Market entry strategy for exports to Japan

Our local teams plan & execute

If Japan is a relatively unknown market for you, you need a clear market entry strategy. This may be different from the strategies you have used so far, as the market structure and the competition is different.

Alliance experts helps you to develop your market entry strategy on the go. We scan the market, launch your product and grow your sales, constantly monitoring the responses and improving your approach.

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Oppportunities for international business in Japan

Japan is known for its unique blend of traditional and modern culture. As of 2023, Japan has a population of about 125 million. It is notable for its technological advancements, rich cultural heritage, and influential economy.

Japan’s economy, with a GDP per capita of around $40,000 USD in 2023, is one of the most advanced in the world. Major industries include automobiles, electronics, robotics, and manufacturing. The country is also known for its strong emphasis on research and development.

Japan’s primary imports are machinery and equipment, fossil fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, and raw materials for its industries.

Key cities include Tokyo, the capital and world’s largest metropolitan area; Osaka, known for its modern architecture and nightlife; Kyoto, famous for its historic temples and traditions; and Yokohama, a major port and commercial hub.

Opportunities in retail in Japan

The Japanese retail industry is dubbed as being a sophisticated market and is the 3rd largest market for fashion after China and USA. Over the years, the country’s retail sector has been exhibiting moderate growth. Currently, there are around 3,124 shopping malls, 52,417 convenience stores and 240 department stores spread across Japan. In the Shinjuku Isetan Department Store Alone, retail sales amount to about 900 million JPY per day.

Japan’s home furnishings sector

The country recently suffered from deflation, a decrease in the price level of goods and services. One of the affected sectors was the home furnishing market which experienced a downward trend. But as the housing market is picking up, the home furnishing sector is also starting to recover. In the mid-price segment, competition is not so stiff which gives opportunities for business brands to target customers looking for high-quality products with value for money.

Japan Skin care market

Japan is globally famous for its advanced skincare market. It is popular for its premium products, the overall value of which amount to 1500 billion JPY. These items include serums, scalp care products, moisturizers and more. The men’s care segment amounts to 150 billion JPY. With Japanese brands known for their effective products, the country is projected to occupy the largest skincare market in Asia.

Consumption of food in Japan

Based on the data from MAFF, Food Balance, the following comprise the consumption percentage share of the Japanese:

  •        Food Grain (32%)
  •        Vegetables (14%)
  •        Dairy Products (11%)
  •        Seafood (7%)
  •        Fruits (7%)
  •        Meat (5%)
  •        Others (24%)

47% of Japanese consumers shop for their grocery requirements at supermarkets while 32% of customers prefer GMS and 7% go to CVS. Smaller supermarkets account for 5% of the total consumption market share in the country.

The senior citizens market in Japan

Apart from capturing the retail opportunities for the younger group, there is an untapped elderly market. Over the years, the elder age bracket in Japan has purchasing power. On an average, the savings of the elderly group amount to about 30 million JPY. One-fourth of the country’s population is comprised of elders aged 65 years old and more.

Opportunities in the Japan ICT sector

Asia is considered to be the biggest regional cell phone market. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for more than half of the world’s share when it comes to mobile phone shipments. In the region, Samsung has the highest market share. In Japan, Apple has the highest market share with more than 34% of individuals who prefer to use Apple phones. Japanese companies and other global brands have the following market share:

  • Sharp – 15%
  • Sony – 14%
  • Fujitsu – 10%
  • Samsung – 8%
  • LG, NEC, Panasonic make up 10% of the market share

Why enter the market in Japan with us?

We know the market from inside-out

We work with local teams, who already know the market, speak the language and know the business culture.

We are active in over 30 countries

We can compare different markets and as we can help you in all of them, we only favor the market that may work out best for you.

You Reduce your risks

We help you avoid cultural misunderstandings, compliance issues, and other risks associated with entering a new market.

Try our services in Japan

Our structured approach: scan - Launch - Grow

The best way to learn about a market is to start reaching out and adjust your sales pitch on-the-go. This is what we do in our Scan-Launch-Grow approach. 

1st month

We scan the market

We dive into your product and what sales strategy has worked for you in other countries. We show you offering to various potential distributors or customers to collect feedback. And we review your competition so that we can determine the best market entry strategy. 

2nd month

We launch your product

Together with you we develop a first pitch for your target group. We extend our long-list of potential targets further and start reaching out, getting to the right decision makers and pitching your product. And we discuss the results with you, in order to optimise your strategy further.

3rd and next months

We grow your sales

We keep searching for new distributor candidates or clients and reach out to them. We also follow-up on previous contacts we had and on leads that you bring in. We introduce you to interested parties, but we can also support in meetings or close deals on your behalf. Every month we review our results.

Customer Experiences

” Alliance Experts strongly supported our growth in African markets. Innovative, effective strategies, and superb communication. “
James Martin

James Martin

Brabantia

” Outstanding service! Found the perfect partners in within a few months. Our international sales skyrocketed thanks to their expertise. “

Mehmet Aksoy

RR Engineers

” Alliance experts has helped us with clear insights in a market which was relatively new to us. Even under difficult circumstances they found good dealer candidates. “
Alliance Expert found distributors for Harley Davidson

Vitello Benevetti

Harley Davidson

” During our cooperation Alliance experts showed an effective approach and tracking, professionalism and provided the services reliably and on time. “
Nouraldine Banaeinejad

Nouraldin Banaeinejad

CAN Home appliances

” Invaluable local insights led to great distributor matches. Their approach revolutionized our market entry strategy. Highly recommend! “
Francis Huang

Francis Huang

Würth

” Alliance Experts’ tailored strategies boosted our Europe market presence phenomenally. Exceptional service, highly recommended! “
Jing Zhang

Jing Zhang

Kamtec

Companies we have helped with market entry strategy

Oklas
Le Joyau d’Olive
Plastinovo
Topdesk
CAN Home appliances
HCP – the sweetener company
De Heus
Apart Group
Verantis
Brabantia

We are active in over 30 countries