The Loyalty System in Japan

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 Japan are very...

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...