According to The Nikkei Asian Review, Yamato Transport, the largest door-to-door delivery service company with market share of 41% in Japan, will support small and midsize companies selling products online by handling everything from order processing to shipping, speeding up order fulfilment.
Many smaller businesses sell household goods and food online, via the Rakuten virtual mall, Amazon Japan or their own websites. Due to limited manpower to process and ship the orders, delivery often takes two or three days.
The Yamato Holdings unit's order and inventory management services, slated to launch next month, will allow these companies to offer same-day delivery within greater Tokyo and beyond.
Yamato will provide a computer system for managing orders, shipping records and other information. Users will be able to centrally control data previously managed separately by sales channels such as e-commerce sites and the companies' own websites. Yamato says its services will allow clients to cut labour costs by 30%.
The computer system will be offered with no initial costs, taking into consideration that many smaller businesses lack financial resources. Instead, fees will be charged according to shipping volume.
Additionally, Yamato will open up its delivery pickup services, so that consumers who place orders with smaller businesses can pick up their goods at nearby convenience stores or Yamato locations.
Based on an estimate that about 200,000 Japanese businesses sell their products online, Yamato aims to sign up 15,000 for its new offering by 2016. Delivery personnel and marketing staffers of group units specializing in information technology will market the services to potential clients.
Small and midsize companies account for a majority of e-commerce businesses in Japan. Yamato seeks to capture shipping demand in the expanding online shopping market.