Will my product sell on Amazon Japan? 12-question Product Decision Tree

Are you curious “Will my product sell in Japan?”

If so, I’ve distilled down dozens of factors to 12 yes or no questions.

This will give you a quick gauge IF Amazon japan is a great opportunity to expand your business in 2024.  

I call it the Amazon Japan Decision Tree.

First off, I recommend you set aside 5-10 minutes to go through the 12 questions and keep track of your Yes or No answers. 

By the end of this Decision tree you will know “Will my product sell on Amazon Japan”.  

It’s not 100% foolproof but it will give you a strong indication and reduce your risks.  

Let’s dive in.

1) Are you selling a product with at least 300 reviews on an Amazon Marketplace other than Japan? (Add 1 point if Yes)

If yes, then you can carry over to Amazon Japan and launch with the same number of reviews from Day 1.

Review thresholds are much lower in Japan and you will be at an advantage from your launch. 

2) Is your product manufactured in China? (Add 1 point if Yes)

If Yes, you will eliminate US-China tariffs and get at least 25% cost reduction on landed costs

And you will enjoy shorter lead times as low as 7-10 days shipping from China to Japan which will let you place smaller orders (and free up your cash flow)

3) Is your product manufactured in India, Vietnam, Thailand, and other free trade countries with Japan? (Add 2 points if YES)

If yes, you may lower your duties to as low as ZERO.  This is more cost reduction on landed cost and more profit margin for you.

4) Does your product have a chance to go VIRAL on social media? (Add 1 point if Yes)

For example it’s not a boring product like a trash bag or masking tape. 

Japanese consumers love to follow the crowd.

5) Does your product have any influencers on Youtube, Instagram, Tiktok? (Add 1 point if Yes)

If so, then there’s a strong chance you can drive a ton of external traffic to your listing in Japan because influencers are big in Japan.

6) Is your product SIZE compatible with Japan? (Add 1 point if Yes)

Japanese apartments, especially in Tokyo are TINY. You will need to consider if your product is TOO BIG for the market. 

For example large patio furniture will not work because Japanese apartments DO NOT have patios.

As a rule of thumb very LARGE or Oversized products may not have product market fit for Japan.

Youtube is a great way to check how your product will fit (or not)

7) Is there a large Market for your product in Japan? (Add 1 point if Yes)

Use the Amazon Product Opportunity Explorer, Jungle Scout, Helium 10, or Data Dive to research the top search results onAmazon.co.jp for your main keywords. – how many sales are there? 

For example, are there 5,000 sales per month in the top 10 listings combined? 

That means there’s a significant market for your product

8) Are there 5-10 Keywords on Amazon JP that you can rank for? (Add 1 point if Yes)

Search on Amazon.co.jp for competing products using english keywords.

Then use tools such as Helium 10 and Jungle Scout to do a reverse ASIN search to find out your keywords in Japanese.  

You can also use ChatGPT to translate these keywords into Japanese and/or English.

9)  Does your product have Low Competition in Japan? (Add 1 point if Yes)

Goto amazon.co.jp and search in English for your keywords.

Look at the top 10 competitors for your product – are there at least 5 sellers with less than 300 reviews?

If so then there’s a good chance of success for your product.

10) Does your product have Low Compliance complexity? (Add 1 point if Yes)

This means you are NOT selling anything that goes ON THE BODY or IN THE BODY? (Supplements, cosmetics, etc)

Also anything that does NOT touch food or drink (e.g. water bottle)

If If so be prepared for more regulations

11) Does your product have fewer than 5 components? (Add 1 point if Yes)

In Japan compliance tests are often required for each component.  This means that if there many different parts, there will be higher compliance costs as each part may need to be individually tested.

12) Is your product a cultural fit for Japan? (Add 1 point if Yes)

Taco holder test – is your product like a taco holder or something that is very US-centric? Just so you know most Japanese ppl don’t eat tacos so there is little demand in Japan.  

This may be hard to gauge if you’re not familiar with Japanese culture.

But there is a quick hack to get 95% certainty.

Ask ChatGPT “Do Japanese people use (XXX product)?”.  (Replace with your product keyword)

Then fact check then answer against Amazon.co.jp and/or Youtube.

OK now it’s time to calculate your score.  

Add up all of the YES answers and if you totaled:

8-11 Yes – Very strong chance of success in Amazon Japan – This is one of the most important things you should do in your business in 2024

I would then look deeper into this

4-8 Yes – Good chance of success in JP 

Your product has Good product-market fit and you should find more details to make a decision – see above

1-3 Yes – Lower chance of success in JP 

This product may not be the best product market fit at this time.  Consider other products.

0 Yes – Do not enter Japan yet

Consider different products and different strategies.

Note: if you did score below a 4 – it is NOT game over for your product in Japan.

There are ways to quickly pivot and tweak your products to make them sell well in Japan… without having to start over from scratch.  One way is to make different product variations that can cater better to the Japanese marketplace.  

I suggest you run the variation through the 12 question decision tree to see if you can score higher.

Notice I didn’t put anything about language or translation because that can be solved using a translator and commonly available tools like ChatGPT.

By the way, if you took the test let me know what score you got?  Was this helpful?


PS: If you scored between 4-11, I highly recommend you take action this year and join us at 7FSJM2 – to learn the updated 2024 roadmap on how you can sell up to $965k in Japan.

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