When it comes to selling on Amazon Japan, there is a significant lack of helpful content that is actually written in English. Whether you are considering selling your products in Japan or simply doing some research, please read on as we provide you with the basics you need to know.
1. Sales and statistics
Before selling on Amazon.jp, it is important to understand the market landscape. In terms of monetary value, Japan currently has Amazon’s fourth-largest market share and has accounted for 4.9% of Amazon’s total sales in recent years. Between 2020 and 2021, Amazon Japan reported sales of $20.461 billion and $23.071 billion, an increase of 27.9% and 12.8%, respectively, quarter-on-quarter.
Here’s a quick list of sales generated by the Japanese market by country:
- USA → $314.006 billion (+19.2% growth quarter-on-quarter)
- Japan → $23.071 billion (+12.8% growth quarter-on-quarter)
- United Kingdom → $31.914 billion (+20.5% growth quarter-on-quarter)
- Germany → $37.326 billion (+26.3% growth quarter-on-quarter)
- Other → $63.505 billion (+38.0% growth quarter-on-quarter)
Revenue calculated for Amazon Japan includes direct business, third-party sales (merchant sales), Amazon Web Services (AWS) and subscription services. As of 2018, 58% of Amazon’s total global distribution was through Amazon Marketplace sellers. Digital Commerce 360 magazine estimated that the number was closer to 60 percent. Based on these figures and an average 10% commission income from third-party sales, it is estimated that Amazon.co.jp’s total distribution value may have reached approximately ¥5 trillion. Not a personality you can easily ignore.
While Amazon is clearly growing in Japan, it is not the only player in the Japanese market. With ¥890.1 billion in sales distribution value outside of Yahoo Japan, Rakuten is Amazon Japan’s biggest competitor, packing a punch with ¥3.9 trillion in sales distribution value. However, it’s important to note that this value includes the distribution of sales of Rakuten’s connected services (such as the Rakuma app). So the actual data based on Rakuten’s market alone cannot give them more market share than Amazon.
Rakuten is a major player in Japan and offers consumers a variety of products and services, including the Rakuten Card, mobile and travel services. Customer retention success depends on points system and discounts for using multiple services.
The Rakuten Points system itself offers great flexibility and can be used across all our platforms, customers can further redeem their points by using them to make purchases on Rakuten Ichiba (Rakuten’s marketplace), amazing! Rakuten recently introduced free shipping for purchases over ¥3,980 to attract more customers and offer a better user experience, but it was not popular with all stores.
Also Read:Dos Equis Pavilion Parking
3. Language barrier
Due to its history and development, Japanese is a very complex language consisting of 3 different character families where the same words are repeated `in each but written differently, these are hiragana, katakana and kanji. . . There are also many grammatical differences between the Japanese and English languages that even a native speaker, who is fluent in both languages, may find it difficult to always translate fluently from one language to the other.
For these reasons, you can’t simply use a tool like Google Translate and expect your listing or ad to make sense to locals. It is best advise to hire a local team with fluency and knowledge in both language and culture to help you with your listing and SEO optimization. Contact an eCommerce nurse if you need help with localization and listing optimization.
4. Export, Regulations and Returns
While perhaps boring, understanding the regulations and requirements of selling in another country is critical to success.
When it comes to labelling, just like in the UK, US, or EU, many products come with mandatory labeling requirements by law. Labeling of imported goods is only required at the point of sale, however, so sellers can either choose to label their goods after they clear customs or do it inland before exporting the goods. Note that labeling your products after they clear customs will require you to hire someone who can do this for you locally. This can increase your costs considerably.
An Importer of Record (IOR) is required for all exports to Japan, so make sure you are well prepared for this.
Regulated products require an import application and government approval for each shipment. The list of regulated products includes but is not limited to: toys for children under 6 years of age, utensils, food, personal care products and cosmetics. Once the seller gets approval and goes ahead, imports can only be made under the Japanese IOR that was obtained.
For both regulated and unregulated items, foreign online sellers must still follow certain import documentation regulations and prepare a Foreign Online Seller Report. This report verifies your company name, Japanese online account holder details, and records of sales and sales prices. Certain categories of equipment (for example, semi-drugs or electronic devices) also require their own specific applications. Before you consider exporting any goods to Japan, it is best to do your research thoroughly and seek expert advice from experts with experience in the field.
One thing to keep in mind is that an e-commerce platform may require you to provide a return address for your seller account. Depending on the platform you decide to use, you may need to find an agency that accepts and processes returns on your behalf in Japan, which is obviously extra. Is. There will be a cost.
How will money be transferred and manage once you sell in Japan? Banking arrangements will be important with any foreign business, so make sure you set it up properly. Only companies with a home address can open a bank account in Japan, however, payment services like Payoneer will allow you to receive sales from Amazon Japan and then transfer those funds to your home country. You’ll need to do some research on what options are available and determine the most cost-effective way to do your banking. This will depend on your country of origin, which other countries you do business with, the number of sales per year, and other factors.
6.Registering your brand and trademark
In Japan, it can take about 6 to 9 months to submit your application to become a registered trademark owner of your brand if your application is approved. Before then, you will not be able to obtain brand registration rights for your products with Amazon. Registering with the Amazon Brand Registry has many benefits in 2022 and beyond. A brand registry allows you to protect your brand from people who try to sell copies or counterfeits of your products. This can be important when expanding internationally. You’ll also have the rights to run sponsored ads and create A+ content, both of which we at Ecommerce Nurse can help you create for all locales.
Although being the registered owner of your brand in the US will also allow you to obtain a registration for Amazon Japan, it is still recommended that you obtain an official Japanese trademark registration and Amazon instead. try to Use it to get a brand registry with Japan. This will better protect you in case of infringements or problems with marketing content.
7.Know your local limits for content.
So, you’re all set up, brand registered and ready to sell to the great Japanese public. All you need to do is add your items to the catalog and translate your current product content and description into Japanese. Simple, right? Well, unfortunately not. As mentioned earlier, Japanese is a completely different language in its own right and therefore varies in total byte or character count and boundaries.
In the English language, the letter “a” is 1 byte, while “あ” (“a” in Japanese) is counted as 2 bytes. Completely different character and word limits also apply to Amazon Japan listings. Currently, the total word limit for your listing is 1000 characters and 40 characters for any product title. For these reasons, you cannot simply translate and use pre-existing content for your product.
There are not only technical limitations but also cultural limitations. Culturally, research has also shown that Japanese people actually prefer short and simple titles, and titles that are hard to read or contain too many keywords to get a lot of click-throughs. Struggle. You should take this into account when trying to properly rank your items according to Amazon’s keyword algorithm. As with many things and perhaps for Japanese audiences, a balance of simplicity with information is key.
Also Read: Mercari Selling Tips To Help You Make Crazy Sales Fast!
8.Design Fundamentals and Infographics
One thing to note when creating support imagery and infographics is that Japan is not really an ethnically diverse country. Amazon’s audience doesn’t react well to images featuring models who aren’t Japanese. This can cause problems in reusing existing images. You may not be able to translate and reuse existing product images as this may affect your sales.
A similar attitude exists towards graphics and infographics with text-heavy titles. In Japan, sellers often find that less is more. Simple, easy-to-follow text is definitely preferred and will probably yield better results. As always when you have an international audience, a little local knowledge goes a long way. For example, weight in kilograms, length in centimeters and you should avoid giving values using lbs and feet. You should always create your listings specific to the Japanese e-commerce market to ensure maximum success.
9. Marketing and Amazon Advertising
Amazon Japan, like Amazon in many other countries, offers two main advertising channels: sponsored ads and DSP. Both methods currently enjoy only limited success, but sponsored advertising is currently the most favored form of advertising. This may be due to the fact that Amazon’s DSP API has not yet been fully made available in the Japanese market. And therefore there are not many external tools available to support DSP ads. As a result, many marketers are now starting to produce sponsored brand videos (SBV) as an alternative, as well as additional sponsored product ads.
Another problem with online advertising in Japan comes from the fact that the Japanese language consists of 3 different characters. Each is used in a different way to find similar results and online results. This can make it incredibly difficult to decide on the best combination of keywords and search terms for marketing.
Even a simple word like “horse” can be spelled three different ways depending on the user’s preference and intended meaning. Throw in whole sentences and phrases, and it becomes impossible to fully account for the different possible combinations of words. When it comes to banners, ads, and advertising on Amazon Japan. It can take a lot of trial and error, or hiring an agency to handle it for you.
More about Rakuten
This article mostly applies to selling on Amazon.jp. However, this may limit sellers who do not know at least a little more about Rakuten than the other major players in the market. As explained at the beginning of this article, there are three major e-commerce malls in Japan: Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo!
Once you get your IOR and work out all the other details I mentioned above. You’ll be all set to stock your FBA warehouse and sell in Japan. As you would anyone else. Amazon will market it. You can even use your existing Seller Central account to register your products.
In contrast, Rakuten does not allow you to sell your products directly and instead forces you to choose one of the following 3 options:
(1) Establish a Japanese subsidiary and list your products on Rakuten through the subsidiary.
(2) Import your products from a Japanese agency and sell them yourself.
(3) ship your orders directly from the United States, or any other country when ordered;
In May 2022, Rakuten began advocating listing items on Rakuten Japan from overseas. They are also working on a scheme where you can store your inventory in a Rakuten warehouse, just like you can currently do with Amazon.
Need more help?
Considering selling on Amazon in Japan seems like a big step. Many businesses cannot easily handle the ins and outs of international expansion without professional help. Let’s face it, no business has the resources to operate in every country when it comes to logistics, marketing, or strategy. For more information on anything related to Amazon. Or if you are interested in our services to increase your sales, please visit us at ecommercenurse.com.
This blog post was written in collaboration with the team at the selling agency Picaro to help you thrive on Amazon Japan.
I read your article carefully, it helped me a lot, I hope to see more related articles in the future. thanks for sharing.
I am very impressed with your writing bitcoincasino I couldn’t think of this, but it’s amazing! I wrote several posts similar to this one, but please come and see!
Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.