5 Ways Businesses Leverage Their Brands during Sakura Season

 5 Ways How Businesses Leverage Their Brands during Sakura Season

The Sakura season is one of the most awaited events in Japan, with millions of visitors flocking to over 1000 locations to witness the beautiful cherry blossom trees. As a result, this season presents opportunities for businesses to leverage their visibility and reach in different ways. Brands can connect with large audiences to promote their products and services through creative marketing strategies.

Here are 5 ways foreign brands leverage cherry blossom season’s popularity for their businesses.

  1.  Limited-edition and Sakura-themed products 
Sakura Themed Products

Businesses create limited-edition products that are cherry blossom-themed. This includes food and beverages that taste like Sakura and other products. For Japanese customers, exclusive and time-limited items come with a sense of urgency to purchase. At the same time, they symbolize the season’s fading beauty. Customers will recognize your brand positively if you include the unique character of the season in your products.

Kit Kat is one of the most outstanding examples with their exclusive Sakura-flavored chocolate bars. When Kit Kat first came to Japan in 1973, they discovered that the Japanese pronunciation of its name meant “absolutely win”. That’s why students started using Kit Kats chocolate bars as lucky charms during the spring entrance tests. Kit Kat leveraged that fact by producing Sakura-flavored chocolates with motivational messages.

  1.  Partnership with local stores 

Godiva, a foreign chocolatier brand, collaborated with the convenience store Lawson in 2019. Together they launched the sweet pink and green duo called ‘Le Japonais du Printemps’ in luxurious and elegant packaging. It served as a present to bring when people gathered to view the cherry blossoms.

As a brand, you can partner with local stores to sell special Sakura-themed products. Additionally, these can come with discounts or free items to attract customers. That helps you reach a broader audience through different channels such as convenience stores, supermarkets, department stores, or even vending machines that Japanese people frequent daily.

  1.  Sakura-themed events 

Jack Daniels is a whiskey brand based in the US. During their promotional tour across Japan in 2017, they released a limited-edition whiskey box called “Back Sakura”. Only available in Japan, Jack Daniels presented a whiskey in a classy black box with a white Sakura-petal pattern. With this limited edition, Jack Daniels aimed to improve their brand recognition in Japan by attracting younger adults. Quickly it became a must-have for whiskey lovers and collectors.

You can host events and promotions during the Sakura season to increase your brand reach. By utilizing events to create an engaging atmosphere, you let your customers experience Sakura in an unforgettable way.

  1.  Social media marketing 

Social media is one of the key drivers to elevate your brand visibility in Japan.

Using the power of social media, Coca-Cola launched its first Sakura-themed bottle in 2017. It was a success and gained even more popularity over the next few years. They adjusted the bottle to a 250-milliliter slim size. They did that so that people could take easier pictures of the surrounding cherry blossom trees while holding their eye catchy bottles.

Having a Sakura-themed product is only one part of a powerful campaign. You can see that Japanese people interact online more with their favorite brands after the launch of seasonal-exclusive products. They post photos and videos, give feedback and use hashtags related to the season that build a buzz around the brand. Collaborations with influencers and artists can also boost your brand awareness.

Read more about the importance of content localization.

  1.  Outdoor advertising and in-store displays 

Outdoor advertising and an in-store display featuring Sakura-themed visuals are persuasive tools in your marketing kit. Starbucks follows that concept and provides a Sakura-themed atmosphere in all of its stores throughout Japan. Besides special beverages, they also offer limited-edition merchandise that boosts sales during the season. Furthermore, you can advertise in busy areas such as train and bus stations, shopping malls, billboards, tourist attractions, and more.

 Conclusion 

Brands have a unique chance to appeal to Japanese customers, boost sales, and raise their awareness during the Sakura season. You can take advantage of the season’s uniqueness and increase brand recognition and loyalty by developing exclusive Sakura-themed products, collaborating with regional retailers for promotions, and studying the successful marketing techniques of other brands like Coca-Cola and Kit Kat.

 Need help scaling your business in Japan? As your local operating partner with End-2-End solutions, COVUE can help your brand navigate Japan´s regulations and mitigate risks of market entry.

How to Boost Your Business during Japan's Cherry Blossom Season

How to Boost Your Business during Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season 

Japanese people and people worldwide enjoy Hanami (viewing flowers) at over 1000 locations from Okinawa to Hokkaido. As spring approaches, business is booming in Japan, and you’ll see crowds admiring cherry blossoms near busy shopping streets.

Hanami – Cherry Blossom in Japan 

Hanami is the famous tradition of viewing cherry blossoms. The peak season lasts from late March to early April. Enjoying cherry blossoms with friends, family, and coworkers is a popular tradition. Other activities include walking, hiking, riding boats, listening to music, and watching performances. You can find Sakura (cherry blossom) in parks, on hiking paths, along river sides, at temples and shrines, and other places all over Japan. Close by are usually small temporary shops that offer beverages and special lunch boxes.

On weekends, people gather for an entire day to spend a good time together. In the evening, there are often illuminated cherry blossom trees that create a unique atmosphere at night. These short moments of beauty represent the fading nature of the blossom. You can take the meaning of this Japanese event and interpret it as the celebration of every second of life. That is because nothing lasts forever, and you should enjoy every moment to the fullest. These values have deep roots in Japanese culture.

How businesses make a profit during the Sakura season 

You may ask how you can translate this traditional and short-lived occasion into business practices that you can profit from.

The food and beverages market leverages this special event throughout March and April. They offer lunch boxes for the Hanami picnics, Sakura-flavored snacks and drinks, and limited editions of specific products. You can find these in department stores, online, or small shops. Additionally, people look for outdoor goods such as dishes, warm clothes, blankets, and more.

Various brands offer special editions or Sakura-themed products like Coca-Cola with their Sakura-edition packaging. They know how crucial it is to integrate cultural events into their marketing strategies. Whether you sell cosmetics, souvenirs, or other products, you can create a buzz around your brand in Japan by adapting your website, packaging, and products to the season. Your Japanese customers appreciate it when domestic and international brands participate in the ever-changing seasons. Moreover, you can increase your sales with attractive time-limited offers, limited editions, and special products that are a one-off deal.  

Read more about how you can profit from Japanese events and seasons.

 Conclusion 

Understanding Hanami and other Japanese cultural events are essential to successfully doing business in Japan. Tailoring your products to these special occasions allows you to build a stronger relationship with your customers, promote your product launches, increase sales, and gain brand attention.

Need help scaling your brand in the Japanese market? 

We at COVUE understand Japanese culture and know how to navigate through the dynamics of the market. As your strategic operating partner, we provide tailored guidance and complementary End-2-End solutions to help you scale your business in Japan.

Japan Food Import Restrictions

Thriving Cosmetics Beauty Industry in Japan: Watch these Consumer Trends in 2023 

By the end of 2023, Japan’s beauty market will be worth US$40.62k. Consumers are eager to discover the latest products from local and international brands. They look for technical innovations, personalized engagements, and safe and trustworthy products with high efficacy.

Let’s dive deeper into consumer trends and what business opportunities they hold.

 Top 7 Consumer Trends of 2023 in the Beauty Industry 

  1. Technical-driven beauty

Japanese consumers are sophisticated and well-informed about products and their effects. Moreover, they look for products that suit their skin type. Desirable skin care items can be multipurpose or designed for one purpose explicitly. The Japanese salon brand Lady Bio did it with its versatile, water-based mist that helps to combat dry and acne-prone skin. Seleia is another Japanese brand specializing in scalp care. They use micro-needle technology to penetrate the scalp’s skin with its serum. Accordingly, innovative products that effectively impact the skin and improve its condition are an emerging market opportunity for businesses.

  1. CBD as a substance

Among Generation Z consumers in Japan, the popularity of CBD (Cannabidiol) as a component of beauty products has risen. The market is still developing in Japan as laws are strict. For example, Migoto’s Sugoy offers essential CBD oils to help you relax. Japanese brands import most of these products from Europe or the US. That can be a business opportunity for foreign brands to explore as the demand for CBD goods increases.

  1. Femcare and Femtech

This category is a growing opportunity in the Japanese beauty space. It targets women and their overall well-being. Nutritional supplements, lubricants, intimate washes, and lotions with or without CBD show a wide range of possibilities in this category for brands. Furthermore, femcare enhances women’s health during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy. It also includes female sex toys. Fermata is a femtech brand that started selling online in 2019 and moved into retail in 2020. Their product scope includes menstrual underwear, sex toys, and more female-related items. The market’s response to female-specific products seems slow. However, it is happening and shows potential and rising demand. For example, the drugstore Matsumoto Kiyoshi started to place femcare goods in its 30 stores called Matsukiyo Lab in 2021 that target single households with beauty products.

  1. Product and brand authenticity

Product safety, quality, and performance are more critical to consumers than ever. To compete, brands like L’Oreal invest in skin care, hair care, and skin devices that offer greater efficacy. Additionally, Cosme rankings for 2022 are dominated by popular products from past years, such as Kiehl’s Ultra Face Cream. This fact underlines that Japanese consumers prefer their good-old favorites, whose claims have already been proven to work. For brands, that means focusing on the authenticity and efficacy of their products and claims. Also, they can center their product lines more on their core expertise instead of reinventing the wheel this year.

  1. Sustainability

Brands seek ways to tackle environmental issues as consumers’ concerns about the planet’s future growth. Some brands, such as Shisheido with their “SEE, SAY, DO” campaign, shift their focus toward minimizing waste by developing eco-friendly packaging. Other approaches may be sourcing organic ingredients or supporting fair trade. That leads to business opportunities for those who create sustainable products that speak to the current concerns of consumers.

  1. Emphasis on one feature

During the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Japanese people wore masks. As a result, many consumers decided to highlight their eyebrows rather than their lips since the mask covered them most of the time. With mask requirements being lifted, Generation Z consumers in Japan have started to look for products that help them express themselves. This year, they will likely use products of flattering color and smooth texture for their eyes or lips. It is imperative for you to understand the cultural nuances of the market and its consumers to be successful here.

Read more about the successful strategies of established foreign brands in Japan.

  1. Ultra-personalized shopping experiences

Japanese consumers can enjoy a versatile and competitive beauty market under the constant pressure of innovation. The choice of products from such a wide variety of brands causes a higher demand among customers to know what is best for them. A brand can create individualized communication with its customers through online questionnaires, one-to-one consultations, artificial intelligence skin analysis, try-on AR filters, custom-formulated products that fit each customer’s skin type, and more. For example, Estée Lauder offers online and in-store consultations in Japan to connect with its audience. You can also build loyalty with subscription boxes or special rewards as a brand. The more you learn about your customers, the better you can serve and bond with them. That can be one of the competitive edges for beauty companies in Japan.

Conclusion 

In 2023, Japanese consumers will look for authenticity and innovation in the brand and their products. You can enter this market with personalized communication, sustainability, and high-performance and versatile products. CBD and Femcare are small but growing and promising categories. Knowing these trends can help you understand and leverage the market’s current dynamics.

 Need support to expand your beauty brand to Japan? 

COVUE is your operating partner in Japan who strategizes and executes your vision. Our team’s mission is to support your goals in the most effective way possible to amplify your success in Japan. We help you with import compliance, logistics, setup of eCommerce, and more.

Black Friday in Japan

Is Black Friday Sale A Success in Japan?

Does Black Friday exist in Japan? The answer is yes! However, you can´t compare the Japanese version with the American one. The popularity of Black Friday has risen rapidly in the last few years. Therefore, this day has enormous potential for your future sales in Japan.

How Black Friday Became a “Thing” in Japan 

Here is a brief history of Black Friday in Japan:

2014: Toys “R” Us hosted the first Black Friday sales.

2015: The fashion store GAP adopted the concept.

2016: AEON, one of the biggest retail chains in Japan, started a successful campaign with TV commercials and ads in stores.

2019: Amazon Japan officially joined Black Friday with special promotions across various product categories.

Since then, both e-commerce and retail have utilized Black Friday to increase their sales during the holiday season in Japan. Now Black Friday is an event for determined shoppers to get a great deal on a variety of products such as electronics, games, furniture, and more. Additionally, products on sale aren’t just old items that are sitting in stock. Even newer product generations are offered with discounts ranging from 30% to 70%. There are several brands and retailers participating in Black Friday sales, including Amazon, Rakuten, AEON, and UNIQLO. Therefore, it is a smart way to leverage your sales.

Get to know the top 6 product categories of the holiday season.

 Save These Dates for 2022 

Amazon´s Black Friday is on the 25th of November.

Amazon´s Cyber Monday takes place on the 28th of November.

Top 9 Japan Black Friday Facts 

  1. It has become an annual event in November in some stores.
  2. The beginning of Japanese Black Friday can differ from store to store.
  3. Amazon Japan aligns its start of Black Friday with the US.
  4. It does not adhere to a specific duration. It depends on the store.
  5. It can be considered as the start of the holiday sales.
  6. Unlike Americans, Japanese people do not celebrate Thanksgiving the day before Black Friday.
  7. It often offers special bonus points campaigns with rewards for customers.
  8. You can buy limited-edition and Japanese-exclusive items at a low price.

Some retailers started to sell “fukubukuros” (the New Year´s mystery bag) on Black Friday.

Conclusion 

Taking advantage of Black Friday helps you attract customers from the start of the holiday season. With low prices, you can penetrate the market offline and online. It is common for Japanese customers to spend their yearly winter bonuses on highly discounted items from November to January. To unleash your full holiday selling potential, it’s advisable to run different promotions that include Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year´s sales.

How COVUE Can Help You

COVUE can help you streamline your business operations every day of the year. With our End-2-End Japan Market Entry Services, we unlock your business potential in Japan. Our services include eCommerce, Importer of Record, Inbound Logistics, and more.

Top products to sell during holiday seasons

 Top 6 Product Categories to Sell During the Holiday Season 

During the holiday season, you will find a wide range of products on sale. Do you know what products Japanese consumers will be looking for?

Listed below are the top 6 product categories during the holidays.

  1. Apparel

During Christmas and New Year, Japanese people will look for the biggest discounts on fashion. Starting in January, consumers can purchase so-called “fukubukuros” (mystery bags) from their favorite brands. Selling these bags will allow your customers to explore your product range as a seller.

  1. 電子機器

During November and December, you will find some fantastic deals on electronics. Japanese customers usually receive salary bonuses. Consequently, they purchase highly discounted laptops, smartphones, cameras, and other items.

  1. Household Appliances

You can buy household appliances at a cheaper price such as laundry machines, rice cookers, coffee makers, and others during the holiday season. Being a seller in Japan, you want to pile up your stock with new items for the next year. That is why your customers will take the chance to purchase products for a lower price that are still sitting in your stock.

  1. 化粧品

Shortly before Christmas, so-called “Christmas Coffrets” are being sold. These bundles include cosmetics like lipsticks, makeup, and more in a set for a fraction of the original price. Knowing this as a seller, you can offer sets like these to boost your sales.

By considering seasonal sales practices, you can be ahead of your competition.

Read more

  1. Accessories

Despite that there is no gift-giving culture in Japan, it´s quite common for couples or families to exchange gifts. Accessories like rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more are popular as presents. In combination with attractive packaging and a reasonable discount, you can leverage your sales.

  1. おもちゃ

On behalf of Santa Clause, some Japanese parents gift toys to their children at Christmas, according to this article. Children will also receive pocket money in an envelope on New Year’s Day, which they can spend on toys or sweets. Therefore, you can offer toys for a lower price online and offline.

 Conclusion 

You can expect a higher profit from November to January when selling one of the product categories presented above. By adding a seasonal touch and reducing the price, you can increase your sales even more. It´s best to familiarize yourself with the Japanese holiday seasons and traditions to adapt your customer experience. Your competitive advantage lies in that.

How COVUE Can Help You 

Enter the Japanese market with our End-to-End Japan Market Entry Services. We are experts in cultural implications, import procedures, and product compliance. Be prepared for holiday sales all year long with us!

リソース

https://matcha-jp.com/en/1929

https://livejapan.com/en/article-a0000672/

https://sugoimart.com/blogs/sugoi-mart-blog/black-friday-in-japan-where-to-get-great-deals-and-big-discountshttps://www.jrailpass.com/blog/christmas-in-japan

Top 10 Best-Selling Product Categories in Japan

As Japan continues to be one of the largest economies in the world, hundreds of businesses are trying to gain a share of the Japanese market by attracting potential customers with offers and discounts.

Planning to start or expand your business in Japan but confused about which business to go into or what products can bring you more sales? Here are the best-selling product categories in Japan you should know.

1. Fashion Products

Japan has a massive, vibrant, interesting, and fiercely competitive fashion market. The Japanese people put a lot of time and effort into looking stylish. There are many unmet demands and unexplored opportunities in Japan which provide new avenues for further growth and investment, especially with foreign business owners

There is a wide range of products you can offer like jeans, corporate suits, shoes, sleepwear, jewelry, accessories, handbags, etc. Reminder: Make sure to do your research and identify your target consumers first before you sell anything. If you need help, COVUE is here!

2. Consumer Electronics

Electronics is one of the most lucrative markets for sellers in Japan, with an average revenue per user that far exceeds other listed countries. Electronics in Japan is one of the most demanded products in Japan. Almost every household has at least one electronic appliance.

The top electronics products to sell are LED TVs, digital cameras, video surveillance, generators, inverters, Bluetooth speakers, and so on.

Keep in mind that selling and importing electronic products in Japan might be regulated by Japanese law according to JET (Japan Electrical Safety & Environment Technology Laboratories).

3. Phones and Accessories

Used in daily life and discovered as fashionable accessories – phones, and their accessories are popular among customers in Japan. Brands like Apple, Samsung or Xiaomi are often sold as well as their chargers, screen guards, earphones, chargers, power banks, phone cases, memory cards, and smartwatches. Just like electronics, these products are under the regulated category and need additional documentation when importing.

Know the process of importing phones and other electronics here

4. Baby Products

Japanese parents prefer high-quality baby products and are willing to spend money. Products to sell are diapers, baby food, wipes, diaper bags cribs, baby clothes, and more!

5. Laptops and Gadgets

Laptops and gadgets are often used in daily life – at work, at school, and at home. The demand for new and better products rises. Despite that, these products have a high return rate. So it´s crucial to make sure you can offer repair and return services within Japan. Also, you should check if all necessary spare parts and accessories are available here.

Know more about return and repair services in Japan

6. Cosmetics

Japanese customers’ desire for new and improved cosmetic products can drive your sales if you use the right marketing techniques and platforms. Trends on social media are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay on top of them. Women in Japan are looking for cosmetic products such as eyelashes, makeup, contact lenses, and more. You can choose from a wide range of products and specialize in a particular niche.

Know more about importing cosmetics in Japan

7. Gaming

Games have become more popular among all genders. They are high in demand. Most people purchase and play games online from the comfort of their homes. Aside from games, you can also sell consoles, accessories, collections, and fan articles.

8. Furniture

Furniture such as sofas, chairs, and tables come in all different forms, shapes, and sizes. They are highly demanded by Japanese customers and are found in every house. Whether you run a small woodworking factory or dropship furniture, it’s crucial to find the most efficient shipping methods and to support customers in the assembly process.

9. Health and Beauty

Women in Japan especially want to maintain a youthful appearance. Therefore, you can supply the market with beauty and health products as there are many niches to cover. Skincare, hair care, and oral care are a few products you can offer.  

Content localization of your products is one important factor to be successful in Japan. Here’s why!

10. Home and Office Equipment

Whether at work or at home, equipment such as microwaves, fridges, laundry machines, or kettles are essentials. Stepping into that market allows you to participate in a category that will always be frequented by customers.

Conclusion

Evidently many different categories are being sold highly, ranging from electronics to baby products. When buying a product, Japanese consumers tend to prioritize innovation, quality, and popularity.

You can determine if your products are suitable for the market by identifying customer groups, their buying behavior, and their needs. When importing to Japan, be aware of the compliance regulations for different product categories.

How COVUE can help?

Our End-2-End Japan Market Entry Services help you to enter the Japanese market. We can answer your questions concerning different import procedures, product compliance, and suitable business strategies. Let us act as your extended operational arm in Japan – everything you require, tailored to your needs.

Content Localization

Importance of Content Localization in Your Business in 2022

Do you want more customers to engage with your brand and remain loyal to it?

Would you like those customers to purchase a higher number of products from you and to buy them more frequently? Content localization might be the key!

The importance of content localization is often underestimated by foreign sellers. A comprehensive localization strategy will make a difference to your success in Japan.

What is Content Localization?

Content localization is the process of converting written content from one language to another. The process of localizing content is not just about changing words and phrases; it’s also necessary to think carefully about how your target audience will receive each new message.

4 Advantages Of Content Localization That Let You Beat Your Competition. 

  1. Localized content helps to improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates, inquiries, and sales.
  2. Less than 10% of the population has fluent English proficiency in Japan according to this study. Japanese customers are more engaged with localized content due to its concise messaging and ease of understanding.
  3. Often it´s more cost-efficient to repurpose and localize your content than to produce new for your marketing.

In some cases, it´s necessary to adapt all content to the new domestic market to avoid any misunderstandings with your messaging.

How to Develop a Powerful Content Localization Strategy.

Specify your target group and geographical area.

The more detailed you set the specifics of your audience, the better your further research results in a good outcome.

Do your market research on trends and customer behavior.

Japanese customers are different. If you underestimate how they decide to buy a product, your chances of succeed are low.

Decide on the contents that need to be adapted.

Depending on your research results, you need a set of contents like images, videos, or text that need to be localized to the taste of the target group.

Don´t localize the content on your own.

Being an overseas company, it´s not sufficient to use a simple translator to locate content. You should get support from a local expert.

Conclusion

Content localization seems like a load of work and is often not the first thing that is minded by overseas sellers when expanding to Japan. However, if you want to scale your business here, then the adaption of content is inevitable. Specifying the target group, doing research on their local preferences and last but not least localizing the content are some of the essential parts to present your brand attractively to the market.

In short: The better your content is localized, the higher will be your sales.

Need Help in Japan Content Localization?

It can be overwhelming to customize the content to an audience that you are not familiar with and a language you don´t understand. To entrust experts with this task is a smart move instead of wondering about the odds of the Japanese market.

As part of our End-2-End Japan Market Entry Services, we at COVUE take over your content localization and interpret your content so that it attracts the market effectively.

Japan Ecommerce

 Getting Into Ecommerce In Japan

Tackling the ECommerce market in Japan is the best way to grow your business in the country of the rising sun successfully.

How are you planning to set foot in the Japanese market? Let´s take a look at how to get into eCommerce in Japan.

Quick Overview Of The Fast Growing Ecommerce Landscape In Japan.

As of today, Japan is the world´s 4th largest e-commerce market and it´s estimated that the eCommerce space in Japan will expand by 6% yearly until 2025 according to EcommerceDB. More than 74% of the Japanese population is already buying products on e-commerce marketplaces and this number is continuing to grow. In other words, the Japanese e-commerce market leaves plenty of opportunities for you as a seller to scale up your business by expanding to Japan.

Top 5 Best Ecommerce Sites In Japan 2022

1. Amazon Japan

As the global leader in eCommerce, Amazon has expanded into several countries, including Japan. As a foreign seller starting to sell in Japan, Amazon FBA is an excellent option for you because Amazon and Rakuten share a third of the Japanese eCommerce market volume.

2. Rakuten

With Rakuten’s E-commerce platform, you can sell directly to consumers in many categories such as electronics, clothing, accessories, cosmetics, and more. Consequently, Rakuten is one of the first choice of foreign sellers when expanding their business to Japan.

3. Yahoo! Shopping/ Yahoo! Auction

Apart from its counterpart Yahoo! Auction in Japan, Yahoo! Shopping Japan is another popular eCommerce website. Similar to Rakuten, it offers a wide range of products to its customers.

4. Mercari

Mercari is another popular marketplace that seems like an advanced online flea market. This platform allows those in need of a product to get in touch with those who wish to sell their unwanted items. Through Yamato Transport and Japan Post agreements, users can anonymously send products from local convenience stores through Mercari.

5. Zozo Town

Zozo Town is Japan’s most popular fashion-specific e-commerce site. Their customers can choose from a wide range of mainstream and niche products from domestic as well as international companies.

 How To Get Started In Japan Ecommerce  2022

Selling on eCommerce platforms in Japan can be challenging for you as a foreign seller who takes first steps into unknown waters. Before you dive into the expansion of your business actively, there are four questions to consider when you wish to accelerate your business in Japan successfully.

1. Do your expansion intentions align with your current business situation?

When expanding your business to a foreign country like Japan, great chances await you. However, the risk is often higher. If you are already an established seller in your own country or several others, then you are aware of the potential opportunities and issues as well as the financial aspects that will occur. In this case, you are better prepared to start selling in Japan. Therefore it´s not recommended to expand to Japan when you are still an inexperienced seller.

2. What are the legal and tax regulations of Japan when importing?

Knowing and following the rules prevents problems from coming up when you enter the Japanese market. Before selling your products, you need to import them to Japan. Some preparations must be made in advance and there is one mandatory that helps you to get your goods into the country. You need an IOR (Importer of Record) who is liable for submitting the legally required paperwork and the payments of import taxes and duties in Japan. With the right IOR by your side, you can simplify the import process.

Learn more about IOR (Importer of Record)

3.   What is the best shipping option for you when your products land in Japan?

An eCommerce marketplace is a great place to start if you are just about to expand to Japan. The platforms with the largest market share are Amazon Japan and Rakuten. They are frequented by millions of Japanese customers every day. Among the top Japanese marketplaces, Rakuten Ichiba offers support in English to foreign sellers. Moreover, Amazon Japan offers Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) in Japan, meaning that Amazon handles your inbound logistics in Japan. As an ecommerce seller, you might find it easiest to ship and sell through one of the biggest marketplaces if you do not want to deal with distributors and third-party logistics.

Learn more about selling on Amazon and Rakuten.

4. What market research do you have to conduct?

Expect the unexpected – that is the best way to describe the nature of the Japanese market and its customers. Their mindset and preferences are quite different from what you are used to. Unless you want to stumble and fail by exploring the market without further research, you better do an extensive analysis of the Do´s and Dont´s when selling to Japanese people. An overall localization of your products, your web shop, your brand and more has to be a part of your expansion strategy in order to scale your business in Japan.

The  6 Biggest Challenges Of Doing Ecommerce Business In Japan Today. 

  1. Rising finished product costs.
  2. Creating steady supply chains for the market demands.
  3. Developing and executing an overall digital strategy for Japan.
  4. Understanding the Japanese market and its consumers.
  5. Localization of the content tailored to Japanese preferences.
  6. Providing customer support with proficient Japanese-speaking staff.

Conclusion 

Establishing a successful eCommerce business in Japan is determined by the strategy you put in place from the start. Choosing which product is best to sell on which platform in Japan is only one milestone on the path of decisions you have to pass. Without further market research, your chances to set ground in the Japanese eCommerce market are low. However, if you take advantage of the existing options and select the ones that suit you well, you can expand your eCommerce business smart, easily, and fast.

How COVUE Can Help  You

We at COVUE understand the challenges you face when you are about to expand to the promising eCommerce market in Japan. That´s why we offer our End-2-End Japan Market Entry Services to serve your needs, answer all your questions and act as your extended operational arm in Japan.

DAISO

日本の人気100円ショップ「ダイソー」にオンラインショップが登場

日本にいながらにして、3万点の商品を毎日、一日中買えるようになりました。

ダイソーは、何を買うにも便利な場所です。キッチン用品やテーブルウェアが必要ですか?ダイソーです。家の中を整理するための箱、フォルダー、ビンは?ダイソーです。靴下、ミトン、帽子などの防寒具は?ダイソー季節の装飾品は?そうですね。ダイソーです。

むしろ、愛される100円ショップのチェーン店は、クールなものが多すぎるのかもしれない。ダイソーの商品ラインナップは、1つの店舗ですべてを揃えることができないほど豊富なので、お目当てのものが近くの店舗で見つかるとは限りません。しかし、「ダイソーオンラインショップ」がオープンしたことで、数万点の商品を揃えているだけでなく、24時間営業のダイソーも登場しました。

10月13日には完全版のストアがスタートしました。 実店舗と同じように、1個100円のお宝がいっぱいです。約3万点の商品があり、サイトでは商品名で検索したり、さまざまなカテゴリーから閲覧することができます。

また、埼玉県、茨城県、栃木県、群馬県、北海道、青森県、福島県、宮城県、秋田県、岩手県、山形県のハイローラーは、ダイソーの300円サブブランド「スレッピー」の約6,000種類の商品を注文することができます。

商品は単品でもご購入いただけますが、1,650円以上の商品をまとめてご購入いただく必要があります。送料は、北海道(880円)と沖縄(2,970円または3,300円)を除くほぼ全国で770円。ただし、11,000円以上の注文で送料が無料になるので、友達と一緒にダイソーを利用すれば、そのハードルは越えられるはずだ。

ショップDAISOはこちら https://www.daisojapan.com/

アマゾンがインドで自社ブランドを利するために商品をコピーし、検索結果を操作したと報じられた

Amazon.com Inc.は、自社サイトで販売している商品を叩き売りしたり、膨大な内部データを利用して、他の販売者を犠牲にして自社の商品を宣伝しているとして、繰り返し非難されてきました。同社はこれらの告発を否定しています。

ロイター通信は、"数千ページにおよぶアマゾンの内部文書 "を引用して、従業員が内部データを利用して、他社がインドのプラットフォームで販売している商品をコピーしていたと伝えています。また、検索結果を不正に操作し、同社のプライベートブランド商品が最初の2〜3件の商品リストに表示されるようにしていたとのことです。ロイター通信によると、アマゾンの2人の幹部がインド戦略を検討したとのことです。 

アマゾンは、検索ランキングは自社製品を優先するものではなく、価格の安さなどに報いるものだとしています。しかし、アマゾンは、自社の商品を優先するのではなく、価格の安さなどに報いるだけだとしていますが、検索結果を有利にするためのテクニックを駆使しています。

その施策とは、通常は新製品の知名度を上げるためのものだ。例えば、「販売数が少なく、会社の技術ではランキングするにはデータが不足しているもの」とか。典型的なランキングの上にもバナーが。

アマゾンの広報担当者は、この疑惑は「事実無根で根拠のないもの」と考えていると述べました。また、アマゾンは、"プライベートブランドの販売者を含むすべての販売者の利益のために、非公開の販売者固有のデータを使用または共有すること "を固く禁じています。また、広報担当者は、アマゾンはお客様の検索クエリとの関連性に基づいて検索結果を表示しており、自社のプライベートブランド製品を優遇していないと述べています。 

初めてではありませんが...。

2020年、ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナルは、アマゾンがサードパーティのデータを使って独自の商品を作り、トップセラー商品に対抗していた疑いがあると報じました。Dataweaveによると、2020年初頭の時点で、アマゾンは111のプライベートブランドを持ち、22,617の商品を提供していました。アマゾンのプライベート商品の半分は、衣類、履物、アクセサリーでした。アマゾンは、内部データを使用したり、検索結果を自社の商品に有利になるように修正したりすることはないと繰り返し述べている。アマゾンの前CEOであるジェフ・ベゾス氏は、2020年7月に議会で証言した際に、その姿勢を改めて表明しました。ベゾス氏が証言する1カ月前、アマゾンは「自社ストアに偽造品を出品しようとする偽造者を裁く」ために、偽造品犯罪ユニットを設立していたという。アマゾンは、米国、欧州、インドにおいて、反競争的行為の疑いで独占禁止法の調査を受けています。 

プライベートブランド・マーケティングは、小売業において長い歴史を持っています。 ターゲット、コストコ、ウォルマートなど、多くのブランドが収益のかなりの部分を自社製品に依存しています。しかし、今回の文書は、アマゾンが世界最大のeコマースプラットフォームとしての力を活用していることを示しています。