Selling in Japan: Headless as New Trend in
Japan has always been at the forefront of successful eCommerce. It has the third-largest economy in the entire world and a lot of it is thanks to the world of eCommerce. When it comes to making sales online, Japan falls behind the UK, the US, and China only.
The eCommerce market is thriving all around the world, but Japan remains among the top countries where people love to shop online. After China and the US (the US market reaches a third of China’s), follow the United Kingdom with 4.8% of the retail eCommerce sales share, and Japan with 3%.
So, if a new trend appears in this market, Japan would definitely know it. Not only that, but they’ll do a lot to develop it further, implement it, and use it to boost the customer experience. That new trend right now is headless commerce.
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What Is Headless Commerce?
If you aren’t familiar with this term, it is basically a separation of the back and front end of eCommerce applications. This is only simply put, while the entire headless commerce meaning runs a lot deeper. Just imagine – the front and back end functioning independently. This allows for a whole new level of customization and flexibility.
Companies that aim to create an omnichannel experience for consumers, and many Japanese companies have this goal, use headless commerce. The front end provides a highly personalized experience to users because it automatically connects their personal data in the back end. Not to mention, headless commerce eliminates many of the technical headaches that traditionally occurred at the back end.
There are plenty of applications of headless commerce these days. It allows businesses to shape the buyer’s journey, adopt new touchpoints for technology, and create more interactive, more personalized digital experiences.
Headless commerce offers brands the potential for testing and experimentation, as well as more choices for customization than were ever available. It makes sense that many Japanese companies are thrilled with this system.
Headless Commerce is Trending in the Japanese Market
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 brought a whole new level of demand for eCommerce in the world, including in Japan. People started doing online shopping as their only or safest option. Many of those people started favoring online shopping to buying things the traditional way. Even now when the restrictions are minimized, many people still prefer to do this on the Internet.
According to Statista, the revenue in Japan is expected to show an annual growth rate of 14.70% between 2022 and 2025. This means that, by 2025, Japan expects a projected market volume of $324.60 billion.
This makes today the most successful time for Japan in terms of eCommerce.
There’s a reason why buying in Japan is such a popular endeavor, and it’s not just the pandemic. For a long time, Japan has been one of the top four places where eCommerce is thriving. This is because sellers in this country are dedicated to providing the most amazing customer experiences, work hard on personalizing their offers, and impress the buyers.
When it comes to personalization, higher SEO optimization, lesser expenses, and faster fixing of issues, headless commerce is an amazing choice. Many Japanese companies are adopting this new system in order to provide their customers with an improved experience.
In a market that’s so popular, the competition is immense, too. This makes it hard for Japanese brands to stand out in the crowd unless they are truly unique. Traditional commerce allowed for a little customization, which made most stores look similar to each other. Headless commerce is the exact opposite – it offers an amazing level of customization, as well as the flexibility to change things faster – and at a lower cost.
It’s no wonder that the Japanese market is slowly moving toward headless commerce. This is not for every company, but many companies use the omnichannel system to boost the satisfaction in their customers.
Businesses are getting more sophisticated and innovative as we speak in Japan. For example, ZozoTown, an online fashion retailer, has launched an app that people can use to order custom alterations to their clothes, as well as get them delivered once they are finished. Uniqlo, on the other hand, is using its e-commerce app and AI to enable customers to get voice-activated support and product recommendations.
Even the largest eCommerce store from Japan uses headless commerce to offer its products and services to customers. Amazon is the OG of this application architecture. They separate commerce services from the frontend layer on the backend. Because their microservices leverage PIAs, they can extend and scale to different frontends including mobile apps, wearables, websites, PoS handhelds, IoT devices, and shopping carts.
Now, Amazon has thousands of developers and APIs working to manage the many microservices. This is something that smaller businesses and stores cannot do right away, but it’s a great way to start. Those that don’t want to build these things from scratch by themselves can even buy them as a SaaS product and connect them with what they have.
Thanks to headless commerce and microservices, Amazon has become more popular than ever in the world of e-commerce. It currently owns over 39% of the total sales on the online market. People from all around the world buy from this platform because they are masters at improving the site experience, offerings, as well as speed-to-market time.
Companies that have adopted the headless method can enjoy higher SEO ranking because they can create and spread content more efficiently, as well as change the URL formats as the search engines need them to be.
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In addition to this, the headless method allows companies to handle issues almost instantly. Compared to traditional methods, they have the full flexibility to fix performance issues without having to edit both the front- and back-end.
In Japan, businesses are taking great advantage of the innovations in the eCommerce market. More and more companies are starting to adopt new systems such as the highly debated headless commerce. We can only expect to see more of them joining this trend, and learn how it will shape and change the way they sell things online in the near future.