Sell on Amazon Japan in 7 steps

3 minutes
Sell on Amazon Japan in 7 steps
In this article

Our partners at 7 Figure Seller explain why you should start selling on Amazon Japan, and how to get started. 

Amazon Japan is the fourth largest Amazon marketplace in the world. Amazon has recently overtaken Rakuten as the #1 ecommerce platform in Japan, with close to 624 million visitors as of December 2022

Japan eCommerce numbers  by marketplace as of December 2022. Source - Statistica.

If you are already selling on Amazon US or EU, then Amazon Japan is a great way to scale your business and reach new customers using your existing SKUs. However, before you get started, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure success.

Follow these seven steps to start selling on Amazon Japan like a pro.

Step 1: Product Market Fit Analysis

The first step to selling on Amazon Japan is to conduct product market fit analysis. You need to know if your product is going to have demand in Japan, the level of competition, and if it is a good fit for the Japanese market. 

To conduct this analysis, you can 

  • Perform keyword research to determine the search volume for your product in Japan.

  • Research Google and YouTube image search to see if people are already using a version of your product in Japan.

  • Research your competitors on Amazon Japan. The existence of active competitors in a new market is not necessarily a bad thing, it shows there is demand for your product. Look at reviews and consider how your product can fulfill a consumer need that is not currently being met by competitors. Alternatively, if your product is not currently available in Japan, you will have the advantage of being a first-mover in this market.   

  • Use Brand Analytics to discover search frequency, bestsellers, and Amazon internal data and trends.

Step 2: Check Product Regulations

Japan can be strict when it comes to certain products. There are four key categories that are subject to additional scrutiny from Japanese regulators:

  • Supplements

  • Cosmetics

  • Medical devices

  • Plastic products that are used in the preparation or storage of food or drink

If your product falls into one of these four categories, the first thing to do is to check if your product is regulated in any way. For instance, if you want to sell water bottles, you will have to test them under Japan's Food Sanitation Act, which can be costly. It is best to speak to an import company that has experience with products like yours to find out what needs to be done.

If your product does not fall into one of the categories, you should still talk to a professional Importer of Record or compliance expert to ensure it meets regulations.  

Step 3: Be Aware of Compliance and Testing Costs

When it comes to compliance and testing costs, it depends on the size and complexity of the product. You may need to test separate parts of the product, which can be more expensive. 

According to 7 Figure Seller Nick Kat, even if someone is selling the exact same product in Japan, it doesn't matter. They've got the license to import it, you don't. You need to have your own product tested as the testing requirement is per seller.

Step 4: Transfer Brand Registry to Japan

If you have Amazon’s Brand Registry in another marketplace, we recommend you transfer it quickly to Japan. This will help protect your brand in Amazon Japan against hijackers and malicious attacks.  This also can help get rid of dropshippers that are selling your product in Japan without your permission and without making test buys.  

Step 5: Translation

To sell on Amazon Japan, you will need to have your listings translated into Japanese. While Amazon provides translation services, it is best to get someone with experience in Amazon SEO and translation to do it for you.

Step 6: Localization

Localization is not just translation. You need to ensure that your listings are tailored to the Japanese market and culture. This includes everything from product descriptions to images.  

Screenshot of a cleaning product as displayed on Amazon Japan

Step 7: Get Ready to Sell

Once you have completed the previous steps, you are ready to start selling on Amazon Japan. 

One important step is to transfer your Amazon Global reviews into Amazon Japan. If you have 500 reviews on Amazon US, for example, you can move those reviews to Amazon Japan and kick off with 500 reviews on day one. 

This means that you will have more social proof, more trust, and can lower your PPC marketing costs.  

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