Yamato Group Solutions

Enhancing Mail Order Provider Profitability through Improved Consumer Convenience  
Mail Order Solutions

Same-Day Delivery and Electronic Payments

Mail order is one of the few business segments in Japan that have performed strongly despite sluggish growth in consumer spending. The Yamato Group provides a wide range of services to mail order providers aspiring to boost earnings on the back of the growing popularity of Internet shopping. The basic strategy of these services is to further enhance the convenience for the buyer, under the ultimate goal to grow the bottom line of mail order businesses by improving customer satisfaction. To address consumer demand to receive an order as quickly as possible, Yamato Transport began offering to mail order providers the Today Shopping Service (TSS), which can deliver a customer's order as quickly as the same day it was ordered. Yamato Transport also addressed consumer demand for a broad mix of payment options by having its sales drivers (SD) use a handy terminal that can process most types of electronic money (e-money) developed and used in Japan today. Both of these approaches demonstrate that the Yamato Group is committed to improving consumer convenience from a variety of angles. 
(Reporting and editing by Nikkei BP Consulting Inc.)

Chapter-05.

Use of E-Money on the Rise with the Advent of Loyalty Reward Point Programs 
Diversified Payment Options Key to Competing

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Ryoichi Ishiomaru
General Manager
Payment Solutions Division
YAMATO FINANCIAL CO., LTD.

"A consumer can collect e-money loyalty reward points and airline mileage when using e-money. Perhaps the greatest reason for using e-money for shopping is to get these loyalty reward points. Since these points can be converted into e-money, they are much easier to redeem than credit card loyalty rewards. Of course, TA-Q-BIN COLLECT settlements using e-money are also eligible to receive points. Moving forward, settlements made using e-money for mail order goods will likely increase rapidly. As a result, offering settlements using e-money will have a huge impact on the earnings of mail order businesses." analyzes General Manager Ryoichi Ishiomaru, Payment Solutions Division, Yamato Financial Co., Ltd. Moreover, many consumers also choose to use e-money for security reasons. "For those people who feel uncomfortable about the possibility of the loss of their personal information when using a credit card, e-money is an ideal payment option." says the aforementioned Ito.

Precisely because of this trend, enabling consumers to pay using e-money will clearly have a positive effect on the earnings of mail order businesses.
Ito explains that mail order providers who were among the first to offer settlements using e-money "saw on average 10% growth in sales compared to the previous year when they did not offer e-money settlements. The average amount of cash on delivery payments is about 10,000 yen, but for e-money settlements this figure is about 12,000 yen. Clearly, consumers spend more when using e-money." In addition, when the online store of an electronics retailer recently held a special offer where it offered its own loyalty reward points in addition to points for using e-money, sales increased by 40% over the previous year. Average customer spending also jumped from 16,000 yen to 23,000 yen.
The most important aspect of a mail order business is the strength of its product line up. Yet, stiff competition recently has meant that many mail order providers carry the exact same products. As such, offering a wide range of payment options is key to maintaining as well as increasing sales. Mail order users will not hesitate to switch companies when one does not offer their payment method of choice. Precisely because of this, Ishiomaru explains "We have seen a growing trend where consumers choose a store based on its ability to accept e-money. As a result, mail order providers can beat out their competition by setting themselves apart through offering an e-money payment option."

Proprietarily Developed Handy Terminal

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Generally speaking, a specialized point of sale terminal for each individual e-money type must be installed when offering e-money as a payment option in a brick-and-mortar store, which results in the register area being cluttered with several different terminals. In the case of Yamato Transport, it would be impossible for its sales drivers (SD) to carry multiple terminals to support this payment option. As a result, the Yamato Group became the first to develop a handy terminal that can process all major types of e-money used in Japan. All 50,000 SD began using the terminal in June 2010. The terminal can also process credit card and debit card transactions.

The consumer can choose two options when making a payment using e-money. Pay full price by e-money or pay only a portion of the price by e-money. For example, when paying a price of 10,500 yen, the consumer can choose to pay 10,000 yen in cash and 500 yen in e-money or 500 yen in cash and 10,000 yen in e-money. This option reduces the need to have small change ready and can be used when the consumer does not want to receive small change back when paying in cash. In addition, e-money can be used without waste, considering how to effectively acquire loyalty reward points. Furthermore, by having the option to make a payment in a variety of payment methods, the mail order business and home delivery provider can avoid the situation where the consumer does not have cash on hand and asks for the merchandise to be delivered later. This also helps reduce the product return rate.


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  • (Previous) One of the First to Process E-Money Payments

<Mail Order Solutions> 
Enhancing Mail Order Provider Profitability through Improved Consumer Convenience

  • Chapter-01. 
Providing a Wide Range of Services to Mail Order Providers that Enhance Consumer Convenience
  • Chapter-02. 
TSS – Making Same-Day Delivery a Reality
  • Chapter-03. 
Auto-Pick Factory – Key Factor in Expedited Deliveries
  • Chapter-04. 
One of the First to Process E-Money Payments
  • Chapter-05. 
Use of E-Money on the Rise with the Advent of Loyalty Reward Point Programs

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About the Yamato Group

The Yamato Group includes the following companies: Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., which has developed an express delivery network nationwide; Yamato System Development Co., Ltd., which develops and operates diverse IT solutions including data centers; Yamato Home Convenience Co., Ltd., which transports and sets up consumer electronics, household goods, and machinery that cannot be transported via express delivery; Yamato Logistics Co., Ltd., which specializes in domestic and overseas logistics outsourcing; Yamato Financial Co., Ltd., which provides settlement services; and others. These companies pool their talents, which encompass "information, logistics, and settlement", to provide optimal solutions from a comprehensive perspective to the problems of client companies.