Navigating Japanese E-commerce - cleverbridge's Yosuke Ito


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One size does not fit all. The Japanese market is complex and means having to tailor your software to fit local business conditions. From cultural design differences to quality assurance testing; from customer expectations to payment options, you need to understand how to go-to-market in Japan.

In this presentation, cleverbridge general manager Yosuke Ito will share tactics to increase your sales in Japan by presenting ways to optimize your overseas e-commerce.

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  • Introduction of Presenter
  • Table of Contents
  • Presentation begins by comparing the state of US, German and Japanese online markets. Using demographics, broadband and wireless subscriptions, and online retail stats.
  • Japanese, US and German demographics. Japan has higher population than Germany, but lower than US
  • While the US market has a greater total amount of internet users than Japan and Germany
  • Relative to their populations, the US, Germany and Japan have similar percentage of internet users
  • Total Fixed Broadband Subscriptions: US has 25% of the worlds’ total, Japan has a little over 11% and Germany has 8%
  • Total Wireless Broadband subscriptions: US – 34%, Japan – 17%, Germany - 4%
  • US 2011 Total online retails sales: established marketUS 2016 prediction of online retail sales: the market is growingCompound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): 9.16%
  • German 2011 Total online retails sales: established marketGerman 2016 prediction of online retail sales: the market is growing
  • Japan has established market already and growing at similar rate to US and Japan
  • The SaaS market is expected to have 57.24% CAGR from 2011 – 2016. The Japanese SaaS market is expected to grow more than 2000% over the next 10 years with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of: 31.90% TheSaaS market is growing at a faster rate than the general online retail market. The Total includes BPaaS, SaaS, PaaSIaaS, Dynamic applications services, Cloud-based integration (CBI), and Dynamic infrastructure services.
  • Our argument is that because Japanese culture is homogeneous, marketing must be done by a native speaker. (Multiculturalism is not celebrated in Japan?)In the USA chart, White and Asian consists of many different ethnic groups
  • From our understanding of Japanese Homogenous society, we understand that software companies must localize the entire customer experience, including web design, pricing, currency, payment methods, QA, and customer support.
  • American Website
  • “Translation” of page
  • “Localization” of website
  • Konbini: How it works
  • cleverbridge in-house source. These are the typical Japanese payment methods
  • Exchange Rate: $1 = ¥79.81; ¥8480 is 187% greater than US price; $59.99 converts to ¥4,787.56
  • Bad Practice: showing error messages in English
  • The major Japanese OEM. Test Software on all types.
  • Managing Expectations
  • Navigating Japanese E-commerce - cleverbridge's Yosuke Ito

    1. 1. Navigating Japanese E-Commerce Yosuke Ito General Manager of cleverbridge KK
    2. 2. Navigating Japanese E-Commerce About cleverbridge cleverbridge is the premier e-commerce provider for software and SaaS companies around the globe. Drawing from years of experience and expertise, cleverbridge provides a customized, multi-channel e-business solution. International corporations like Avira, GFI, Ipswitch and Quest Software count on cleverbridge to support their perpetual license, SaaS and subscription-based e-commerce needs. #cbJapan2
    3. 3. Introduction General Manager Japan Japanese Native from Tokyo Software business experience for 25 years in Japan and US for Japanese, US and European companies as a country manager B2B and B2C software business such as Financial, Security, Utilities and Games Long term localization experience Major EC platform provider for 6 years Educated in San Francisco / TokyoYosuke Ito 伊藤陽介 いとうようすけ イトウヨウスケ Worked in US and Australia 3
    4. 4. Navigating Japanese E-Commerce Yosuke Ito Craig Vodnik General Manager VP of Marketing cleverbridge KK cleverbridge @craigvodnik #cbJapan Questions? @cleverbridge
    5. 5. Navigating Japanese E-Commerce • Basic Information of Japanese Market • Language Barriers • Localization & Web Design / UX • Currency & Payment Methods • Quality Assurance • Customer Support5
    6. 6. Japan vs. US vs. Germany Japan Population: 128 Million Land size: 377K sq km Germany Population: 82 Million Land size: 355K sq km US Population: 300 Million Land size: 9.4 million sq kmSource: Wikipedia 7
    7. 7. Specified Delivery Date and Time 5 time slots 6 time slots8
    8. 8. Internet User PopulationSource: Google Public Data 9
    9. 9. Internet User Population (%)Source: Google Public Data 10
    10. 10. Global Wired Broadband Subscriptions Total fixed (wired) broadband subscriptions, by country, millions, June 2011 United States Japan Germany France United Kingdom Korea Italy Mexico Spain Canada Turkey Netherlands Poland Australia Belgium Sweden Switzerland Greece Portugal Denmark Austria Hungary Chile United States: 84,672,000 (25%) Israel Norway Czech Republic Finland New Zealand Japan: 34,360,672 (11%) Ireland Slovak Republic Slovenia Estonia Luxembourg Germany: 26,615,000 (8%) Iceland 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90Source: OECD 11
    11. 11. Global Wireless Broadband Subscriptions Total wireless broadband subscriptions, by country, millions, June 2011 United States Japan Korea United Kingdom Italy France Germany Spain Poland Australia Canada Sweden Netherlands Portugal Czech Republic Finland Denmark Switzerland Norway Turkey Greece Israel Austria Ireland United States: 203,180,000 (34%) New Zealand Slovak Republic Chile Belgium Hungary Japan: 101,869,228 (17%) Slovenia Mexico Estonia Luxembourg Iceland Germany: 23,874,300 (4%) 0 50 100 150 200 250Source: OECD 12
    12. 12. US Online Retail Sales Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): 9.16%Source: Forrester Research 13
    13. 13. German Online Retail Sales Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): 10.75%Source: Forrester Research 14
    14. 14. Japanese Online Retail Sales Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR): 9.60%Source: Forrester Research 15
    15. 15. Japanese SaaS Growth Total $723 $1,096 $1,764 $2,795 $4,077 $5,662 $7,604 $9,845 $11,962 $13,925 $15,6464Source: Forrester Research Compound Annual Growth Rate 16 (CAGR): 57.24%
    16. 16. Language & Localization & Design
    17. 17. Cultural Diversity USA Germany Japan White Hispanic German Turkish Japanese Black Greek Korean Asian Italian Chinese Polish Other Amerindian / Russian Alaskan native Native Hawaiian / Serbo-Croation Pacific Islander Spanish Two or More raceSource: CIA World Factbook 18
    18. 18. Localization • Localize your product, website and entire e- commerce infrastructure into Japanese. • Don’t use raw translation materials • Proof read by industry expert • Information must be transparently open and clear. • Auto-Renewal • Japanese localization requires a double byte enabled infrastructure.(Unicode 6.1)19
    19. 19. Web Design20
    20. 20. Web Design21
    21. 21. Web Design22
    22. 22. Currency & Payment Methods
    23. 23. Payment Methods (Konbini) • Customer orders goods online • Customer selects the convenience store option and are then given a pay ID. • Customers have six days to go to a konbini and pay for their items after which the goods are then shipped.24
    24. 24. Payment Methods Usage Ratio • Major Credit Cards: 76.6% • Konbini: 17.2% • PayPal: 6.3%25
    25. 25. Pricing Strategy26
    26. 26. Buying Habits Everyday Low Price VS Limited Time Offer Japanese people love campaigns. The Limited Time Offer is always well accepted by Japanese customers. Campaign for every 2 months • Summer in July • Fall in September • Xmas in December • New Year in January • Spring in March • Golden Week in May27
    27. 27. Quality Assurance
    28. 28. Quality Assurance Japanese customers are: • Quality oriented, expect high standard to the products, documents in Japanese • Their computer literacy level is low • Surprised to see error messages • Not good at English • Shocked to see messages in English29
    29. 29. Quality Assurance30
    30. 30. Quality Assurance • Do the quality assurance work well • Test products on different hardware31
    31. 31. Quality Assurance Risks to release non-tested products • People think it is scam • Spread rumors in social network • Spread bad reputations without knowing32
    32. 32. Customer Support
    33. 33. Customer Support Not Busy Busy Very Busy Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri 10:00 to 11:00 11:00 to 12:00 12:00 to 13:00 13:00 to 14:00 14:00 to 15:00 15:00 to 16:00 16:00 to 17:00 Ave. Waiting 34 15 13 12 10 Time in Second Monday Last week longest waiting time was 6:23 Other days was 4:0434
    34. 34. Customer Support35
    35. 35. Customer Support • Efficiency • Timely Manner • Preciseness • Formality • Manage customers expectations well (Give & Take) • Know their computer literacy level is low36
    36. 36. Customer Support • Managing Expectations – Communicate the level of service that is offered. • Prefer field forms for email support. • Ask them to specify all configurations • Auto-reply should be in Japanese as well. • Often time it is in English and goes Spam folder.37
    37. 37. Conclusions
    38. 38. Conclusions • Localize; Don’t trust translators – You must have industry expert for proof reading. Transparency is important to meet expectations. • Design – What looks good in the West may not be attractive to the Japanese customer. • Currency / Local market pricing - Present the price according to local custom • Payment methods – Understand how Japanese prefer to buy, and offer them those methods. • Quality Assurance – Don’t risk your reputation by not performing a thorough QA before bringing a product to the Japanese market. • Customer Support – Understand what your support capabilities are, and be certain to communicate them clearly to customers with timely manner and transparency.39
    39. 39. Navigating Japanese E-Commerce Yosuke Ito Craig Vodnik General Manager VP of Marketing cleverbridge KK cleverbridge @craigvodnik #cbJapan Questions? @cleverbridge