Whether you want to build your own eCommerce website using a platform or sell on an existing marketplace in Japan, it’s important to know the differences. This knowledge is sure to help you make better-informed decisions for your business.
Let’s get right into it.
An ecommerce marketplace is a website where businesses offer their products. Ecommerce marketplaces are ideal for foreign merchants since they are already localized, have established consumer trust, and offer customer care and other support.
Amazon and Rakuten are neck and neck in terms of popularity in Japan; the other marketplaces don’t even come close. Overall, online marketplaces, rather than traditional online retailers, dominate Japanese ecommerce.
Largest Online Marketplaces In Japan
1)Amazon (555.8 million Monthly Visits)
Japan is Amazon’s second-largest market, accounting for 11% of global online traffic. Japan was Amazon’s fourth overseas marketplace to launch, following the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
Amazon continues to compete aggressively in Japan, investing in same-day delivery and attracting the attention of regulators due to its pricing tactics. In contrast to the crowded layouts found on Rakuten Ichiba, the Amazon website in Japan has the same design as the rest of the world.
2)Rakuten Ichiba (544.3 million Monthly Visits)
Rakuten is a large Japanese online company that offers banking, credit cards, shopping, content, and communications services. Rakuten Ichiba, an online marketplace, has 49,000 merchants, 115 million customers, and gross item sales of around $28 billion in 2020.
The marketplace is powered by sellers, giving store owners complete control over how their products are presented and sold. As a result, the purchase experience is more diverse than on sites like Amazon.
3) Mercari (75.2 million Monthly Visits)
This platform focuses solely on two countries: the United States and Japan. Mercari’s marketplace approach is mostly built on consumer-to-consumer selling, although brands can also trade on the platform. Sellers will be able to import listings in bulk, synchronise listings with eBay, and manage their inventory through a Pro seller program that is now in beta testing. Mercari presently does not offer a platform for cross-border vendors outside of Japan.
4) ZOZOTOWN (43 million Monthly Visits)
This is both a marketplace and a retailer in its own right, and it is Japan’s largest online fashion store. In Japan, it receives 43 million visits per month, accounting for 97% of its total traffic. ZOZOTOWN does not disclose its seller requirements or application process, but sources indicate that brands must be well established and that fees are expensive at 30% of revenues.
5) PayPay Mall (31.3 million Monthly Visits)
Yahoo! Japan introduced PayPay Mall in October 2019, expanding on the payment app PayPay, which debuted in June 2018. PayPay Mall is difficult to access for enterprises outside of Japan, necessitating the formation of a local company or collaboration with a local service provider or agency.
6) Qoo10 Japan (14.4 million Monthly Visits)
Qoo10 Japan is an eBay-owned firm that is separate from Qoo10 Southeast Asia. In Japan, it receives 14 million visitors each month. Qoo10 Japan is a pure-play marketplace that sells a diverse range of goods. The marketplace is not easily accessible to overseas merchants, but being an eBay company, this could change in the future, placing the site into eBay’s global infrastructure.
This platform is basically the software used to manage a company’s website, sales, and operations. A, eCommerce platform is where a retailer can display their goods and services.
Although marketplaces have numerous advantages, platforms are ideal if you want more customization and control over your online business.
Japan’s Most Popular & Preferred Ecommerce Platforms
MakeShop contains a broad range of features and design options. It also offers excellent marketing assistance, including email newsletters, user recommendations, and social network integrations. Monthly plans begin at 11,000 yen.
It provides a high degree of scalability and makes it simple to develop cross-border sites. Because Shopify is utilized in over 100 countries, it offers a wide range of languages and payment methods, allowing sellers to extend their business into new areas. A customized storefront, shopping cart service, customer and shipment administration, and marketing integrations are among its many features. Monthly rates begin at 3500 yen.
This platform is constantly updating and inventing its capabilities, and its latest additions are instantly implemented on vendor sites. Merchants can easily customize their sites, and the platform is ideal for B2C businesses in categories such as cosmetics or fashion. It also features excellent security, a variety of payment choices, and marketing assistance. The monthly plans begin at 22,000 yen.
BASE enables users to create and design an online store, complete with digital payment functions. Their service is fully free from setup to maintenance. However all sellers are required to use the Base Easy Payment product, which is BASE’s own digital payment system. It also features an Instagram component that links products in Instagram posts, redirecting customers to the product sales page.
Sellers can choose between a free and a monthly paid plan on this platform. The free plan allows for an unlimited number of product listings, as well as several design functions, themes, and payment methods (e.g. credit card, bank transfer, convenience store). Users can also use their Facebook account to create a STORES account.
Wondering which platform or marketplace is most suitable to your business?
Digital Crew is a Japanese digital marketing agency and an overseas partner that can assist you in selling your products in the Japanese ecommerce marketplace and on various ecommerce platforms. Contact us to learn more about our solutions.