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.

Yodobashi Camera Online Site Ships Electronics The Same Day For Free Around Tokyo

Yodobashi Camera [J], one of the largest electronics chain store who also runs online commerce site, started and expanding the area for “the same day, free” delivery from Tokyo and around.

On Auguest 18, they announced [J] they would deliver items within the same day if ordered by 10 a.m. to Tokyo 23-wards. They also announced that nationwide shipment fee are waived “for the time being”.

Only weeks later, September 1, they added more regions for the same day delivery and the deadlines for the order are improved.

By ordering before 1 p.m., Tokyo (excludes islands), Kawasaki and Yokohama residents can receive items on the same day. By 4 a.m., Miyagi pref. and Nagoya city can enjoy it.

Although Yodobashi does not offer some products Amazon Japan has, for example no food & beverage, and books are limited within PC/IT related, many categories are overlapped. (full list of categories on Amazon Japan [J] and Yodobashi Camera [J])

Amazon Japan introduced the same day delivery in autumn 2009, and offer free shipping charge in competition with Rakuten. But for the same day delivery, customers need to pay extra 500 yen (US$6.5).

About free shipping, Yodobashi’s both its rival Bic Camera and the top electrics chain store Yamada Denki’s online mall are offering the same free delivery for a limited, but undecided period.

Online consumers expectation for delivery in urban area in Japan has been becoming higher with these competitions.