Amazon Japan Makes Larger Mailbox for their Parcels

According to IT Media [J], Amazon Japan, Japan Post and Nasta jointly designed a new mailbox, which allows people to receive larger boxes, reduce redelivers.

On Amazon’s product review, already 7 users reviewed with averaged 1.5 stars. Most say that 32,000 yen (already 35% off though) is too expensive. One points out that Amazon’s parcels tend to be bigger than other shopping services in Japan.

Amazon Japan Makes Larger Mailbox for their Parcels

What’s So Exciting? Amazon’s Seattle Delivery-To-Locker Experiment At Convenience Store

Geekwire has been reporting (1, 2) US Amazon’s locker experiment in Seven-Eleven in Seattle, USA. With the locker, US Amazon customers will be able to receive their items not at home but at store.

I noticed that this news may be big as many other popular English blogs referred it. For me it is interesting because that option is totally common in Japan.

Amazon Japan has been doing it since July 2008 at Lawson, which has 8,600 stores nationwide.

Only Lawson supports this service among 6-7 major convenience store chains, however, as Japan is slightly smaller than California, and if you see the number of California Starbucks is about 2,000, Lawson exists 4 times more than Starbucks in California. It is pretty dense. I would say you can expect Lawson on your commute path.

English blog NHK wrote this Amazon Japan’s service before.

Some major Japanese online bookstores offer the service that you can pick up the ordered books at convenience store. If you have an Internet connection in Japan, this way is better.
There are a lot of convenience stores in any cities in Japan and it is very easy to find some stores near any hotel or destination. Almost stores are open for 24 hours and 365days. They provide not only foods and drinks but also various kinds of services.

There are other “receiving at store” delivery offered by following major online shopping services.

Yamato Transport – 7-11, Family Mart, Three F

Rakuten Books – Circle K, Sankusu, Family Mart, Mini Stop

Seven and Y 7-11 (they are in the same company group)

BK1 online bookstore – Newdays (in Japan Railway stations)

Yahoo! Shopping – depends on shop tenants

Tower Records Online – Family Mart, Sankusu, Circle K, Mini Stop
(Tower Records Japan has no capital connection with US Tower Records now)

Dinos – Family Mart, Lawson, Mini Stop, 3F, Circle K, Sankusu

Docomo Online Shop (cellphone) – Circle K, Sankusu, Family Mart

One big difference from Seattle’s experiment I notice is that there are no lockers in Japanese store, the delivered parcels are just kept under shop clerks, most of who are part timer and often foreigners in urban area.

Amazon Japan And Yodobashi Camera Heat Up On The Release Day Delivery

We just reported that electronic chain-store Yodobashi Camera began the same day delivery around Tokyo on weekend. I saw it as the race for better service level against its competitors, including Amazon Japan.

On September 5, Amazon Japan started a new delivery option “Hatsubaibi Todoke”(= deliver on the release day) initially with selected games, Gamespot Japan reported [J].

Amazon Japan’s top page is boasting this “Hatubaibi Todoke” at the top center,

The option cost 350 yen($4.5) unless you are Amazon Japan prime member. Amazon Japan reportedly will add more products for this option. It makes sense for me as gamers are the people who really want to get and play the products as earliest as they can do. By guaranteeing the release date delivery, more people who bought the newly released game at big retails (like Yodobashi Camera!) may turn to Amazon.

Then today, September 6, Yodobashi Camera puts a big banner on its site top, which says “Delivery on the release day is nothing unusual on Yodobashi for long”.

It says that Yodobashi’s online mall has been shipping all pre-ordered products, not only games but also CD/DVD/Blue-lay and other electronics appliances which are labeled so, for free with no strings.

They do not mention Amazon at all, which is natural in Japanese business practice, but it is clear that they set up this new informational campaign against whom. See how Yodobashi’s banner uses the same color and font as Amazon Japan’s, and adds their texts over it. It’s funny.

Amazon Japan Makes Free Delivery Campaign Persistent

Two e-commerce giants Rakuten and Amazon Japan have been discounting their shipping cost for free even your purchase is just few dollars since mid 2009 . Both of them, and some other follower online book sellers have been bleeding by extending their free shipping campaign.

Now On November 1st 2010, Amazon Japan declared [J] that they will keep this free shipping service as default. No end date any more.

This free shipping is applied for books/CD/DVD, daily commodities, health care products and food sold by Amazon (except Amazon Market Place stores).

Package Delivery Only By Twitter Name Begins In Japan

Softbank Group’s Meru-Ado Takuhaibin (means “Email Address Door-to-Door Delivery”), which we reported last December, lets people send parcels only by e-mail address, i.e. without knowing the recipients’ real address, now start supporting emerging messaging endpoint, Twitter.

When a sender shows their intention to send a package to another Twitter user, this service asks to the recipient if s/he would receive it. Then, when the package is really sent to the agent, they will ask the recipient’s address and the address will not be informed to the sender.

Their website shows three major use cases of the service;

  • to send a birthday present to your online friend
  • to receive an item you bid on auction sites without giving your privacy information
  • to send usable child cloths to a friend who moved far but only know her twitter/e-mail

See Also:

E-mail-only friend delivery springs up in Japan – many Japanese seem to care their privacy to not-so-close friends