The Loyalty System in Japan

The Loyalty System in Japan

Image Source, Lawson.co.jp Loyalty systems are very typical when shopping in Japan as they reward customers for purchasing products. Many companies in Japan have developed loyalty programs to increase customer retention and create an incentive for consumers to shop and purchase their products. Loyalty systems and programs in Japan are very similar to what credit card companies do in the US. Here in the US, if you have a credit card that gives out rewards and cash-back based on purchases, customers tend to use the card more as they receive points and cash-back towards future purchases. In Japan, many e-commerce sites and stores have their own loyalty systems that they have created to give customers cash-back not only toward their site, but toward other e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores and sites as well. Rakuten Ichiba Rakuten Ichiba, Japan’s largest marketplace, has a very strong loyalty ecosystem called Rakuten Super Points that allows customers to receive a minimum of 1% back on all purchases. Many times, Rakuten will run promotions on 3%, 5%, or even sometimes 10% back on purchases made through their site. These points are not only redeemable on their site but can be used in convenience stores, travel sites, and banks. Becoming a member of Rakuten’s global network allows members to utilize all parts of the Rakuten Group’s services to earn points through their services. For example, Rakuten has a credit card called Rakuten Edy, where customers are able to earn points through purchases on the card. These points in turn can be redeemed through other Rakuten network services such as Rakuten Travel or Rakuten Ichiba. Convenience Stores Convenience stores in...
China Imposes New Tax on Overseas Purchases

China Imposes New Tax on Overseas Purchases

China’s Finance Ministry announced that they would be raising the tax currently imposed on foreign goods that e-commerce companies ship into China to help their economy with consumption instead of relying on investment and industry. The new tax is said to be implemented on April 8, 2016 and will cover not only commercially imported goods but personally imported goods as well. This means that goods sent to individual customers in China from overseas will also be subject to import taxes, tariffs, and consumption tax. For example, tariffs on watches ordered from abroad are to be increased to 60% from 30% and on jewelry to 15% from 10%. With the new tax law, the Chinese government is hoping to encourage its citizens to purchase domestically instead of purchasing overseas. According to Fortune.com, although Chinese shoppers account for a third of global sales of luxury goods, only a fifth of those sales where made in mainland China while the rest of the purchases were made abroad either though e-commerce or by Chinese tourists who smuggle products into China to sell. Luxury consumption in China fell 2% in 2015, even though purchases by Chinese consumers rose 251% in Japan, 31% in Europe and 33% in South Korea. Many Chinese consumers prefer to purchase products abroad as they are sure to be genuine compared to the products at home. Products such as maternity and baby products (ex. baby formula and diapers) are bought overseas for safety issues and Chinese consumers have shown that they are willing to pay more for products such as cosmetics, infant formula and other baby products. The question remains if these new taxes will...

The Japanese Consumer Experience – Shipping & Packaging

Japan’s e-commerce market has grown significantly over the years. In 2014, online sales in Japan totaled to over $70 billion and by 2018, they are forecasting to grow sales to over $105 billion. In order to succeed in the growing e-commerce market in Japan, companies must be able to localize the customer experience as over 99% of the population only speaks Japanese. With the growing presence of the online space, customer experiences and expectations in Japan differ than that here in the US. 1. One day shipping is a domestic standard. It is very typical for customers to receive their orders the same or next day. Geographically, Japan is slightly smaller than California, and highly effective methods of shipping have been created. The top carriers such as Yamato, Sagawa, and Japan Post, all offer impeccable services as they are able to deliver to customers 7 days a week and even on national holidays. Customers that order from websites that ship near where they live, can typically expect their package to be delivered to them on the same day.         2. Packages are never left at the front door. If you live in Japan, you can expect that your packages will never be left at the front door. Carriers such as Yamato, Sagawa, and Japan Post will always knock on the front door and hand off the package to a person. If a customer is not home at the moment, they will leave a note attached with instructions for re-delivery and try again the next day regardless of the shipping method. It is not uncommon for a deliveryman to leave...
transcosmos Obtains Exclusive Sales Representation Rights for MTG’s SIXPAD in Europe

transcosmos Obtains Exclusive Sales Representation Rights for MTG’s SIXPAD in Europe

transcosmos inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; President and COO: Masataka Okuda; TSE First Section: 9715; hereafter, transcosmos) has obtained exclusive sales representation rights for SIXPAD, “wearable training gear” from MTG Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture; President: Tsuyoshi Matsushita; hereafter, MTG) in Europe. It will leverage various channels such as e-commerce sites and start sales in 29 countries in Europe from May 2016 through its subsidiary, TRANSCOSMOS (UK) LIMITED. Manufactured and sold by MTG, SIXPAD is an Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) tool that sends electrical signals directly from the attached pad to the body to exercise the muscles. With world number one football player Cristiano Ronaldo as development partner, the product was launched in Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia in July 2015 and has been a hit item with approximately 450,000 units sold as of the end of February 2016. transcosmos has been offering one-stop services globally to 40 countries including Japan, the United States, Europe and Asia. As MTG moves to introduce SIXPAD to the European market, its wealth of experience and achievements in e-commerce support, both in Japan and abroad, have been recognized by MTG and has led to its acquisition of exclusive sales representation rights for SIXPAD in Europe. Sales activities in Europe will include promotional initiatives such as television and online advertisements as well as sales channels including the development of an E-commerce site, the use of major e-commerce marketplaces, live TV shopping channels, and volume sellers of sporting equipment as it aims to achieve sales of 100,000 units during 2016. transcosmos will continue to support sales expansions for its customer...
FedEx to Expand E-Commerce Reach in China, Japan: New services seek to simplify the international shipping process for merchants

FedEx to Expand E-Commerce Reach in China, Japan: New services seek to simplify the international shipping process for merchants

Source, The Wall Street Journal, Image source FedEx Corp. will expand its global e-commerce business in an effort to compete for the growing number of packages shipped to consumers from China and Japan, executives said Monday. The company, which in 2014 acquired Bongo International, a company that helps shoppers purchase goods from foreign retailers by automatically adjusting currencies, and customs and shipping costs, by location, is rebranding the business as FedEx CrossBorder. The company plans to expand its services to merchants in China and Japan by next June, said Chip Hull, vice president of the newly named division. The company already consolidates shipments for global e-commerce retailers in the U.S., Europe and Peru. Asia “is the second-largest region from an export perspective in the cross-border space, on par with Europe, and [is] growing at a faster rate,” Mr. Hull said. As global e-commerce grows at double-digit rates around the world, “Asia is certainly the 800-pound gorilla in the room.” FedEx’s international e-commerce efforts have come as other companies are investing in helping retailers with international online-shopping services. United Parcel Service Inc.acquired i-Parcel around the same time that FedEx bought Bongo, and Pitney Bowes Inc.acquired Borderfree Inc. last year. Deutsche Post AG’s DHL also offers international e-commerce services. The services seek to simplify the international shipping process for merchants who can’t track varying tariffs, shipping times and other factors when sending their products to different countries, a cumbersome and opaque process that experts say can turn shoppers off. Some larger retailers employ dozens or even hundreds of staff to arrange and track packages, while smaller merchants say orders that simply disappear...