Japan’s Stores.jp partners with major e-commerce portals to help merchants find traffic

Japan’s Stores.jp partners with major e-commerce portals to help merchants find traffic

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See the original story in Japanese.

Recently we’ve seen fierce competition among two Japanese e-commerce platform builders, Stores.jp and Base. Now it seems both are moving past simple merchants acquisition, looking beyond to see what value they can add to their respective services.

Bracket, the startup behind Stores.jp, yesterday unveiled a new feature that will help merchants promote their e-store on the platform, using partner e-commerce portals such as EC Navi, Kakaku.com, and Value Commerce. For merchants, if you use this promotion feature you will be asked to pay a 10% commission for a purchase made via this affiliated traffic.

For merchants, products will be featured in search results on partnering portal sites, such as MSN Japan which is pictured below. The startup is exploring partnerships with many other e-commerce portal sites based on a revenue share model.

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The advent of these simple e-commerce platforms allows merchants to put up an online store far more easily than with conventional ASP-based shopping cart services. It has spurred an abundance of merchants to start e-businesses, but subsequently they have no way to attract new customers. The startup is trying to solve this problem, recently partnering with fashion giant Zozotown, which could be new partner site for them in the future, in terms of helping merchants drive traffic.

Bracket’s CEO Yusuke Mitsumoto explains how they plan to evolve their e-commerce platform.

As well as keeping the image of a simple-to-launch platform, we plan to give merchants many solutions to acquire customers. We have partnered with Zozotown, but we will not change into to a fashion commerce site — we will keep going beyond what we have been doing.

Some of our readers may be familiar with the startup’s competitor Base. Base recently launched an iOS app and an interface that curates featured shops. In contrast with Base, which has not yet partnered with other sites, Stores.jp unveiled a partnership with GMO Makeshop, an e-commerce platform from GMO, one of Japan’s leading internet companies. This could be an indication that the startup might be exploring a partnership-based business.

We’ll try to keep you updated about how these two companies’ business strategies compare in the future.