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Japan: The mobile sales channel September 13, 2006

Posted by Jasper in Mobile.

As always Japan is ahead of the pack on the application of mobile technology. The days when a mobile phone was only used for making calls in Japan are long gone. A recent article from Reuters describes how Japan’s (already US$ 3.5 billion) m-commerce market is ready to turn on the turbo.

Buying items such as accessories and supplements through Web sites via a mobile typifies a growing trend in Japan, where mobile phones serve a multitude of purposes, such as credit cards, portable music players and train tickets.


Last year, the number of people using cell phones for Internet access exceeded personal computer users in Japan. According to government data, 80 percent of e-commerce by teen-agers aged 15-19 was done on mobile phones in 2005.

Apart from good supply conditions with retailers like Department store Marui Co. and Seven & I venturing into m-commerce, the Japanese market also has a high penetration of mobile ‘always on’ connections facilitating fast and efficient commercial transactions. Interestingly, the article also suggests that mobile shopping increases with proliferation of flat fee based plans. Impulse shopping accounts for most of the purchases done on mobile phones and impulse shopping usually does not happen unless users have flat fee-based service.



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