Hi Bill, You always make the Headlines for these news. Do you think it would be a good idea to open a rakuten/amazon/yahoo shop in English and direct it toward the customers outside Japan. What would be the best way to handle the SEO aspect of this shop.
Any "wise words" from you would be truly appreciated.
My wisdom is limited today as it's almost Golden Week. ;)
You'd think that someone would have done this already. There are plenty of gaijin here with the talent to do something like that. I guess it would really depend on the goods available. Without the backing of one of the big-name brands it might be difficult to get merchants to sign up though.
We've talked about English SEO in Japan and Asia before, but not in quite some time. That might warrant its own thread though. However, I think that what you're suggesting is a shopping mall with Japanese products targeting the English speaking world in general, right?
Do you think it would be a good idea to open a rakuten/amazon/yahoo shop in English and direct it toward the customers outside Japan.
Three issues to consider:
1) Size of the market Is there really a big enough market to support this? Not just the buyers market (people outside Japan wanting to buy the probucts), but also the sellers market (sellers in Japan with the resources to target gaijin- see issues 2 & 3).
2) Language issue How many of the people setting up Yahoo or Amazon shops have the English ability to make it work? Not just to translate the content on the site, but also handle orders and customer service.
3) International shipping costs Once you add international shipping costs, it's very hard for most of the merchants to be competitive with stores offering similar products overseas.
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:09 pm (utc) on April 27, 2007]