ZenMarket enables anybody to shop online in Japan, no matter their location. As you know, Japan is a very interesting country, and the Japanese culture is very attractive for those living abroad. There are many Japanese products that people want to buy that aren’t shipped internationally for a number of reasons. The main reason is that Japanese shops usually don’t want to ship abroad, and they are not confident with their English-language skills.
This is a niche market for us, because on the one hand we have interesting, beautiful Japanese products, and on the other hand we have millions of customers wishing to purchase them. Our company acts as the middleman between the customers and the products. Foreign customers living abroad tell us what they’d like to buy from Japan, and then we take their orders and purchase the goods as if we are locals (living in Japan). We then ask the sellers to deliver the products to our local Japanese address. This model works nicely for everybody because Japanese shops are happy to sell within Japan and foreigners are happy to get their Japanese products.
We’ve been in this market for 7 years already. The demand is so high that we’ve been almost doubling our revenue each year. Last year, annual sales were around US$40 million, and this year we expect around US$75 million. We expect continual growth in the years following, too. The reason is that the demand is huge, and the supply is so little – so we still have a lot of room to grow. Our customers’ interest is buying from shopping malls in Japan, but most of the customers want to buy from Japanese auctions, too.
At the moment, the biggest thing that sets us apart from our competitors is our brand name. We provide a good solution for a reasonable price. There are cheaper solutions, but they are riskier, not that reliable and harder to use. We offer good value for money, and while we keep providing this level of service, it would be hard for other competitors to grow because we are trying to keep our rates reasonable.
Some Japanese malls, like many others around the world, have DDoS attack prevention systems in place, so they basically try to block multiple requests from the same IP address. The nature of our service is that we are trying to reach the same website multiple times to shop. Therefore, we rely on Japanese-based IP addresses regularly. Bright Data is excellent at providing them. We are reliant on Bright Data for our core infrastructure, and so far, we are very satisfied with the service.
We use the Bright Data Residential IPs. We have been working with Bright Data for three years.
We will be continuing to use Bright Data’s technology in the future since the shopping malls are not going to change their restrictions. Therefore, it’s necessary.