World e-Com Blog|EN
Online export

Amazon in Japan

Amazon began operations in Japan in 2000, and it is now the second-largest market, accounting for 11% of Amazon's global online traffic. Japan was Amazon's fourth foreign market to open, after the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

In terms of market share, according to Euromonitor, Amazon had a 23% share of the Japanese online retail market in 2017, while Rakuten had 18.5%. According to other sources, the two companies are on equal footing.

To the contrary, a study by NTTCom Research found that shoppers on Amazon Japan have relatively low monthly spending, mostly on books, magazines, DVDs and video games. The study also found low Prime membership penetration, with 16.6 percent of Amazon shoppers in Japan compared with 65 percent in the U.S.

Amazon continues to compete fiercely in Japan, investing in same-day delivery and bringing its pricing practices to the attention of authorities. Amazon Japan's website design is the same as the rest of the world, unlike the cluttered Rakuten Ichiba website.

Amazon Japan is much more accessible to foreign sellers than Rakuten Ichiba, and is often the first choice for companies entering the Japanese market. Listings must be translated and customer support must be provided in Japanese, but there are several agencies that can help with these requirements, and Seller Central provides a familiar interface for managing sales.

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