In absolute numbers but also in proportion, Amazon Japan is not as successful as it is in the US or Germany (my home country). However, it is doing surprisingly good. Wal Mart Japan tanked in the offline world, as you may know, even though they are not dead yet.
In a rather bold move by Japanese standards, major merchandising store Ito Yokado tries to attack Amazon with a relaunched shopping site. The new home page (Japanese only) features a total of 100,000 items.
The product range features foodstuffs, fashion, kids and baby items, furniture, toys, cosmetics and gifts (from left to right, as highlighted in red on the picture below).
Is it me or is the Ito Yokado site kind of “similar”?
Anyway, as a USP users at least can order special groceries from local farmers and factories. However, Ito Yokado plans to widen the product range in the near future.
Very important for online success in Japan: The company also announced it will launch a mobile version in October this year.
In Japan, Rakuten (楽天) with its thousands of “malls” and millions of available items is the king of the online shopping ring.
The Tokyo based company has almost 4,000 employees and boasts $1.7 billion+ annual revenue for fiscal 2006!