Below, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of establishing your presence on Amazon Japan. Our goal is to help you navigate the intricacies of language, culture, and logistics to ensure a successful entry into one of the most lucrative online marketplaces in the world.
So, let’s get started and unlock the possibilities awaiting your brand in the Land of the Rising Sun!
What are the benefits of an Amazon Japan store?
The market size and the country’s thriving economy are two of the biggest pros of expanding your Amazon international store to Japan.
According to Statista, 53% of households with two or more people in Japan purchased goods and services online in 2022. Though this number is equal to the recorded statistics in 2021, the number of e-commerce patrons has steadily increased over the past ten years.
Amazon, on the other hand, offers an even more optimistic number. According to Amazon Global Japan, seven out of ten Japanese consumers shop online.
The website also mentions that Amazon Japan store customers are accustomed to fast and convenient delivery, making Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA a good market fit.
B2C (business-to-consumer) online retail dominates the local e-commerce market, and consumers use virtual shopping malls as one-stop solutions for their needs. Amazon Japan is among the most popular e-retailers, alongside Rkuten Ichiba and Yahoo! Shoppinag.
These data show that market opportunities in Japan are abundant, and it’s up to you to tap into them.
How to Sell on Amazon Japan
Whether you’re a new seller or an existing one, you can start your Amazon marketplace expansion journey to Japan with these steps:
- Create an Amazon Seller Account. You can use your existing account or create a new one for Amazon Japan. But if you don’t already have a seller account, sign up for one.
- Set Up Amazon Japan Storefront. Once you have your seller account, navigate to the Amazon Services Japan page and click “Start Selling” to set up your storefront.
- Choose a Plan. Similar to setting up a store in the US, you can choose from two selling plans when setting up an Amazon Japan store.
- The Individual Seller plan doesn’t come with a monthly subscription fee but a fee per merchandise, ideal for those who sell a few units a month.
- The Pro Seller option comes with a monthly subscription fee, suitable for ventures that sell a high volume of units per month.
- List Products. Create listings for your products on the Amazon Japan marketplace. Make sure to provide accurate and detailed product information, including titles, descriptions, images, and pricing.
- Arrange Your Shipping and Fulfillment Method. You can use Amazon FBA to store, pack, and ship your products, or handle the shipping via Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM.)
The marketplace offers an Amazon Japan English guide for non-Japanese speakers who want to learn how to set up their Amazon Japan store.
What to Sell on Your Amazon Japan Store
Part of learning how to sell on Amazon Japan is gauging what products will do well in the country. To find winning products, Amazon suggests exploring the best-selling items on Amazon Japan’s website.
Statista says electronics and fashion products are a recurring category in Japan online store purchases. This data is reaffirmed by information from the Amazon Global Selling webinar presentation on Key Steps to Launch In Amazon Japan.
The Deck lists the following as the most popular categories in Japan:
- Cable and Accessories
- Exercise Fitness
- Home Entertainment
- Home Accessories
- Kitchen Tools
- Nutrition and Wellness
- Office Electronics
- Wireless Electronics
Before selling on Amazon in Japan, it’s also vital to research what products are allowed for sale and understand any restricted or approval-required categories.
Japan Tax and Regulation Requirements
Part of learning how to sell on Amazon Japan is knowing what tax and regulation requirements to comply with. Here are a few tax and regulation-related factors to keep in mind:
- Consumption Tax. According to the Japan National Tax Agency, all products listed in Japanese online stores must include consumption tax. In addition, prices on your product listings must not exclude tax or indicate tax figures.
- Tariff and Duty Rates. You need to pay Import Consumption Tax for goods imported into Japan. Similarly, some types of goods may also be subject to customs duties.
- Attorney for Customs Procedure and Import of Record. If you’re an FBA seller living outside Japan, you must appoint an Attorney for Customs Procedure (ACP) and Import of Record (IOR). Having an ACP and an IOR will allow you to import products into Amazon FBA Center in Japan.
- Customs Documentation. Amazon can’t be used as the IOR, declarant, or consignee in customs documentation.
Amazon recommends that sellers consult professional advisers to comply with Japanese tax and legal requirements. You can also visit the Japanese National Tax Agency website for more detailed information on their local tax regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Amazon ship internationally?
Yes, Amazon offers international shipping, including to Japan. An Amazon Japan store can offer domestic shipping within the country, enabling prompt delivery to Japanese clientele.
In the same vein, customers outside Japan could also buy products from Amazon Japan through international shipping.
How much does it cost to sell on Amazon Japan?
According to Amazon Japan’s website, the marketplace offers two plans for sellers: Small-lot listing and Large-lot listing. These plans are a lot similar to Individual and Professional plans in Amazon US.
- The Small-lot listing plan doesn’t have a monthly subscription fee but charges ¥100 (around $0.72) per merchandise for up to 49 items each month.
- The Large-lot listing plan comes with a monthly subscription fee of ¥4,900 (around $35.15) per month. The latter is for ventures that sell 49 or more items monthly.
Can I use my US Amazon account in Japan?
Yes, you can use your US seller account for your Amazon Japan store. However, be sure to go over tax and legal considerations, and shipping arrangements.
Though you can always fulfill orders yourself, you can opt for Amazon FBA if you don’t want to deal with arranging international shipping.
Do I have to speak Japanese to set up an Amazon Japan store?
Having basic Japanese language skills would help, but being fluent in the language is not mandatory to set up an Amazon store in Japan.
For non-Japanese speakers, there is an option to toggle the dashboard language between English and Japanese.
Translation tools or services can also help in converting product information into Japanese.
Expanding your online venture to build an Amazon Japan store can be a highly lucrative move, given the country’s economic status and vast market.
To succeed in the Land of the Rising Sun, it’s crucial to gauge what products sell well in the country. Plus, researching and complying with Japan’s tax and regulation requirements is equally essential for international sellers.
Though it requires in-depth research and planning, establishing your presence in the Japanese e-commerce arena is well worth it as it can open doors to a new world of possibilities.
Carla Bauto Deña is a journalist and content writer producing stories for traditional and digital media. She believes in empowering small businesses with the help of innovative solutions, such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and data analytics.