Japanese Website Design Trends: 3 Consumer Behavior Traits to Consider
In March 2019, btrax hosted “Web Design Trends in Japan. Don’t get lost in Translation” where btrax CEO, Brandon Hill, and Wix Marketing Strategist for Japan, Kazu Mori, presented on different aspects of Japanese design to consider when entering the Japanese market.
With over 10 years of experience in the Information Technology industry, Kazu is committed to creating marketing and acquisition programs to drive growth and brand awareness in Japan. At the event, Kazu shared insights on the past and current Japanese website design trends and what customer traits to consider when designing content for Japanese customers.
Characteristics of Japanese Web Design
Japanese websites are known to be busy and text heavy, especially with companies that have a broader audience such as NTT docomo, Lawson, and Yahoo! Japan. But why are they structured this way? Kazu stated that the reason is because Japanese customers want to see as much information as possible when looking at websites.
In comparing 7Eleven’s website for Japanese and American users, Kazu observed that the American site has a lot of white space with minimal text while the Japanese site is covered in data and facts.
7Eleven’s Japanese Web Design
7Eleven’s American Web Design
Japanese Customer Traits
Kazu found 3 reasons why Japanese consumers crave so much information.
1. Hard to Win Trust
According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, Japan is grouped among the countries that don’t trust businesses. Japanese customers can be skeptical of new companies that have not yet proven their credibility and quality. It can be especially difficult for the older generation that currently make up one-third of Japan’s population.
2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report p.40
2. Verification Behavior
Japanese websites are loaded with data, testimonies, and statistics because customers need to be 100% certain about the value of the company and its product or service.
3. High Expectations for Quality
American Express International found that 56% of Japanese customers will take their business elsewhere after one bad service experience which means that if a service is not explained thoroughly or not up to the customer’s standards, then the customer will look for other alternatives.
Japanese companies are trying to modernize their websites while still taking into consideration the customer’s desire for information. However, accommodating both older and younger generations is an ongoing challenge.
Japanese Localization Done Well
Kazu looked to Shopify’s Japanese website as an example of a great job when localizing a website.
Shopify addresses all 3 traits of what a Japanese customer looks for in a Japanese website:
1. There are sections added for customer support, success stories, and user interviews to gain the trust of its target market.
2. It contains more statistics from the number of store locations to the number of experts and apps using it to add credibility.
3. The features are extensively explained through illustrations accompanied by detailed text to prove the quality of the service.
The Balance Between Design and Information
Although Japanese web design is evolving, Japan is still in a transition period. Finding a solution in which you provide information without compromising design can be a challenge. Kazu recommended to keep your service in mind and to understand your customer’s mindset in order to create the best design for your business.
With extensive knowledge of Japanese culture and over 14 years of experience working with global companies, btrax provides localization services and more for companies interested in entering the Japanese market. If you would like more information about our services, feel free to contact us. Also, sign up for our newsletter to receive information on the upcoming similar Japan localization events and workshops. We look forward to hearing from you!
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