil orders that come from other channels – like Rakuten. 

Distributor partnerships and third-party agencies:

Traditionally, it has only been possible to successfully enter the Japanese market via multiple layers of intermediaries. Although the landscape has changed dramatically with eCommerce as mentioned above, distributor channels can prove successful depending on your desired distribution channels. Local distributors and agencies will have the market expertise and existing relationships you need to start selling in Japan. Organizations such as the Department for International Trade and Export to Japan can help you with such partnerships. As for selling on Japan-exclusive marketplaces such as PayPal Mall, we at DFMA have a new solution for overseas sellers interested in selling on the platform.

Enter Japanese Market with No Worries!

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Work from Home in Japan?

COVID-19 has led to a major shift in working patterns. Many people have no option but to work from home now. Read on to learn some tips on settling into our new home office.

Relearn how you work:

Some people are used to patterns at a work office. When faced with the freedom of setting your own schedule, we end up being unable to work efficiently. To get back in the groove, be aware of your own rhythms. Do you usually work mornings or nights? Do you need one long break or many short breaks? Do you work best focusing on one task or multitasking?

Next, pick a scheduling technique that works best for you. It can be systemic time management such as the pomodoro technique or free-form management. Remember to be consistent with the schedule so it becomes a habit. Take real breaks that might include taking a walk or eating and hydrating your body.

Define your home office:

Just like scheduling, everyone has their own optimum work environment. Some people focus best with zero distractions, so a work computer should be in a clean, bright environment with no sounds, social media or games on your computer.

Other people need a little variety in their environment, so some desk decorations, interesting pictures, or a good view from the window might be just what you need. Just be aware of your needs, and adjust as much as you can to fit them.

Your work environment should be designated for work only. Don’t work from bed, or from your usual relaxation space. Also, don’t relax or sleep in your workspace. As more people are working from home, people find that show blurring those lines leads not only to a reduction in work efficiency, they also make it more difficult to relax and rest in those spaces when not working.

This can be difficult for those with limited space, I know. Even something simple, like hanging a bedsheet around your computer during working time can help your brain create a work/no work area.

Advice for Dealing with Family:

Working around family can be a challenge. It screams distractions coming from every direction. Not only can families distract from work, but family members can also sometimes confuse physical presence for mental presence. They might think that presence in the house means being off work. Small children in particular can be unable to understand this, so you might need to find a way to work around your children’s schedule. Sadly, no one outside your family can offer advice on the best way to do that. You’ll need to communicate with your family, but one thing is fixed: some boundaries need to be set.

The combination of communication and patience can lead to finding a pattern that works for all family members.

What is Trade Compliance and Why Does it Matter?

In today’s global marketplace, companies do business both within and outside Japan. Your supply chain depends on following various trade agreements, international trade regulations, and tariff classification.

Yet, even with these specialties, many companies unintentionally receive import and export violations, and these violations lead to hefty penalties and fines for failure with trade compliance functions.

International business is more complex than ever before, and this is why you need a clear understanding of the rules of export control, customs authorities, and export laws. As a result, exporting and importing have become an essential part of day-to-day operations. Since your business relies on global trade, your company needs to ensure that your operations have solid global trade compliance.

To remain competitive, companies must have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations which govern their imports and exports. Very simply, that’s what trade compliance is all about!

What is trade compliance?

Trade compliance means to comply with international export, trade, and financial laws.

Who is required to comply?

Businesses from across all industries are obligated to adhere to compliance requirements. It is not just a regulation for security-sensitive industries such as telecommunications, IT, research, aerospace, or financial institutions. The penalties for non-compliance can be severe.

Why does trade compliance matter?

Trade compliance is vital for importing and exporting and is a responsibility for all businesses. The larger the business, the greater the compliance expectations. In order to be compliant, you must understand what rules and regulations applicable to your business. To be compliant means to meet the demands of customers and suppliers while supporting sustainability, long-term growth, and competitive advantages. These are key elements to a successful global supply chain.

Benefits of being trade compliant:

  • Corporate reputations and employees are protected by facilitating legal and responsible trading.
  • Exposure to fines and penalties are minimized.
  • Promotes customer satisfactions by avoiding shipment delays.
  • Saves money by avoiding delays, investigation and penalties.


Consequences of non-compliance:

  • Shipment delays
  • Financial penalties
  • Criminal sanctions

Key elements of trade compliance:

  • Tariff classification – The correct classification of goods using commodity and tariff codes is fundamental for customs compliance as well as establishing correct duty rates, the origin of goods, Intrastat, export control, and many other customs procedures.
  • Preferential origin is associated with a specific trade agreement between two countries or blocks of countries. If the goods you’re exporting have a preferential origin, they are likely to attract reduced or nil rates of duty when they enter your customer’s country.
  • Non-preferential origin is where it dictates the origin of the product being shipped. The rules associated with the identification of origin are specific to the rules of the importing country.
  • IncotermsIncoterms have globally recognized trade terms used to clearly define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller along the shipment lifecycle, they are integral to a contract so that both parties are clear on delivery, costs, risk, and responsibility.
  • Licenses & Permits – It is your responsibility to check if you require a permit or license when importing or exporting certain products. There are controls, for example, on military/paramilitary goods, technology, medicines, chemicals, artworks, plants, and animals.

Your goods will be confiscated and will be delayed if you are importing and exporting without the right license.

  • Exports controls – Certain products are subject to export control legislation as they could have harmful uses. it is your responsibility to classify all products against the appropriate legislation. This will ensure the correct license requirements can be established.
  • Customs Management – Have a clear plan of action if your business is subject to a customs investigation.
  • Screening – Screening customers, vendors, and transaction data against sanctioned, politically exposed persons and other risky entities will help ensure you are not inadvertently doing business with an undesirable person.
  • Valuation – Every shipment must have an appropriate valuation associated with it, which should be defendable if challenged. The valuation must comply with one of the six valuation methodologies approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and be declared on the Single Administrative Document (SAD or form C88).

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Doing Business In Japan: Important Etiquette Rules You Need To Know

Every country has a unique culture and is used to do doing things a certain way. Doing business in Japan is a bit different compared to other countries. Japanese are more formal, calm, and reserved. Take a look at Japan’s values and what it means in the business industry.

  1. Silence is Golden

In a business setting, silence is more professional than an overabundance of talking. Silence demonstrates emotional self-control and wisdom. In western culture, we are more outgoing and loud when it comes to communicating. When developing a business relationship in Japan, have a formal and introverted approach in the beginning.

  • Group Solidarity is Paramount

Japan is a group-oriented culture contrast to the west where we believe individualism is valued over group solidarity. In japan, singling out an individual is embarrassing for them. The concept of a team is important for the Japanese. When giving out recognition, make sure to address the entire group.

  • Business Cards are Talismans

A business card is an extension of their identity in Japan. Accept the business card with both hands. If you are standing, read it briefly and place it in a card holder. If you are seated, place it on the table during the meeting. It is considered disrespectful if you place the card in your pocket or wallet. If you are presenting your business card, turn the Japanese side faced up and hand it to them with both hands. Don’t toss or slide the card across a table.

  • Age Equals Seniority

Japanese respect elders. Treat older executives with a more marked deference than the younger ones in the group setting you are interacting with. Greet the senior person before you greet the others as well as offering your business card to seniors first before the others.

  • Hard Sell Doesn’t Sell

Japanese do not like to be pressured or confronted. When pitching your business proposal, approach the presentation in a gentle and persuasive way. Don’t emphasize so much on decisions and deadlines. Focus on points you mutually agree on and build on that. Take you time during the pitch. Japanese see rushing the process as disrespectful. Use the time that you find wasted during the meeting, to build trust and cement the business relationship.

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan Market Entry: Why is it difficult

Considering Japan as the 3rd largest economy in the world, it should come as no surprise that more and more companies are expanding into Japan in order to tap into this lucrative consumer market.

Japan is a leading center for innovation, boasting a highly attractive business and living environment within one of the world’s largest economies. A survey by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) found that Japan has a stellar reputation among Western and Asian companies, which are attracted by its R&D capabilities, personnel, and well-developed laws, such as intellectual property rights.

Many companies are also pulled to Japan’s shores because of its developed consumer base. The huge market is a trendsetter among regional economies and is utilized by many businesses as a test location.

Some 49% of businesses say Japan is an attractive as a test market, and 40.5% say it offers a good environment for business expansion.

 But, Japan continues to be one of the most difficult and challenging countries for market entry. The number of regulatory hurdles and cultural factors can make Japan a difficult country to penetrate. Having local help can be a big asset when expanding into the country.

Here are some of the challenges that you will have to face in order to succeed.

Starting a business
The process can be draining when starting a business in Japan. It is important to navigate the regulations and bureaucracy.

Language
The most obvious obstacle to doing business in Japan and/or with Japanese companies and consumers is language. If you plan to actually have discussions with potential business partners or customers, you’ll require a trained, experienced Japanese interpreter. This person needs to have an intimate knowledge of Japanese culture and traditions.

Culture
Relationships drive business in Japan, and it is important to show the right level of respect and to be polite and diplomatic at all times. Patience is essential when handling business relations, and observing local etiquette in terms of gift buying is important.

Gaining trust and respect
Japanese consumers and businesspeople expect integrity and high quality products and services. Gaining trust and respect can take some time, whether you’re forming a business relationship or selling a product to Japanese consumers

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

How to sell ONLINE in Japan?

Japan is the world’s third-largest eCommerce market!

It is an attractive prospect for online retailers. Selling your product or service online in Japan can be very easy if you have the right information and strategy to enter the market.

Conversely, it can be highly competitive and difficult if you fail to carry out thoroughly enough research beforehand. Find out what Japanese shoppers expect from their online shopping experience.

  1. Going mobile is very popular. 60% of all online purchases are made from a mobile device. Large eCommerce sites such as Amazon and Rakuten are perfect for having a mobile shopping experience.
  2. Fast and excellent service. Ensure that Japanese customers are getting the ultimate 5-star online shopping experience. Amazon, for example, offers same-day delivery to 80% of Japanese users and next-day delivery to 91.5%.
  3. Build a trusting relationship with your customers. Japanese shoppers are attentive buyers. They will look for assurance on a product through reviews and ratings.
  4. Feedback. 32% of Japanese shoppers say they have bought from a foreign website. To build trust with Japanese shoppers you will need to communicate and provide quality customer service.
  5. Keep loyal customers. Rewards systems help sustain customers. Japan’s largest eCommerce platform, Rakuten, has a robust points system that links to using credit cards, incentivizing their already loyal customer base to use the platform.

Apply these 5 steps to successfully sell your products in Japan. Be authentic to create a trusted brand and provide excellent customer service. Leveraging established eCommerce platforms, such as Rakuten and Amazon will only maximize your engagement and selling potential.

Japan is a challenging market to break into. There are many obstacles one has to overcome in order to reap the rewards of being a successful industry player. It is important to have the right partner in order to successfully sell online in Japan. COVUE is the perfect partner for you. We’re here to help your brand grow and to make it easy for 127 million extra people to discover your products.

Successful Business Practices Get Right in Japan

Any business that is thinking of entering the Japanese market must do their research of current companies that are already established there. Branding is an essential part of any business. The best thing to do is to apply these educational brand strategies to your business.

Japan is one of the most globally appealing markets for foreign businesses that are looking to expand their markets. With the title of the world’s third-largest market in terms of GDP, as well as 120 million people, populating the land of Japan giving good evidence and reason for brand expansion.

Branding however isn’t always easy once compared to the success of the based brands in their respected home markets. Commonly statistics have shown non-Japanese brands struggling to find the right approach to reach Japanese customers or fail to resonate with a Japanese audience. 

However, each strategy employed by different brands can differ to personalize to that business based on factors, such as business size, industry, as well as market research of similar foreign businesses established in Japan and what strategies they employ can help towards the success of establishing in the Japanese market.

UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION

Firstly, having a unique value proposition is the most important thing that successful brands employ in Japan. Japan is a mature, fully industrialized country with a sophisticated consumer market.

Furthermore, the natural system of Japanese businesses, especially home-grown brands is too focused on domestic markets and less so everywhere else in the world. Without possessing a unique value proposition, established domestic businesses that already compete for market share, can have a difficult time gaining a hold on the Japanese market.

Henceforward, the very first thing that foreign brands entering Japanese markets should take under consideration is whether or not their brand is bringing something new to the table.

What that something might be can vary, but ideally, it should be distinct and not easily imitated in order to help create a competitive advantage against domestic Japanese brands and businesses that operate in the same vertical or sector.

For example:

Starbucks has a great success in the Japanese market, and is one of the most popular brands, of any industry in Japan. The success of the company was not a result of a gap in the market industry. Competition was already high in Japan with numerous other coffee chains, such as Doutour and Veloce.

Nor is Starbucks’ enduring success in Japan a result of its popularity overseas. In fact, popularity abroad is by no means an indication of potential success in the Japanese market.

Instead, Starbucks’ concept of a “third place,” or a space for gathering and connection that exists between the office and one’s home, its unique menu of coffee-themed drinks, and its practice of being a non-smoking establishment all helped to differentiate Starbucks from existing competition in the Japanese market.

As a result, skyrocketing them through the roof in terms of market domination in Japan.

LOCALIZE OFFERING

Most successful brands in Japan employ the strategy of localising their offering specifically for the Japanese market and Japanese consumers. Localization means not just about the language, even though it is very important part when marketing to the Japanese audience.

Instead, we’re talking about going back to the fundamentals of marketing and the Four P’s—in this case “product.” In many cases brands may need to localize their product or offering in order to give the best chance of success in Japan.

To achieve this, it can be demanding of the business. Asking a certain level of both flexibility and recourses, these are many things that often businesses are apprehensive to the even the suggestion of it.

However, it’s not without reason that we feel so strongly about the need for thorough localization. Through the reflection of past brands failing to localize their brands in return shut the door to their Japanese market entry.

Even though many brands should localize, not every brand need to. IKEA did not have to localize their offering in Japan. At IKEA locations in Japan spaces and showrooms that better fit within the Japanese context of smaller homes, apartments and rooms with less space than those found in western markets had to be built.

For other businesses that sell furniture can mean trouble as Japanese living spaces are quite small requiring small furniture. As a result, IKEA adapted and had to make items like sofas specifically for the Japanese market, or risk missing out on selling those items to Japanese customers.

As a result, IKEA had to make items like sofas specifically for the Japanese market, or risk missing out on selling those items to Japanese customers.

UNDERSTANDING JAPANESE COMPETITION

The Japanese market is a place of high competition and most industries and verticals have numerous domestic businesses and brands already vying for Japanese customers. As such, understanding your competition has never been more crucial. Finding out what the competitions strengths and weaknesses are can strongly favour your business towards the success in Japan.

One of the strongest cases that can be made for doing a thorough competitor analysis in Japan comes down to positioning.

Knowing the positioning that each of your competitors have taken will help you determine the ideal positioning for your own brand within the Japanese market. However, you shouldn’t be surprised if a local Japanese brand has already staked out the position your business would have liked to have claimed for yourself.

In some cases, even if you are the dominant player in your home market, if your ability to position (or re-position) your brand in the Japanese market is fundamentally compromised, then it’s best to revisit our first point, while also taking into consideration what you’ve learned about the competitive landscape in Japan.

UNDERSTANDING JAPANESE CONSUMERS

Understanding Japanese consumers can show to be difficult for non-Japanese brands. The most successful foreign brands in Japan, however, understand that Japanese consumers are different than those in their home market and take that fact to heart.

While a foreign brand may not have the same level of understanding that a domestic brand made up entirely of native Japanese staff might have, the most successful non-Japanese brands all possess a firm grasp of Japanese consumers’ preferences, tastes, and behaviours. They accomplish this either through working closely with local agencies, trusted partners, or their own Japanese hires.

However, brands that fail often try to forge their way through into the market by themselves, providing direction from a distantly located HQ, without any knowledge or experience in Japan it can cause to be compromised.

The real answer to this section is that when it comes to learning about Japan and Japanese consumers, their cultures and values will go a long way in improving the business performance in the Japanese Market.

ADOPTING A MULTICHANNEL APPROACH TO MARKETING

One of the most underappreciated things that successful foreign brands do right in Japan has to do with their ability to develop an appropriate multichannel strategy for the Japanese market.

Essentially, with more businesses prioritizing ecommerce, brands must use multiple digital channels to reach Japanese consumers. In previous years, many businesses in Japan were able to get away with focusing on a single digital platform to drive business results.

However, the recent changes to the digital platforms, including the move away from third party cookies and issues surrounding online privacy, digital marketers in Japan face new challenges that make it necessary to adopt a multichannel approach.

However, when adopting a multichannel approach to your digital marketing in Japan, not only do you need a strategy for each digital advertising platform, such as Google Ads or social media, but also a cohesive media plan which brings it all together.

Successful brands in Japan are not one-dimensional in their marketing efforts, and they make use of numerous channels to achieve their business objectives.

CONSISTENCY IN ALL AREAS OF THE BUSINESS

Consistency is one of the biggest key factors that a business requires to achieve success as well as the ability to deliver and hit targets when it comes to sales, operations, marketing, and customer service.

Consistency in product and service is, of course, important to note because Japanese consumers have notoriously high expectations. In the realms of both B2B and B2C.

Japanese consumers tend to be very particular when it comes to quality of customer service and often require a good amount of communication in order to be satisfied.

Brands that only engage in periodic or sporadic advertising, often lacking any sort of cohesion, will find it difficult to succeed in Japan due to the competitive nature of the market. The thing to realize here is that if you aren’t consistent with your marketing then your competitors will be. As such, successful brands in Japan never stop marketing.

FOCUS ON BRAND BUILDING IN JAPAN

Lastly, establishing a brand is critical to the long-term success in Japan. Not only do brands enjoy more success than generic offerings in the long run, but in the short-term as well, without consumers knowing who you are and what your business is about it’s nearly impossible to gain any sort of traction in the Japanese market that would set you up for future success.

Promoting your product or service and building awareness through digital marketing and advertising are often the most appropriate first steps for non-Japanese brands, especially for those who lack a substantial physical presence in the market.

That being said, once you do have a solid foundation for your brand in Japan you will often find other opportunities open up and your options for marketing and growing your business to be greatly expanded.

CONCLUDING

Japanese consumer continues to demand new products and services, regardless of place of origin. Ultimately what makes a brand successful in Japan is a combination of factors, that include having a unique value proposition and a marketing strategy specifically designed and implemented for the Japan market.

Rather than attempting to go it alone in Japan, enlisting the help of local experts or partners is often the best choice for non-Japanese brands in order to avoid wasted time, money, and energy.

Want to Export your Products to Japan?

Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best.

At COVUE IOR, we seek to make the import process simple, compliant, and accessible to all sellers of all sizes. COVUE is not an ACP. COVUE is the direct IOR: we own our license, and our compliance support is in-house. We trusted by 000’s of Sellers and Shipping providers.

Source: https://plusalphadigital.com/

Japan eCommerce Market Summarised

Nothing can compare to the personalized and attentive customer service the Japanese high street shopping experience provides for each shopper. However, replicating this online is a little tricky, but the Japanese eCommerce opportunities are not far behind the high street.

Japan is the 3rd largest eCommerce market in the world, with over 74% of the population or in other words 88 million paying online consumers in 2020, gives you a reason to re-evaluate the decision of entering the Japanese market if you haven’t before.

As discussed by current reports, Japan’s eCommerce market is expected to exceed $112 billion in 2021 and $325 billion by 2026 as the country makes the digital journey of moving from high street retail stores to online shopfronts.

The shifting culture has valid reasoning behind such a move as the dense urban landscape and easy and convenient advanced online foundations built into consumers’ everyday lives. Additionally, Japan’s distribution channels are highly developed, and the country’s small size makes shipping and product delivery efficient for all.

CURRENT POPULAR ECOMMERCE MARKETPLACES RANKED

  1. Amazon Japan
  2. Rakuten
  3. Yahoo! Auctions Japan
  4. Yahoo! Shopping Japan
  5. Mercari
  6. DMM
  7. Zozo Town
  8. Wowma
  9. Rakuma
  10. Qoo10 Japan

Amazon Japan, Yahoo Japan, and Rakuten are the top leading three eCommerce marketplaces used in Japan. These platforms account for 50% of all eCommerce revenues. However, uniquely compared to other eCommerce platforms and even high streets, Amazon is driving the market due to their same-day delivery offerings that other eCommerce markets are only now catching up upon.

TOP ON DEMAND PRODUCTS TO SELL IN JAPAN

The current Japanese largest segment is food and personal care with a projected market value of $28 billion. Second in demand is clothing alongside books and cosmetics.

Services are a big demand in Japan aside from the physical side of the products. This includes travel tours, hotel bookings, insurance, and entertainment tickets. These are the online services that include Japan as a region but are using online platforms as a lucrative market.

THINGS TO BE AWARE OF BEFORE SELLING ONLINE IN JAPAN

  • Japanese populous has shown behaviour in only shopping in the Japanese language read sites. This has been a noticeable emerging global behaviour for a while now. With consumers from different countries showing favour of trust to online platforms that they can be read with their own language.
  • Japanese consumers value transparency and want to know what product they are thinking of buying fully before paying. They enjoy seeing detailed photos of products, as such the way the business presents its products is a critical turning point for the consumer to buy the product.
  • As any consumer a cheaper price is always a temptation as such Japanese consumers use price comparison sites to make sure they get the best value.
  • Japan’s consumers have started to favour mobile purchasing, with the busy work to life culture that the Japanese employ an on-the-go shopping is becoming rapidly popular.
  • Through research, statistics have found that the most popular spending season is summertime in Japan. This is the time when majority of Japanese workers gain bonuses. Other major holidays include White Day (March 14th) and the standard international holidays of Christmas and New Year.

Selling on Amazon? Why Wouldn’t you?

Japan is a fantastic opportunity for any brand that sells physical products.
There are some compliance hurdles for specific product types and some products sell better than others, just like in any other Amazon market. Let #COVUE be your local partner for #AmazonJapan, letting you concentrate on the core activities that will drive your business.

Blog source: https://payoneer.com

Japanese Consumer Culture

By unlocking the pattern of consumer culture as a business it has the advantage of predicting what might become a market boom.

Japanese consumers have gained a lot of the likeness to those of European and United States consumer culture. With strong willingness of paying for quality and convenience rather than consuming cheap low-quality products. It has also shown an increase of Japanese consumers flocking to discount and online retailers.

Furthermore, sales of relatively affordable private label foods have increased substantially, it also has shown certain behaviours of the consumers like despite their small living conditions they are still buying in bulk. As well as instead of eating out, people are entertaining cooking at home, with workmen packing their own lunch boxes. Due to the popularity of the new lifestyle, there are now terms used to describe it being “bento-danshi”, or “box-lunch man.”

This fundamental shift in the attitudes and behaviour of Japanese consumers seems likely to persist, irrespective of any economic recovery.

That’s because the change stems not just from the recent downturn but also from deep-seated factors ranging from the digital revolution to the emergence of a less materialistic younger generation.

An examination of the strategies of leading Japanese and multinational companies, along with interviews with more than two dozen executives of the most significant retail and consumer industry players, shows how consumers are changing and why It also suggests the kinds of moves—such as rethinking relationships with customers and becoming more flexible about sales channels—that businesses must take to seize the opportunities created by Japan’s new normal.

Japanese Consumers are both distinctive and predictable. They dismiss low priced goods for more high-end department stores and pricier regional supermarkets. They were willing to pay high prices for quality products, and their love of brands sparked the emergence of a mass-luxury market where owning expensive, exclusive products seemed essential rather than aspirational.

However, that does not put aside the hunting bargain consumers. Not everyone can own expensive things and look for good deals. From a study done 53 percent declared themselves more likely to “spend time to save money” rather than “spend money to save time.”

In apparel, high-end department stores concerned about the vanishing shopper have started leasing space within their stores to value-focused competitors such as casual-clothing chains Uniqlo and Forever 21, hoping that this will revive customer traffic. Japan’s leading skin care companies are more aggressively introducing lower-priced products. Luxury-goods companies are watching a decade of growth disappear, with year-on-year sales declines of 10 to 30 percent.

The Japanese used to spend little time at home, as a result of factors such as long work hours and small living quarters. Yet almost 50 percent of a representative sample of consumers across a range of age groups and geographies are now spending somewhat or significantly more time there.

Japan has always been perceived as one of the world’s healthiest societies, thanks to a combination of lifestyle, diet, and genetics, and Japanese consumers are increasingly conscious of their health.

One effect of the greater interest of the Japanese in directing their own health care has been the growing popularity of drugstores, which have been Japan’s fastest-growing retail channel.

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Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/the-new-japanese-consumer#