TOKTO - The Japanese market for web-based commerce is significantly different from markets in other major wired countries, although the actual Internet process is roughly the same.
First, Japan has fewer web users. Japan's Internet use rate sharply lags not only that of the USA, but also Korea and Singapore.
That's because of fewer personal computers in the home in the first place and, secondly, because high phone rates discourage people from logging on at home. So the late-night web surfers so common in countries such as the USA are still rare in Japan.
The peak time for web use in Japan is noon to 1.00pm weekdays. That's when workers log on from their office computers over their lunch hour.
Are Japanese consumers really in the mood to research car purchases during their one hour lunch break? CarPoint KK President Saburo Kikuchi believes so: 'As long as it is a car for personal use, it's an entertaining process for the customer.'
That's why CarPoint recast the site's formula to be more entertaining in Japan. After all, Kato said, 'A car in Japan is half an entertainment purchase.'