Mircari | Everything about E-Commerce Platform

Japanese e-commerce firm Mercari, Inc. was established in 2013. The Mircari marketplace app, which is their major offering, was originally introduced to the Japanese market in July 2013 and has since developed into the country’s biggest community-powered marketplace, handling more than JPY 10 billion in monthly transactions. 94% of users in Japan were discovered to be using Mercari, one of the several community marketplace applications available in the nation.

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In 2014 and 2016, Mercari expanded to the US and the UK, respectively. As of 16 December 2017, the Mercari app had been downloaded more than 100 million times globally. This makes the firm the first unicorn in Japan.

Mircari Over the Years

Shintaro Yamada, a Japanese serial entrepreneur, started Kouzoh, Inc. (now Mercari, Inc.) in February 2013. In July of the same year, the Mercari app was released for iOS and Android smartphones. A year after its debut, Mercari has amassed more than one million unique listings on its marketplace.

According to Chief Financial Officer Kei Nagasawa in a March 2016 interview, the USD 75 million raised in Mercari’s Series D round was set aside by the firm for the purpose of further growth in the US and UK.

In order to prepare for the debut of its app in the United States, which happened in September of the same year, the firm created an office there in 2014. The Mercari app has had over 40 million downloads in the six years since its first release in the US, and it has climbed as high as number 3 in the US App Store rankings. The Palo Alto and Portland offices of Mercari now house about 100 people.

It was declared John Lagerling, a former member of the executive team at Facebook, joined Mercari in June 2017 and assumed the position of Chief Business Officer. Since then, Mercari, Inc. has designated him the US CEO.

Mercari established its first European office in London in January 2016. As a “temporary retreat,” Mercari declared in December 2018 that it will disband the European branch.

What Products does Mircari Offers

The Mircari marketplace app, which enables users to instantly purchase and sell products from their cellphones, is the company’s major offering. The app is well-known in Japan for its user-friendliness and innovative shipping system, which enables users to mail things from nearby convenience stores anonymously thanks to agreements with Yamato Transport and Japan Post. In the US, Mircari works with USPS, UPS, and FedEx to enable customers to print shipping labels. Sellers may also use a label that has been purchased separately for bigger products.

Mircari and its fully owned subsidiary Souzoh, Inc., which runs a number of additional consumer-to-consumer (C2C) services in Japan, share offices in Tokyo.

Whats Special About Mircari?

Japan’s first unicorn

The largest C2C internet marketplace in Japan is run by a Japanese e-commerce business called Mercari. One of Japan’s earliest unicorns, it was created in 2013 and raised $1.2 billion during its initial public offering (IPO) in June 2018[i]. Mercari is regarded as a trailblazer in the IT sector and among Japanese entrepreneurs in general in a nation where massive, traditional Japanese enterprises are still the majority.

Instead of charging membership dues or registration fees, Mercari earns a 10% sales commission. With the help of its user-friendly software and a lower entrance barrier for consumers, Mercari has quickly grown its vendor base and developed into the biggest online flea market in the nation. Network effects are enormous. In Japan, it presently has about 15 million active monthly users, and its user base is continually expanding. What therefore accounts for Mercari’s rapid ascent?

Mircari App

The fact that Mircari was made exclusively for mobile phones is what sets it apart from other C2C online marketplaces that were present in Japan before it. Mercari is a mobile-first business that has tapped into a sizable pool of Japanese women and the younger generation who only carry mobile phones and do not possess personal computers, in contrast to incumbents like Yahoo!Auction which were first built to be used on desktops.

Users may sell their unwanted items quite easily with the Mercari app. It really refers to itself as “the selling app,” realizing that traditional C2C online marketplaces have largely neglected to address the needs of sellers in favor of enhancing the user experience for consumers. Customers may easily sell a goods “within 3 minutes” using the Mercari app by simply uploading a photo of it to their smartphone, entering pertinent details about it in accordance with a set of straightforward instructions, and receiving payment.

Fixed price, in contrast to online auction sites like Ebay and Yahoo!Auction, is a key facilitator for this. The process is accelerated by this. In fact, because customers instantly receive push notifications for things that may be of interest based on their prior search results, the commodities listed online frequently sell extremely rapidly. Therefore, sellers on Mercari prefer convenience, quickness, and simplicity of use whereas sellers on online auction platforms value pricing. Mercari has developed a value proposition in this manner for a separate consumer niche.

Delivery and Discount

In order to make delivery affordable and simple, Mercari collaborates with Japan Post and Yamato, the country’s leading logistics provider. Users may opt to drop off their purchases at any of their service centers, partner convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Family Mart, or have them collected at their door. Users pay a single delivery cost regardless of distance, which can result in up to 69% discounts.

Solving the trust gap

Importantly, Mercari’s logistics solution enables the sender to maintain their anonymity, allaying the concerns of sellers who do not want to provide their address and other personal information to their customers. Furthermore, by permitting anonymity and establishing responsibility through a reciprocal review system, Mercari has been able to empower its vendors. Mercari encourages merchants to rate the customers in addition to the seller reviews that are generally found on e-commerce sites. It helps to build a trustworthy community in this way.

Mircari eco-system

With the use of Mercari’s point-based incentive system, vendors may turn their sales into Mercari points (one point for every yen), which can then be used to make purchases. Merpay, Mercari’s own mobile payment solution, was also introduced in 2019. Users may use their points in fast-food restaurants and grocery stores, among other retail establishments. The nation’s first mobile payment provider, Origami, was acquired by Mercari earlier this month. As a result, Mercari’s eco-system has become stronger, keeping clients on their site to maintain the buying and selling cycle.

Challenges going forward

In 2014, Mircari made its entry into the US market with the goal of using it as a springboard for international growth. To lead its US business, it hired John Lagerling, a former vice president of business development, mobile, and product partnerships at Facebook. Nevertheless, Mercari is up against a lot of competition from well-known powerhouses like eBay and Amazon as well as third-party marketplace applications like OfferUp, LetGo, and PoshMark. Although they have relationships with FedEx and USPS, logistical services in the US are not as convenient as they are in Japan. Early in 2019, Mercari reported a $10 million quarterly loss, mostly as a result of high marketing costs for the US expansion.

Mercari has been an indisputable success in its native nation, but it is unclear if it will be successful in the US. They have developed into the go-to “online flea market” with a loyal client base by concentrating on utilizing the power of digital technology and continuously seeking an improved seller experience.

How to Optimize Your Mircari eCommerce Strategy

eCommerce enterprises are offering their items worldwide through online storefronts. From Amazon to eBay, there’s practically an oversaturation of online selling sites. Mercari is a marketplace website and selling software that allows you to sell practically anything, all throughout the U.S. Even better, there are lots of eCommerce vendors that have made over $2,000 in 4 months only on Mercari.

This marketplace is less restricted than its big-name competitors and allows you offer things that Amazon may ban. Mercari’s payment methods allow users to be paid quickly, and it’s easy to market your things utilizing a “promote” button. eCommerce vendors should know about all their possibilities before picking the marketplaces in which to offer their things. They must identify the greatest possibilities for them and their firm and then optimize those markets for improved sales.

Sell Smaller Items

On Mercari, you may start selling smaller and less costly things initially, instead of advertising big-ticket items and fretting about achieving just the correct pricing. Over time, the lesser things you sell will stack up and amount to big money. Even though you don’t seem to make much at first after paying the seller’s commission, you’ll still accrue money faster than you expect. You’ll also most likely be able to sell more tiny products than bigger ones.

The negative of selling smaller, lesser value products more frequently is that you don’t generate as much money in your first few months. It may even feel too much like a full-time job, but it’s a completely viable marketing tactic. Even though you’ll still be generating revenue, you may want to focus on bigger-value things if you want to make more money in a shorter period.

Relist Items

Another technique to enhance your sales strategy on Mercari is by relisting things to sell them differently. If an item isn’t getting as much attention as you desire for it, you may always take it down and relist it. You may also take advantage of your page performing well by relisting older things when people are more engaged in your shop.

Doing this can help you sell more products on Mercari by guaranteeing that consumers see listings they may have missed before in the search results. This is vital if you’re going to be proactive with your business, which is always a good method to manage your eCommerce brand.

Constantly relisting and advertising your things takes time if you want to do it right. While you might want to spend this time on other aspects of your business, relisting your products and staying on top of promotions is something you’ll have to do consistently if you want your Mercari business strategy to be successful, especially if you are selling secondhand items where each SKU is unique.

Shipping Cost

Success in the eCommerce industry greatly depends on making sure that your shipping estimates are correct and that your packages arrive on time. Shipping mistakes may be reduced by being aware of your things’ weight before packing and shipping (including the container, cushioning, and other items). It doesn’t look good if there is any weight mistake since you or the customer will have to pay for it afterwards.

You may save money later on by meticulously weighing all of your products before listing them. Although it may seem like a lot of effort up front, it is well worth it to avoid mistakes that can ultimately cost you more money. Before advertising an item, you must be aware of its exact weight, which may require having access to a number of precision scales that can handle a range of weights and measure to the nearest ounce. The quicker your consumer receives their purchase, the happy they will be, so always ship the item out right away.

Additionally, bear in mind that customers can decide not to buy your goods if your shipping costs are greater than those of competing stores. Free delivery is an option, but whenever a customer has the option to forego paying for shipment, they typically do. The shipping charges, however, would really eat into your profits if you accept a lower price, so you might want to keep them in the buyer’s court as Mercari does allow buyers to make offers on things that you can accept, reject, or counter in their name your price model.

Personalize Your Shop

Making your store more distinctive will improve client interactions and personalize your company. Instead of a store with no personality, most customers prefer to buy from a store where they feel like they know the vendor. Posting pictures and explaining why you value your store so highly fosters a connection that encourages customers to come back.

When you have this sort of relationship with your clients, you’ll draw in repeat business and improve their user experience. Either through word-of-mouth advertising from previous customers or the allure of customization, you’ll attract more visitors to your store. Even while it looks much simpler merely to upload your things immediately without bothering about engaging with consumers or creating a bio, you’ll have to put in the work to make your business stand out.

A bio is a crucial component of personalizing your store. It may be used to greet new consumers and discuss your mission statement. To assist customers remember who listed the item, include a placard with your store name or emblem in all of your photos. Alternatively, you may utilize a recurring backdrop to become recognizable.

Clean Photos & Good Descriptions

Similar to how customizing your business would draw customers, adding attractive photographs and descriptions will do the same. Take clear pictures in the daylight for decent lighting and a more polished appearance. Additionally, one simple technique to improve your photography is to use white poster boards as backgrounds for your jewelry and accessories.

The “Brand, Type, Size” format is the recommended default for the descriptors. You may also mention the occasion the item is appropriate for, such as whether a dress is perfect for the fall. Measurements must be listed on the label in addition to the size since nobody wants to buy something online if they’re unsure if it will fit.

Be entirely truthful in your descriptions. Call attention to any flaws or damage to the merchandise. Customers want to be fully aware of what they are purchasing. They want no shocks since there are no returns. People will still be interested in purchasing open or defective things if the pricing is right and they believe you have been honest with them and that they are still benefiting from the deal.

These techniques are quick and cheap methods to make your Mircari store stand out. Additionally, when your Mircari sales increase, you’ll be able to purchase more costly photographic gear if you feel the need. The greatest strategy to sell on Mircari is to take the time to maximize your shop, even if it requires more time and work than you’d want. The best photographs may not always be what customers on Mircari want to see. They want to know how the product they are purchasing will seem in person. In light of the modern phone cameras, shooting photographs with your phone is perfectly OK if that is all you intend to do.

Mircari Benefits for eCommerce Sellers

With Mircari, you may expand the alternatives available through your eCommerce platforms and expand your consumer base. It can provide you another choice for selling products that you need to move or returns that you can’t sell as brand-new, though you definitely won’t make a ton of money as readily as you might on larger platforms with greater traffic. Additionally, you can always include a business card with the packages you send, which will help promote your main website or chosen platform. Overall, it’s worthwhile to give it a shot.

When you utilize Mircari, you also receive some price freedom. Buyers can submit an offer using this platform, which you as the seller can accept, reject, or counter. The “Name Your Price” approach may help you understand the market for that product and the optimal cost, even for other platforms, even if some customers will always try to undercut. You may gauge how closely your pricing model satisfies current demand by looking at how much offers often fall below your advertised price and the amount that customers finally accept. Many vendors on marketplaces like Mircari and Poshmark price their goods somewhat more than they ordinarily would because they anticipate that the majority of prospective customers will make offers below the listing price. This can help you accept the offers, provide the impression that you gave the buyers a good bargain, all while preserving your profits and accelerating the movement of inventory.





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