ROK's Coupang chooses Japan as 1st overseas market for expansion

09 Jun '21
2 min read
Pic: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com
Pic: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

South Korean e-commerce company Coupang recently chose Japan as its first overseas market, with a target to turn the top digital commerce player in Asia. With fresh ammunitions from New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listing, its foray into Japan was hinted in March by its biggest investor SoftBank’s chairman Misayoshi Son, but happened earlier than anticipated.

The e-commerce giant grew quickly at home with its ‘Rocket Delivery’—same-day or overnight delivery service implemented through its full-time Coupang Friend couriers. But Son said in March that it would be tough for the company to adopt the same delivery model in Japan where direct in-person reception is still the norm and online shopping is less preferred, according to South Korean media reports.

The pandemic, however, has changed the lifestyle of Japanese who have been forced to avoid contacts.

Japan’s largest e-commerce service provider Amazon Japan and Uber Eats have added an option of leaving the package in the porch since last year.

More Japanese customers are favoring non-contact deliveries. According to a survey, 47.2 percent of Japanese customers said they have used automated electronic parcel locker system in February, up 20.4 percentage points from last year.

To meet different needs in different markets, Coupang will deliver items as soon as an order is placed with independent delivery workers like food delivery companies in Japan.

Just about 320 products in 23 categories are available now in Japan where it is providing its service on a trial basis. Customers can register their payment method and shipping address in the setting and choose delivery options such as ‘leave at doorstep’ or ‘direct reception.’

Coupang went public on NYSE in March and said the initial public offer was aimed at expanding its business in more countries.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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