Cross-Border Expansion: Activating the eCommerce Opportunity in Japan

Sep 13, 2022 12:00 PM12:30 PM EDT

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

In today’s dynamic eCommerce environment, brands feel pressured to expand internationally to reach a bigger audience and propel their value to the next level. However, scaling frameworks differ from market to market, so businesses must anticipate trends. How do you choose the right market to sell your products?

The first step in understanding international market trends is through predictive and analytical data available within your target region. Such data opens numerous growth opportunities that can enhance your existing audience and product catalog. Japan has the third largest eCommerce market in the world, so leveraging it requires utilizing various social platforms to drive consumer engagement and analyzing market regulations to optimize growth strategies. 

In this virtual event, Aaron Conant welcomes Joseph Cooke, Co-Founder and President of WPIC Marketing + Technologies. They discuss key growth strategies within the APAC and Japanese markets and how to employ social platforms to drive consumer engagement in these areas. Joseph explains the eCommerce growth opportunities in Japan, how to build a market framework catering to Japanese customers, and Japan’s key business regulations and licenses. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Joseph Cooke talks about Japan’s eCommerce growth opportunities
  • What are the most prevalent product categories influencing APAC’s online revenue?
  • Joseph explains the key business regulations and licenses in Japan
  • The functions and price considerations of Japanese social platforms
  • Prominent APAC market features brands should consider 
  • How to build a market framework catering to Japanese customers
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Event Partners

WPIC

WPIC is a provider of marketing services based in Beijing, China. The company provides a complete digital services for global organizations, from site design and infrastructure to marketing and advertising campaigns.

Connect with WPIC

Guest Speaker

Joseph Cooke

Joseph Cooke

Co-Founder and President at WPIC

Joseph Cooke is the Co-founder and President of WPIC Marketing + Technologies, a web-marketing firm with a mission to increase brand outreach and presence in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In his role, he oversees WPIC’s world-class data, eCommerce services, and artificial intelligence technology. Joseph is the driving force behind the company’s deployment of cross-border projects that enable global organizations to achieve their targets in APAC markets.

Throughout his career, Joseph has shared extensive executive and marketing knowledge by participating in numerous public dialogues that focus on international expansion and marketplace statistics. As an innovator and problem-solver in Asia’s digital space, he has been the recipient of many awards, including CBIC’s Top Entrepreneur Award and CCBC’s 2020 Canada China Business Excellence Award.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

Event Moderator

Joseph Cooke

Joseph Cooke

Co-Founder and President at WPIC

Joseph Cooke is the Co-founder and President of WPIC Marketing + Technologies, a web-marketing firm with a mission to increase brand outreach and presence in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. In his role, he oversees WPIC’s world-class data, eCommerce services, and artificial intelligence technology. Joseph is the driving force behind the company’s deployment of cross-border projects that enable global organizations to achieve their targets in APAC markets.

Throughout his career, Joseph has shared extensive executive and marketing knowledge by participating in numerous public dialogues that focus on international expansion and marketplace statistics. As an innovator and problem-solver in Asia’s digital space, he has been the recipient of many awards, including CBIC’s Top Entrepreneur Award and CCBC’s 2020 Canada China Business Excellence Award.

Aaron Conant LinkedIn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect

Aaron Conant is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Strategist at BWG Connect, a networking and knowledge sharing group of thousands of brands who collectively grow their digital knowledge base and collaborate on partner selection. Speaking 1x1 with over 1200 brands a year and hosting over 250 in-person and virtual events, he has a real time pulse on the newest trends, strategies and partners shaping growth in the digital space.

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Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect


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Discussion Transcription

Aaron Conant  0:18

Happy Tuesday everybody, my name is Aaron Conant. And I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director here at BWG Connect, networking knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands we do exactly that we, we network and now share together to stay on top of newest trends, strategies, pain points, growth levers, whatever it might be that shaping the digital landscape. Today, I spend a lot of my time talking to brands would love to have a conversation with anybody on the line today. And that's just around digital strategy and what's working what's not, it's during those conversations that we get the topics to cover, as well as the highest recommended people across the network that are helping people out in that area. And so, you know, today's topic, I was kind of just making a note of it, but I'll repeat it just for people who have joined international expansion is really ramped up over the past few months, is you think about total number of active shoppers in the US is kind of shrunk a little bit. And I don't have a lot of companies saying the executive teams have allowed them to shrink their end of year numbers. They basically say and find ways to grow in one of those. Yeah, I would say the easiest way is looking at international marketplaces and different places to expand the total all consumer budget or consumer base that you're looking for. And so Japan has been a huge focus. We have Joseph Cooke here from WPIC, great friend partner support of the network, working with a ton of brands in it and just all around thought leader. So you know, he's probably got 15 to 20 minutes to kind of walk through what the Japan marketplace. I have a lot of questions in that space. If you have questions along the way, drop in the chat and q&a. But I think we go ahead and just kick it off. You know, Joseph, you want to jump in brief intro on yourself WPIC, you know, some of the great things you're doing and then we can jump into the, you know, kind of the content you have here. So I'm good.

 

Joseph Cooke  2:07

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Great. Thanks, Aaron. Always a delight to chat with you guys and run through the topics that we're most passionate about. And thanks, everybody for joining today. And looking forward to hopefully somewhat of an interactive conversation. Just forgive me, I'll be looking between monitors. So not looking away from the camera, but just making sure I'm aligned on on navigating through the deck. Yeah, quick intro on us. We're headquartered out in APAC. I'm one of the partners of the firm. We've been in operations throughout APAC for about 18 years, we've got seven offices globally spread primarily through APAC, but 650 clients we've launched throughout APAC, and headcount of about 350. All in our main remit is virtually end to end, digital and econ activation, totally vertically integrated inside the house. We do everything from big data, predictive stuff, big tech rollout, big merchant record receiver record handling goods throughout the regions, we have multiple warehouses under ownership throughout APAC in Japan, that we were able to receive goods and then handle pick pack custom packaging and fulfillment of those products. We're an active marketplace partner across virtually every relevant marketplace across Japan and and throughout APAC, we do all the legal the licensing, the merchant record work with all of this, we do all the activation in these platforms, all the front end, the back end attack, the design, all the fun stuff, the customer service, funnel management pet settlement of those purchases inside these platforms, tax remittance and expatriation of the proceeds out of the market. So very active. Through it, all of it. Tons of muscle memory built up over the years were very sector agnostic, who worked across virtually every vertical that exists. And today's conversation is obviously going to be focused around Japan. Aaron, we've done I don't know 30, 40, 50, 200 dialogues publicly about China over the years.

 

Aaron Conant  3:53

I always like to refer to it this way, as well as its people are listed in there the easy button. It's It sounds crazy, but they're literally the easy button. And so we're looking for tests and learning international expansion, understanding the marketplace, just the data, the analytics is your product going to work there or not. And then the execution. That's where they come up over and over again, is, you know, incredibly easy to work with and, and can handle everything end to end. So it takes away a lot of the apprehension. But yeah, like you're saying, China, we've talked a ton about I'm excited about kind of this talk today on Japan as well.

 

Joseph Cooke  4:28

Yeah. So I'll I'll let you run through some of the q&a. I know we've got some questions, we'll talk a bit about the market and, and all the various nuances that go along with all of that. Awesome. So maybe what I'll do is I'll just start with a quick little overview. So everybody gets baselined with what, you know, Japan economy has, I mean, it's the third largest eCommerce market in the world, right. So this is followed behind us and China. It's an expansion market off the top of the call there and you referenced that you know, you have some contraction in terms of active shoppers online inside the US. But of course, we're not seeing a contraction of budgets in the US. The exciting part about our world is that it's an expanding market, right? We do see double digit growth at a minimum, year on year across all verticals in all marketplaces, we have more shoppers rushing into the eCommerce marketplaces inside Japan, and we have more shoppers coming online and we see growth of general spin inside the market as well. You know, it's a market of over 125 million people. Japan's a rich market as well, right. So we look at all of the relevant Asian markets. And we see average sort of consumer discretionary spend being, you know, lower than the US, but it's made up by the volume of potential spenders. In Japan, we've got comparable spenders, and we've got comparable amount of discretionary income that can be spent as well. There are different platforms that folks do use inside the market that should be touched upon as well. But one of the things I want to talk about just off the top is Japan right now is totally on sale. It's discounted, right? So if you follow forex and currency, like we do, because we do so much cross border, we do monitor things like currency, right? And when people talk about, you know, getting into the weeds about some of the micro movements and customer acquisition costs and return on adspend. And stuff like this Forex matters, right? This can be the difference of like a four to one to a five to one, a five to one to a 5.7 to one right, to bring those packs down inside these markets. And if we look historically at how the Japanese yen has done compared to the US dollar, this is really at a serious high right now US dollar compared to the yen. Right. So we just like to describe right now Japan is a market that's sort of like insatiably aggressive with its online spending right now. And it's at a discount. So we're really bullish on where the market is, as a whole. We do a little bit of an overview in terms of some of the online categories as well, you can get a bit of an idea about the size of somebody's category. So, you know, depending on which space somebody particularly works, and you know, we've got heavy duty spends inside the beauty and personal care market, you know, upwards of 25 billion, you know, outdoor close to three food and beverage well over 100, and so on. So we've got tremendous amount of velocity inside some of the sub sectors as well. But like I really quick,

 

Aaron Conant  7:09

are you are you flipping through the deck? Because it's not changing on our screen here?

 

Joseph Cooke  7:14

Oh, I'm sorry. Okay. Let me just make sure that's coming up there for you guys. Here we go. Log a slide. Yeah. Come with me. Yep. Great. So I'll just make sure you guys caught some of those other slides there as well. Yeah, just back to that Forex you can get a general idea, right? And what that historical looks like to give you an idea of how that market right now actually is on sale. Right. So we did a little column craft back to about 10 years ago, right. So basically, the market from a Forex standpoint is about as cheap as it's been in well over a decade. And this graph could go further back, and it would show that more, right. So it's a discounted market as well, which is something that people can get fairly excited about. Just to catch up here on the slide, just with respect to some of the online revenue that we get in terms of these categories, right, as mentioned, sort of beauty, personal care. 25 billion plus, this is a this is a constant we see throughout APAC, right? Health, Wellness, beauty, looking better, feeling better, eating better, is an area that's just really on a surge throughout the market, sports and outdoor I think throughout APAC, and especially in Japan, as well as on a real heavy surge right now anything to do that's going to be an accessory or a piece of equipment or something tactical that has utility to sports and outdoor, is doing really, really well inside the market. We've seen a big movement towards again, being more active and taking care of oneself a lot better since COVID. Right? There's been a huge emphasis on health and wellness throughout the Asian markets and primarily in Japan. So anything to support that is good. And we're seeing the grocery market move online heavily as well. Right. I'm sure you see lots of patterns like this in the West. Aaron, this is very much duplicated in Asia as well. A couple of you have

 

Aaron Conant  8:56

just a couple of questions that just jumped in here. And just kind of clarification when you say cross border, is there a model in Japan similar to Tmall Global model where you can avoid registration expressor expensive regulatory hurdles to sell categories, you know, VMS you know,

 

Joseph Cooke  9:10

totally, totally. Yeah. Yeah. Yep. Similar, similar scrutiny that like Tmall global would have, right? In terms of validation of brand and stuff like this. Yes, but it really does lower that barrier to entry. Right? So racket 10 does have a cross border model that allows for this the difference is actually for the plus side right? So just to draw the comparison to China and Tmall versus Tmall Global

 

Aaron Conant  9:36

next question, I love it.

 

Joseph Cooke  9:38

Love it. Yeah, so we've got you know, Tmall domestic you know, need the local license the the local CFDA the three C the Triple C Reg, depending on whatever category you like, basically, you need to be a legit registered China company unless you go through a proxy like us right but effectively the products have to be approved. You need them trademarks for the market, team, all global obviously, you can kind of mitigate a bunch of that stuff and sort of go out As is, as a Western brand was sort of a light amount of administrative compliance, but the EU are put in generally a separate marketplace in solid Tmall Global now there are tricks to the trade to be able to access the market as a whole. But effectively, you're in a separate bucket. The difference with for example, Rakuten and raccoons cross border, is you have the lower barrier to entry, in terms of reg and trademarks and licenses and all this kind of stuff. But you're not put in a separate marketplace, you're actually put in the master Rakuten marketplace. So it's sort of like the best of both right lower barrier to enter it, but you still got all the upside that's available inside the market. And you can ship from a free trade zone in Japan, we've got a big Free Trade Zone facility in Nanjing on the coast of China that we do a lot of our cross border fulfillment into Japan, into Japan with gives you two day shipping, you can ship from Hong Kong, you can ship from the US. There's lots of providers that can help with that cross border shipping to do you know, few days, and the Japanese market is actually a little more tolerant and a little more patient to actually wait like upwards of a week for a cross border shipped item. So it's really nicely set up for cross border. We do have Amazon, Japan, I'm sure most folks know but Amazon's I will put a ton of time into that. And Yahoo actually does have an eCommerce marketplace as well. So we'll talk a little bit about Yahoo as well as we go throughout the conversation. The market like most of the Asian markets that we find, they follow a pretty healthy annual calendar with respect to sort of Western New Years, you get recognition of Lunar New Year throughout Asia and in Japan as well then you have varying sort of like Japanese specific holidays as well. And then when you get into you get a sort of secondary layer inside Japan that's inside of the marketplaces. Right? So you know, bracket general have its own series of, you know, complementary holidays and shopping festivals, again, similar to like they do inside China, right, you get sort of mid autumn festival that just happened in China. And then you get the mid autumn tack on shopping festival in China as well around nine nine, right, so you get the same sorts of things inside Japan, with all these platforms as well. So to the eCommerce marketplaces so Rakuten, you know, is definitely the biggest. Now, that's not to say that it's the biggest buy a dominant share. But we've been seeing basically over the last few years, we've seen Amazon make a really heavy duty effort to try and be the market leader inside Japan. amazon.co.jp is definitely a separate ecosystem with its own separate regulatory challenges. I'll say, if anybody's tried to do any reg or administrative advances inside Japan, you know, it's best described as just being very Japanese the same way you would describe something in Germany has been engineered in a very German manner, right? So slow and steady, go really slow before you go fast for all the registration that happens. Racket tends administrative onboarding process is very challenging, very slow, very complicated. And also very unclear, right. So what we have found over the years is, whether it's Rakuten, or Amazon, or Yahoo, or those Oh, town, they make it really challenging to get in. And that's not really by design, that's just sort of like the way that it is inside Japan, right. So lots of different documents to fill out lots of different applications getting pushed between a lot of different departments. So really helpful to have sort of, you know, a sort of brokers slash liaison partner, potentially somebody like us to serve really, as that partner to be able to, you know, kick doors down and get paperwork on desks to get stamped. You have rep offices for Rakuten, in the US, that are relatively helpful, and a really good day, is what I'll say, Okay. Having access to the Rakuten offices in Tokyo, really speeds things up, like takes zero off of the time to get in, right. So what could be sort of like 100 150 days to register, you know, through the record, 10 office in San Mateo, you know, could be like 30 days, if you can just actually get that document in the door inside Tokyo. So we work with these platforms quite a bit. But as you can see there in terms of the percentages, you know, bracket tends claiming about 28% of the market, Amazon's claiming about 27% of the market. So they're generally neck and neck and the differences that we see basically between them as Rakuten is going to be way more female focus. Amazon is going to be more male focused. Rakuten is going to be more food, clothing, beauty, wellness, Amazon's going to be more toys, electronics, home wares, et cetera, right. So not a massive surprise to what you see. And we're seeing Yeah, who make really, really aggressive advances in the market as well to become a player as well. They've got about 10% of the market. So definitely significant. But we highlight the three of these because this is really like the good sort of like triple threat, right? If you come into the market, look at getting on each of these platforms, and because they are somewhat cumbersome to get in, they've got their own little bits of rules and they've got their own sort of sandbag period. Attacking the three of these on day one is a really good way to go because Maybe you can get Rakuten live on like day 40. But Amazon can get live on like day 20. And then yeah, who takes like day 80? Right, so you just keep adding channels. And in Japan, it really is a game of addition, where you want to keep adding more and more and more sales channels to thing I will say, although Amazon has a lot easier to operate as the merchant, and most people are familiar with it, so they kind of get the one p three P game out of the gate. Rakuten is hardwired into the culture of Japan. So not only is Rakuten A eCommerce marketplace that cannot be ignored. Rakuten is a point of sale payment provider. It's a mobile phone provider. It's an Internet service provider. It's weaved its way throughout the culture inside Japan. So users can secure points by shopping at 711. And paying, you know, by way of Racket, 10 pay, and they can cash those points in inside racket 10 online. And they can do the same thing, vice versa, right. So they built in a loyalty VIP point scheme that really weaves its way throughout Japan. So Rakuten, although what might be comparable in terms of size of prize, it actually has a much more significant addressable market, because it allows you do attract much larger proportions of the actual population. Because racket 10 impacts so much more of that population. And that's something that we're not going to see that Amazon is ever really going to be able to replicate inside Japan. So we are far more bullish on the long game of racket 10, in terms of how someone should pay attention, look at their strategy. But you know, in terms of brand presentation, and how one would go to market and how one would display their brand. Fairly user friendly, you get a lot of opportunity to really tell your brand story, you can really customize out a lot of different, you know, interfaces and things like this, there's no reason why you can't localize and optimize your brand, for the local market, and still really protect the ethos of what that brand is. When we look at, you know, sort of the role of the internet outside of the eCommerce marketplaces, we do get into other sort of Western based social media, I'll talk in a minute about line. But we do get good solid discovery and awareness throughout social that can really drive users inside to where those marketplaces are, right. So just looking at this model here, as users get to stage five for the actual purchase, you can see what really drives them in right, we see social as the number one touch point inside Japan from the initial discovery and awareness, good content, localized content, a decent blend of some of your US based Insta, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube content, but really, really putting effort behind localizing it, there's really, really low capacity really low usage of English, like really low inside Japan, I would say like Aaron lower than you get in China. So it's really, really important to really come correct with the Japanese content inside the market, and really ensuring that we're bringing in you know, Japanese, you know, models or actors, and localized photoshoots as well, right? There are nuances to the market, think of like size of kitchen size of apartment, right? Size of body for apparel, skin pigment for cosmetics, right. So it really is important that brands pay attention to that. But we don't want to lose the ethos of what that brand position is potentially back in the US or Canada or Australia, right. So we really want to kind of a good calculated blend of Western content, but then really using our information and utility based content and a localized manner, right. So we're using social as our prime discovery way to build in that. And then we're making sure that our pricing our merch information, or calls to action are really aligned with that is then users go into the marketplace for the price comparison portion of it as well, right? Looking at Yahoo, and Google is main search for that validation and product is really good as well to consider. And then of course, you can move into the promotional and and coupon game. And then the post purchase, as well. Just looking at your really

 

Aaron Conant  19:03

quick three questions that come in. One is like, can we share this presentation afterwards? Can we connect them with you and you kick it over to them? Is that something you're open to? Awesome? The next one is people want to do a little bit deeper dive on social, which I know we can wrap this one up. The next one is adding platforms so important because of the high platform loyalty on part of the customers. Or is there another reason? You know, it seems like platforms specialized and types of goods? Can we make exclusive agreements with platforms to increase traffic? So I think

 

Joseph Cooke  19:35

You're not gonna get a yeah, you're not gonna get exclusive agreements, the platforms just aren't organized enough to do it. On my next slide social so I'll quickly just go through that being sensitive to the time. The game of addition works because you get a lot of price comparison in there, right and there are segments so although we've got platforms that specialize and are known for better products, glories. And we've got rocket 10 Is this kind of like massive kind of, you know, loyalty based system that they've built? price comparison throughout the platforms is a real thing. And people do have a preference when you get into sort of like edges of those market share diagrams, where they do want to purchase. So you do, it's not like you don't have females between 18 and 35, purchasing beauty products on Amazon Dakota gap that exists, and the game of addition should be looked at because you can synergize your logistics, you can synergize your back end, you can synergize your import duty costs, you can synergize all of your content production, right. So adding the points of sale really does make sense, in order to, you know, basically build out your addressable market. You do though have I will say though, just going back quick to here. So like a platform like dodo town, that's a small, that's a smaller platform that sometimes you need to be invited into. So you perform really well inside Rakuten, and Amazon. And you're a fashion brand, they tried to create some kind of like exclusivity around it. And some people prefer to shop inside the platform, I'll be at not a massive population. And it's an invite only basically to come in nine times out of 10. And so putting yourself in Zoho town might not drive a lot of new GMV. But it adds a massive amount of brand credibility. And then when we look at that user journey, when we look at sort of price comparison or product research, being a brand on Zozo town, basically, it's it's third party endorsement that says these guys are legit, right in so many different ways. And so the game of addition really does work inside inside of Japan, to the point on social, just to give you a general idea. So line, it's an absolute must the same way the like WeChat, an absolute must, inside China. Okay, so applications to get in. It's a super app inside the market. It's the dominant platform that's used by most people and has a ton of versatility. Tick tock important, Twitter important and Insta totally important as well, the priority that we would suggest would basically be go forward with line and then implement Instagram, as well as like your second base platform, if you were to go with to or bandwidth was a consideration to things like that. Tick tock like I'm sure you're seeing in so many areas, Aaron is under a pretty heavy duty acceleration. We just actually signed a massive partnership with dou yen for Dalian cross border for China, that I think we'll probably end up talking about in a subsequent webinar. But we're implementing in the cross border back end facility as well for tick tock Japan. And so we're long on it, we're investing in it, we'll have more news on that as well. But we should be paying pretty significant attention to that platform, as well as we move forward. But just to give you a little more details online, because that to me would be the big takeaway from this conversation in terms of how one should look at this. It's a super app, right? So 84 million monthly active users, you know, 67% of the population on a daily basis, you know, basically half the markets inside this ecosystem, right? When you look at the spread between the other platforms as well, right, I mean, it's it's dominant is like 40% Only use line, right? 1514 to 15% use kind of a hybrid of like the three big ones in there as well. So you know, there's commerce was microblogging, and there's one on one to one texting, you know, live streaming and more and just more keeps coming out more and more and more, right. So they're bringing in new features and things like this. You can read media, you can do cool campaign work, you can hook up with influencers, you can run your own live streaming, you can do commerce, you can sell, you can do post sales support, you can custom implement CRM to do marketing automation, and consumer relationship management and stuff like this. So generally, recommendation is to secure the line account like effective yesterday, and just start playing, right start putting out some content, get a little bit of feedback, do a little colab, we've got a huge network of like influencers and paywalls. And live streamers from a lot of different categories. And so a lot of what we try to do to help brands figure out Japan a little bit is, hey, let's get you on line. Let's just do a couple little fun activities here with the right personalities, and just sort of see what happens, right, get a little bit of feedback from the market, do a little bit of giveaway. Let's bring in 100 units and your product, do a couple of giveaways, things like that, and let's get the product in some hands and get some people leaving some public reviews. That can be a really powerful super low impact. Just nice little beachhead, to build to get yourself into the line game. This also really helped further to the point I was making about just the administrative headache with setting up on like Rakuten and setting up on Amazon Yahoo getting invited into Zozo town. Having a line account is one of the first research tools that like Racket 10 will do so when you file paperwork at Rakuten. They literally like go on to to Google and research you to do like a credit check to like, look at a photo of the headquarters and stuff like this. Even before they do that, they go into line to see if you're in there. Like how seriously basically, they're taking you

 

Aaron Conant  25:12

Are there other like, key things like that, that brands need to know about? Like is, when I'm talking to brands all day, every day, and I've never heard that, you know, like that tidbit, right can make the difference on how much they pour into you or not. So it's super interesting. They're like common stumbling blocks or other things that people miss. And again, today, I think we can go over I mean, I've got extra time, I want to, you know, be courteous. But, you know, again, what you've seen play out here is, Joseph and the team are great friends and partners, supporters have a ton of brands in the network. And if you're looking to go APAC Japan, wherever it might be, this is a call we're setting up and having with their team, because it's, they make a big difference on whether or not you're successful or not when you go there. And it's that leading indicator as to whether or not your company decides to pour more into the international expansion or not. So encourage, everybody will connect you with him in the team for sure. We're gonna keep going here and get to the rest of the slides. But, you know, he'll be able to send you over, you know, the the slide deck as a whole. So you have that, but then I'm sure more than happy to set follow up conversations as well. But are there other like key stumbling blocks like, or key things that people should be aware of like this line thing?

 

Joseph Cooke  26:24

Yeah, so like getting a line account in Japan is totally like step one. Absolutely. We also see really low impact, or sorry, I should say, low, low adoption of just even Japanese content on sites on websites. Japan is still very much a Direct Website. Like I'm talking a lot about marketplaces and stuff like that here. And I sort of failed to mention earlier like going direct by way of a.co.jp super relevant inside this market. Right. And it's not like Japan or China, where you got the firewall and like Shopify doesn't work. It's a total nightmare. And 96% of the population is unlike Tmall. JD anyway, so forget it. Japan's totally legit for the Dakota JP. Like, put on the extension inside your Shopify ecosystem, add Japan and get some Japanese content in there. And you're playing ball. And let's go run some PPC inside Yahoo and Google like it can be that easy to get active inside this market. But little things like that to sort of create your backdrop of a we're entering this market, and we're taking it seriously goes a massive way, right? Because you have to think of it from the UX standpoint of like the, you know, credit department at Rakuten, right? They're going to be you know, they could be in Tokyo don't speak English search for the brand inside Yahoo. And then they look inside Yahoo, and they land on a Japanese site. Right. And you're telling your story through your site. Now, because they can't go and look at like the DMV, corporate Registry, or you know, they can't go to your.com because they can't read English, right. So they then get to kind of reduced down to like, corporate registrar information and like domain ownership stuff, right? Like to find out who you are, and how legit You are right? Think of it as like a banking credit department in some dungeon in some prefecture and Tokyo trying to figure out who you are to file your application. If you're online looking good looking healthy looking solvent. That's great. Dakota JP looking, healthy, looking, vibrant, looking solvent, looking inside the market, all of a sudden, they're ticking boxes off, because it's really easy for them to tick boxes off, and they can send that documentation or the next department be like, yeah, look legit. They look like a real company. They filled out their application properly. They got a site, I can see their information and know their contact number I called the one 800 Somebody answered the phone great on to the next. Right, as opposed to having nothing. And now they got to send it to like a legal department or something like that to do other kinds of checks, right. And they just find weird stuff. Right? I've I've come across some really weird questions with Rakuten before over, you know, this bankruptcy filing from 32 years ago. What's that all about? Right? And then we're there and then and then we're there. Like, that's not just where we are. So, so yeah, I really encourage brands to just do these little steps. They're easy to do. And they can make really tremendous impact for a lot of different reasons. Right?

 

Aaron Conant  29:10

Anyone just moved off here. I just see we're kind of at time. I want to be respectful of your time now. I mean, always appreciate you giving us 30 minutes and jumping on here. But want to respectful of others is there like I don't know how many if there's the we can bust through the slides in a couple minutes. Or if there's like key takeaways, whatever you think.

 

Joseph Cooke  29:28

Yeah. Yeah, look at I'll just I'll just, I'll just basically just reference on logistics because moving at the end of the day, it's about moving merch, right. Cross Border domestic. You know, we've got sort of facilities throughout we've got facilities inside Japan, we've got facilities in in the FTZ, the regional FTZ and Hong Kong regional FTZ and Nanjing domestic inside China's while we do a lot of cross border in and we work with a couple of fairly large players to for some like international you know, boat base shipment and then some last mile, you know, thing dudes on the motorcycles right going around town and dropping product off I do a lot of work with that. So we're happy to kind of advise a bit on that as well. And again, even if it's just some pilot stuff to get a line up, and then you know, line account going, and then just play inside the market a little bit with some of these easy tools, it's pretty plug and play. And, you know, just in the interest of time, I'll maybe just pause there happy to do q&a. And, and as always, Aaron, you know, is a friend of DWG, happy to, you know, advise and run a little consult for anybody who just, you know, wants to, you know, you know, spend some yarns about the market and talk about some potential, you know, solutions that could help point them in the right direction.

 

Aaron Conant  30:32

Yeah, awesome. Appreciate it. There's one more question that's come in. And again, I encourage everybody find a time to set up and pick their brain? And what are those easy ways to get started? Because a lot of times, you know, brands get overwhelmed by the number of things that need to be done, when, you know, you can you can start with some pretty small baby steps, and, you know, test and learn and prove it out and then move on to the next but how do you build a line customer list? Or does line off or marketing platform distribute syndicate ads and content?

 

Joseph Cooke  31:02

Yeah, they do, you have to go through a little bit of a reg process in there, right. So like, if you're heavy medical, then you might need you know, there's there's a price like if if you're heavy medical and a heavily restricted area, then you're gonna have a bit of a challenge, because you have to go through some serious compliance stuff, right, and your content has to go through some extreme measures to ensure the accuracy of it. general consumer goods fairly straightforward, there's like a lot of good marketing programs, media products, sort of like broadcast amplification products that line has that you can run with them, and you can activate pretty good activity out there. And then like any sort of social platform, you know, hooking in with partners, influencers, brand ambassadors and stuff like that, there's a pretty easy mechanism to hook in with them, you know, have them do like kind of sponsored content based thing, and they can drive a lot of traffic for you as well. But you do build up your audience, you know, in an organic manner, but you can use the sort of paid based methods as well to really accelerate that.

 

Aaron Conant  32:02

Awesome, well, I'm gonna drop in. So everybody, you know, Joseph, I'm gonna, we're just chatting, I'm gonna have him on for an episode of the digital deep dive, you have his contact information here. You know, encourage people go out, subscribe to that, you'll get notified when we have the next conversation, I'll probably have two or three with him on the podcast side, from China, to APAC to Japan and everything. So encourage people to do that. That I also, you know, encourage you to follow up with Joseph and the team. They're doing some awesome things. I don't have any other questions that are coming in. So I think it's a great time to kind of wrap it up here. Again, Joseph, thanks so much for giving us an extra five minutes of your time here. And thanks to everybody who dialed in, look for a follow up email from us. We'd love to have a conversation with you. And with that, we're gonna wrap it up, everybody, take care, stay safe and look forward to having you at a future event. Awesome. Thanks again, Joseph. You're awesome.

 

Joseph Cooke  32:50

Thanks, everyone. We'll see you later.

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