As smart phone changes our life, C2C marketplace is changing in Japan. I’m going to summarise how C2C marketplace grew and what change is happening in Japan.
There are 2 types of C2C marketplace, one is Auction Service, the other is the new one which is called Flea-Market app.
Since 2000’s, C2C marketplace grew as auction service on the web and now has web and mobile app. It provides
- Auction style selling/buying interface
- Transaction service to avoid direct transaction between seller and buyer (Direct transaction is also available)
- Cheap transportation service by partnering with logistics company (Ordinal transportation service is also available.)
Auction service is good platform for a professional seller because a lot of sales tools including 3rd party are provided.
- Transaction management tool
- Auction price database
- Photo server
- Photo editing service
- Agency service
The dominant player in auction service is Yahoo!Auction. The total transaction in 2014 is JPY 80 billion and its number is maintaining. (*1)
According to Neilsen, they have 15.8 million accesses from mobile device in 2014. (*2)
As smart phone market grew, some startups started C2C marketplace as smart phone app since 2012.
They are not Auction Service but a marketplace where buyers may ask discount like Singapore’s CAROUSELL. One transaction is done quickly there. They are called “Flea-Market app” instead of Auction.
Another difference from Auction Service is ALL IN ONE EXPERIENCE for sellers. All smart phone has camera and sellers can complete all process to start selling on smart phone.
The market size is still small compared to Auction Service, it’s growing rapidly. According to Mercari which has the biggest user base in Flea-Market apps, daily transaction increased 8 times from 2013 to 2014. (*3)
Here are popular Flea-Market apps
- No.1 user base in 2014
- Funded JPY 2.3 billion in October 2014. (*4)
- Line Mall
- Connected with Line account which has 52 million users on Line messaging service in Japan. (*5)
- Connected with Rakuten ID which has 74 million users on Rakuten B2C marketplace in Japan. (*6)
- Focusing on fashion
- Funded JPY 1 billion in September 2014. (*7)
- Focusing on branded items
- Unique system that admin checks if each item is really branded.
- Focusing on hand-made products
- More like EC shop by hand-made manufacturers
Auction Service is maintaining while Flea-Market app is growing rapidly.
Because Flea-Market app provides simple experience compare to Auction Service and more and more people who don’t have any experience of online C2C transaction seems to be starting C2C transaction via Flea-Market app. (I’m one of them.)
In fact, the majority of Flea-Market app user is under 34 year old female while the majority of Auction Platform is above 34 year old male. (*2)
*1: Yahoo!Japan Financial Result Presentation (Jul,2014)
*2: Neilsen News Release (Jun, 2014)
*3: Mercari Infographic (Feb, 2014)
*4: Tech Crunch (Oct, 2014)
*5: Line Media Document (Oct, 2015)
*6: Rakuten Financial Result Rresentation (Aug, 2015)
*7: Tech Crunch (Sep, 2014)