Subscription Service Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2020
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the subscription service market in Japan, and found out the market trend in major/noteworthy categories, the trend at market players, and the future perspectives.
The domestic subscription service market in FY2019 (as a total of 7 markets, including periodic home delivery service for food and cosmetics) attained 683,529 million yen, based on the amount spent at end-users (consumers). For FY2020, it is estimated to increase by 15.2% from the preceding year to generate 787,300 million yen.
In the subscription service market, size of each field is small except for the field of digital contents and periodic home delivery service on food/cosmetics. Nevertheless, for it is getting attention as a new way of providing products and services, the entire market (total of 7 markets) is expanding gradually. Although some of the 7 fields in this survey are at the dawn and small in scale, their growth is expected now on.
While most subscription service in the spotlight had been B2C services, services (systems) supporting B2B subscription business in various industries is emerging, such as a service supporting recurring business deals between companies mainly in order management. However, this field is not included in the market size referred to in this research.
Increase of Secondary Distributors Entering Rental Clothing and Fashion Goods Field
In the field of subscription service for rental clothing and fashion goods, secondary distributors handling secondhand luxury items like watches and bags newly entered the market in FY2019. Until then, new entries were mostly IT startups that struggled in expanding selection of products, because higher the price of items, tougher the buying up process. Under such circumstance, some IT startups partnered with leasing companies and secondary distributors to broaden the range of products to improve their business achievements.
Considering that most secondary distributors already possess a stock of hundreds to thousands of items, all they need to do to start subscription service is to adopt a subscription system to their conventional secondhand sales business. Due to the low hurdle for market entry, more secondary distributors are anticipated to join the market hereafter.
Since 2018, subscription service became widely known at the level where most people can associate it with its Japanese abbreviation "sabu-suku". Nonetheless, the service has issues for being non-conventional.
Except for digital contents service, subscription service may be foreign to traditional lifestyle, because subscription services for products and services presuppose recurring flat-rate price payment. For this reason, although the services are acknowledged by users, it is not enough to lead them to use the services; current situation is that many fields are not activated because users do not use the services frequently.
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