The Japanese Economy
Japan boasts the world’s third largest economy, at 5 Trillion GDP. Although the country isn’t nearly as large as China—Japan has 100 Million Internet users and 75 Million online shoppers and its population is quick to adopt technology, including smartphones and tablets. Japan is ahead of China in areas like payments and logistics, and that its annual E-retail Market will grow from $52 Billion today to $80 Billion over the next five years. Over 70% of the total population uses the Internet with a per capita online spend of over $500 every year. This per capita figure is second only to the American number of approximately $700.
The Japanese Culture
The Japanese enjoy western products and lifestyle, but these goods serve as novelty items. For most goods, they are attached to their own culture. This creates an opportunity to sell western products that are given a Japanese look. Along with cultural context, comes the Japanese craving for beauty and cuteness, “Shibui” and “Kawaii,” respectively. These are highly desirable qualities in the Japanese psyche, so your E-commerce website should reflect these. Choose to sell either high or low, but not in between. This is because the Japanese consumer either buys for status or functionality. Status dictates that the price should be sufficiently high to imply exclusivity, and functionality dictates a low price.
The Japanese Colors
As in other cultures, colors have specific connotations in Japan. Red represents luck, while Yellow is a sign of courage. Contrast these with American culture, where yellow is cowardice and red is anger or danger. The Japanese consider blue to be a color of peace, stability, and loyalty. Black along with white represents mourning. Purple is a symbol of danger. In American culture purple is a symbol of royalty, while black represents fear and the unknown, and white is purity or chastity. It is important to note that the intensity of emotions associated with colors is greater in Japan than in the US.