The Japanese retail business has seen a huge shift from local stores to online shopping services. With a long tradition of delivering door-to-door, the delivery service industry is a booming business, supporting cost effective and efficient e-commerce in Japan.
Let’s have a look at some of the most successful and well known online shopping portals.
The Tokyo based e-commerge giant is the most popular shopping platform within Japan and also operates worldwide through a huge number of subsidiaries. Their Japanese website at Rakuten.co.jp is a platform where companies registered in Japan can engage in business-to-consumer and business-to-business online retail. Many smaller companies are not using Rakuten because of it’s relatively expensive and complicated registration process.
Shopping categories include: Books, Music, Games, Cosmetics, Health and Pharmaceutical Products, Nursing Care, Fashion Items, Clothing, Consumer electronics, Personal Computers, Mobile Phones, Food, Drinks, Cameras, Flowers, Sports Equipment, Interior, Kids & Baby Toys.
There are also many additional sectors of business operated by Rakuten, such as hotel booking, travel tickets, real estate, online video entertainment and banking services.
Having gained the second biggest online market position in Japan, Amazon is a big and steadily expanding retail business in the country. Located at the address Amazon.co.jp, the shopping services are very similar with US and other international Amazon websites. The portal has also gained significant market ground with Japanese companies using their intermediator services. Selling good through the website, either by Amazon managed order processing directly through their warehouses or by managing the sending process by themselves. Also the portion of retail commerce completely run by Amazon is significant.
Categories include: Kindle Store, Amazon Video, Japanese & English Books, Digital music, Computers, Office Goods, Comics, Home & Kitchen, Bedroom, Drugstore, Beauty & Fashion, Food Products, Electronic Goods, DVDs, Fire TV, Contact Lenses, Cosmetics.
Yahoo Japan managed, “Yahoo! Shopping” comes third in the race of market share and is one of the biggest online shopping malls in the country. Located at shopping.yahoo.co.jp, providing convenient, everything under one roof style services in the Japanese language.
Categories include: Accessories, Food Items, Technology, Beauty & Health, Children’s Toys, Home Supplies, Books, Ladies & Mens Fashion, Car accessories, Games, Bicycles and much more.
They also have a sister website known as “Yahoo! Auctions“, located at auctions.yahoo.co.jp, which is one of the most popular auctions marketplaces in Japan. Connecting sellers and buyers, for bidding and direct retail, shopping requires a registered Yahoo account.
While a significant number of jobs have been lost due to the online shift in business, there have been benefits as well. Still about half of the e-commerce market is operated by smaller companies. With entrepreneurship common in Japan, many independent sellers have put up shop for local and specialized goods. Others have used bigger shopping portals that have helped small businesses to flourish and enter the nationwide or even international markets. It is estimated that around 80% of Japanese shop online, which is an activity almost as popular as checking email.