The Growth of Japanese Digital Marketing and the Impact on the Consumer Decision Making Process

In the past, consumers would use print advertisements and billboards to get details about a product. Should they be interested in purchasing it, they would request a quote from the product’s company, and upon receiving that quote, decide to purchase. Although all companies could participate in the old purchasing system fairly, it took a long time to purchase products for consumers.

On the other hand, in recent years, digital marketing has become mainstream, and the consumer decision-making process has completely changed. User behavior has been streamlined, and the current business model is much faster than it used to be. If you want to buy something, you can easily look it up on the internet, and as soon as you find what you are looking for, you can buy it. 

Old parts of the purchasing process which used to take days such as going around in a store or contacting a supplier, can now be done in hours or even minutes thanks to online search. Within a few clicks, you can read through buyer reviews and watch product demo videos. This high accessibility has a huge impact on our current business model. 

This article will provide the details of the impact of digital marketing on the consumer decision-making process in Japan.

Recognition of  needs

In the old business model, it was assumed that consumers were already aware of the need for a product or service. Today however, businesses can appeal to consumers to show them the products/services they did not know they needed/wanted. Here are some representative examples of ways Japanese businesses appeal to consumers:

  • Social media has a strong influence, and millions of advertisers rely on social media as a way to reach their consumers because they can target the most relevant audience.
  • E-newsletters are used to reach out to interested consumers and existing customers to promote the latest products/services and campaigns with the goal to motivate them to buy.
  • Banner advertisements are also used to get the attention of those who are surfing the internet.

Information Gathering

Consumers who understand their wants and needs will use that as a base for their research. It is in this time where digital marketing shines.

Nearly 90% of consumers use the Internet to search for information, and by combining powerful SEO strategies such as sponsored ads and pay-per-click ads, companies can improve their search engine rankings and reach a wider audience. 

With this, the days of relying solely on regionally limited flyers are over. 


In the old days, if you could reach the consumer, you would be able to make sales. This is not true today because the internet makes it easier to compare prices of competing products and services.

Therefore, companies should counter this by incorporating price comparison indicators on their sites. By doing this, users do not have to visit other sites, which also increases the time spent on your site leading to higher sales possibilities.

Evidence assessment 

Online reviews play an important role in the Japanese consumer decision making process. It is said that two-thirds of Japanese users who made some purchases checked the reviews prior. 

Therefore, it is effective to respond proactively to customer reviews. It creates a positive brand image of outstanding customer service, and gives consumers a positive impression, even if negative reviews are posted.

Making a decision 

Following the above, consumers will have all the information they would need prior to purchasing. It is at this point where digital marketing has fulfilled its role in the process. 

At this point, the important thing to remember is whether the payment page is displayed clearly and is user-friendly and secure.

You can see that regardless of the size or type of business, digital marketing has become an essential engine in Japan’s competitive marketplace today. Therefore, companies need to consider digital marketing to make the most of their potential to acquire leads and secure sales.