Putting e-commerce to work: The Japanese convenience store case

Rapp, William V.; Islam, Mazhar U.

Japanese convenience stores (CVS) are exploiting e- and m-commerce solutions different from, but relevant to, US practices. Seven-Eleven Japan, Lawson, and FamilyMart − three of the largest CVS − base their fundamental business models on increasing store traffic. Japanese reluctance to make credit card payments over the Internet or via telephones opened the way for CVS to provide third-party payment services, which required substantial IT infrastructure. Now they are leveraging this investment. In doing so, they are following a different e-commerce B2C model than is typical in the United States. Their approach incorporates heavy dependence on IT-based alliances (e-retsu), a range of services and products, and telematics (coupling detailed database management with the use of smart cell phones and sophisticated in-car communication and guidance systems) rather than PCs. This business-to-consumer (B2C) model is relevant to markets and market segments possessing similar characteristics.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 212
Published Here
February 11, 2011