Japan: a country steeped in tradition but exceedingly modern, with a storied history and a thriving economy (the world’s third-largest!). Most of us also associate Japan with its unique pop culture, epitomized by the global icon that is Hello Kitty (along with the lesser-known Mumitan); anime and cosplay; novelty cafes; and unusual vending machines.

To better enable subscription businesses doing business in Japan, Recurly is pleased to announce our support for the Japanese Yen, letting our customers accept payment in the country’s native currency. Customers should be aware that they will need to use CyberSource or Worldpay as the payment gateway. To learn more about the currencies and gateways we support, visit our Payment Gateways page. 

Not just a cultural force, Japan is a huge market with a robust e-commerce market, a highly urban population that is hip, technologically savvy, and early adopters of new technology.

The Japanese population is also highly “wired,” with an internet penetration rate of almost 80%. Seventy-five percent of the population have purchased products online; and 89% of this group have done so from a mobile device. Mobile phone penetration is greater than 100% (meaning some people have more than one mobile phone) and smartphone penetration is approximately 77%. 

Japan’s population of 127 million counts 38% in the 25-54 age range. And these people like to shop! The Japanese e-commerce market ranks fourth in the world, after China, the US, and the UK. Japan’s e-commerce sales topped $79 billion last year, with approximately 80% of Japanese consumers opting to shop online for goods and services. As a matter of fact, shopping online is their second-favorite online activity after reading email. Moreover, the average dollar value of an online order in Japan is significantly greater than in the U.S. Apparel is one of the most popular items the Japanese shop for.

A recent study indicates that Japanese consumers are spending more time at home than ever. This means they’re not shopping at department stores, which could be a huge opportunity for e-commerce retailers. The Japanese tend to shop based on trust and retailer reputation, so having lots of good product reviews on your site could be a key. Loyalty programs may also do well as the Japanese place a high value on loyalty. Promotions are also important to Japanese online consumers, as they are used to always ‘getting a deal.’ Recurly’s coupon function could be a great lever here to turn browsers into buyers.

The most popular e-commerce payment method in Japan is credit cards. But other payment methods—such as cash on delivery, convenience store payments, and bank transfers (ACH)— are also popular.

Interested in learning more about Recurly’s support for Japanese Yen and other currencies? Or more about how Recurly powers subscription management success for thousands of companies? Talk to a Recurly expert at (844) 732-8759 or sign up for a demo below.