Often known as the ‘Galapagos Islands’ of technology, the tech sector in Japan (along with software in general) has for many years been regarded as one of the toughest to break into. The e-commerce sector in Japan cannot be ignored, however, and with the advent of e-commerce and SaaS tools worldwide, with the right strategy in place, Japan is a market that is obtainable for most technology businesses.
Nor should it be. The Japanese e-commerce market is the fourth largest in the world, at $122bil. And it has been forecasted to continue growing each year at 6%. And for businesses offering cloud-based solutions, growth was 40% between 2018-19, with further growth expected.
Testing and experimenting with Japanese consumers is easier than ever and can be done simply by localising and translating a website or tool into Japanese. Do this, and you immediately gain access to over 125 million consumers, of whom 91% have access to mobile internet.
There is much more, however, that can be done to maximise your chances of success in Japan and to create impactful sales messaging for the Japanese audience, be it business or consumer.
At Tokyoesque we operate by first identifying where a client is on their Japan market entry journey. Depending on this, their needs might revolve around market research and feasibility testing, partner and sales opportunities or simple localisation / translation support. Using a combination of these tools, it is possible to test a client’s product or service in the Japan market effectively to gauge market demand, user behaviour and the optimal way to proceed. This means that rarely, if ever, do we recommend heavy investment into the market for a digital or e-commerce company from the very beginning: rather, activities should be ramped up, as demand is proven in the Japan market.
The smart city sector, another of our specialisations, is also interconnected with digital & e-commerce in Japan. For tech businesses looking to demonstrate commitment and build relationships in the market, it is useful to explore the accelerator programmes and government support that is available to overseas companies (such as for fintech in Tokyo).
Curious about the Japan market?
Japan contains the world’s 4th largest e-commerce market, worth $122bil. Want to get involved?
Take a look at our latest projects and research in this industry below.