Japan’s footprint on the world’s economy, and the impact it has made on cutting-edge business trends, is hard to deny. The country has become known for developing ingenious concepts and taking an innovative approach to business. Today, Japan is considered a trendsetting market , so if you can achieve success there, the door to the global market is wide open for you. This article will provide an overview of the market opportunities available in Japan, as well as give insight into key considerations before expanding your business into the APAC region.
- Japanese consumers are characterized by their willingness to adopt new trends and technologies.
- According to Statista, by 2020, Japan will be number three on the list of countries with the most millionaires.
- Japanese consumers are value hunters; they also show an interest in high-quality goods and services. Their main affection lies with cutting-edge technology and a growing demand for Western brands that focus on quality and reliability.
- Japan has the highest percentage of elderly people in the world; 26% of the population is over 65 years of age.
So where do the market opportunities in Japan lie?
Alternative energy — Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the Japanese government has shifted focus to sourcing more sustainable and secure energy solutions.
Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, and Medical Devices — The growing demand for products in this sector is driven by the ever-increasing population of senior citizens, predicted to reach an all-time high of 40% by 2050.
Food and Agribusiness — Given the density of the population and limited amount of land suitable for agriculture, Japan relies increasingly on imported resources.
Gaming and Music — Japan is the world’s largest hub when it comes to computer games, and their music industry is the second largest behind the USA.
Consumer Goods | Fashion and Design — High-income averages and quality-conscious consumers have developed a market brimming with growth opportunity, making Japan an ideal market for established brands and emerging designers to establish and grow their businesses.
High Technology — An obsession with innovation, and a willingness to adopt new technologies, creates an excellent opportunity for businesses to gain traction, especially in the areas of digital media, IT, and communications, alongside a range of high-tech applications.
What to consider before moving into the market
Japan’s booming economy and the country’s push towards continuous innovation provide solid ground for businesses to grow. In order to win the trust and loyalty of Japanese consumers, you will need a more sophisticated approach toward delivering exceptional customer experience for both in-store and online shoppers, across multiple devices. A unified commerce strategy should be a top priority.
Despite being rich in opportunities, the Japanese market continually proves challenging, ranking it twenty-ninth for “ease of doing business.” Some of these obstacles include facing intense local competition, learning to work in a unique business culture, and navigating complicated distribution channels. Here’s a list of some do's and don'ts we’ve put together.
Notwithstanding the challenges just mentioned, the Japanese market remains vast. Given the high expectations Japanese consumers have toward service and products, succeeding in Japan will open doors to the global market for your company. Relying on a solid partner with years of experience in implementing global expansion strategies will help make your entrance into this new market smoother, faster, and more efficient.