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5 Super Apps in Japan that Matter for Your Business

5 Super Apps in Japan that Matter for Your Business

When it comes to building a robust presence in the Japanese market, foreign businesses must harness the power of digitalization.

Super apps have significantly reshaped Japan’s business landscape by introducing platforms and strategies that connect brands with consumers in increasingly integrated and personalized ways. The multi-functionality and vast user bases of these super apps offer businesses unique avenues to navigate the diverse Japanese market.


Line is not just a communication app; it’s a social phenomenon in Japan. With services ranging from digital payments (Line Pay) to a social media platform (Line Moments) and even a personal assistant (Clova), LINE has integrated itself into almost every digital aspect of its users’ lives.

Creating an official account on LINE allows businesses to employ targeted advertising, CRM tools, and chatbots to engage users directly, promoting products and services with a tailored approach.

2. Rakuten

Rakuten stands tall not only as an eCommerce platform but also as a financial services provider, a media company, and more. With its point system and extensive online mall featuring a myriad of retailers, it’s a key player in both the online shopping and digital advertising spaces in Japan. 

The ecosystem spans digital content, travel, and even mobile service with Rakuten Mobile, enhancing its omnipresence in users’ digital journeys. Businesses can establish online stores on Rakuten Ichiba to leverage Rakuten Advertising and Rakuten Pay for smooth shopping experiences.

3. PayPay

PayPay, a mobile payment app developed by SoftBank and Yahoo Japan,  has been pivotal in accelerating Japan’s transition towards a cashless economy. With its simple-to-use interface, rewarding points system, and extensive merchant network, PayPay has become synonymous with mobile payments in Japan.

Businesses adopting PayPay can participate in user-acquisition campaigns, offering cashback and discounts, while also employing PayPay for Business to manage sales and customer data.

4. Mercari

Mercari has emerged as Japan’s preferred C2C shopping app, catering to a growing audience interested in sustainability and second-hand goods.

Foreign businesses can tap into this sustainable consumer market, selling and promoting pre-owned or eco-friendly products, aligning with environmental consciousness and sustainability trends prevalent among consumers.

5. Yahoo! Japan

Yahoo! Japan is an integral part of the internet experience for millions of Japanese users. It extends beyond a search engine, offering an array of services including shopping, news, and financial services.

Businesses can leverage Yahoo! Shopping to showcase their products and employ Yahoo! Japan’s advertising solutions to drive targeted campaigns. Engaging content and press releases on Yahoo! News can amplify brand visibility and credibility.  

Factors Influencing Japanese Super Apps 

– Technological Proficiency: Japan’s adept technological environment and high mobile penetration formulate a foundation where super apps can flourish.

Consumer Dynamics: The intertwining of convenience-seeking and quality-expecting behaviors among consumers drives super apps towards enhanced functionality and service excellence.

Cultural and Social Influences: From a preference for nonverbal communication to catering to an aging population, super apps mold their offerings to resonate with cultural and social nuances.

Economic and Regulatory Currents: The push towards a cashless economy and adherence to a complex regulatory framework shape the operational and strategic outlines of super apps.

Competitive Forces: Striking a balance between global influences and localization, super apps in Japan continuously innovate to stay ahead amidst stiff competition.

How Are Supers Apps Changing Japan’s Advertising Landscape? 

Through innovative ad formats, seamless eCommerce integrations, and enhanced user engagement capabilities, super apps have not only altered how brands communicate with users but also redefined the pathways from advertisement to conversion.

Hyper-Targeted Strategies: Utilizing user data, advertisers can sculpt hyper-targeted campaigns that resonate on a personal level.

Unified Experiences: The blending of advertising and transactional functionalities within super apps simplifies and enriches the user journey from discovery to purchase.

– Engagement and Interaction: Interactive ad formats and integrated reward systems enhance user engagement and foster brand loyalty.

Localization & Cultural Relevance: The capability to craft region-specific and culturally resonant campaigns allows advertisers to speak directly to varied demographics.


By leveraging the multi-dimensional platforms that super apps offer, foreign businesses can craft a user journey that resonates, an engagement that sustains, and a presence that is forever engraved within the Japanese digital landscape.

How COVUE Can Help You? 

Breaking into the Japanese market can be challenging, but with the right partner who can help you craft the right marketing strategy, rewards can be significant. At COVUE, we excel in navigating businesses through and aligning them with key Japanese trends and digital platforms. 

Let us help you make your brand resonate in Japan.

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