Press release

Mercari Launches “Mercari Shops” to Help Companies Start Offering Online Sales Through Group Company Souzoh and to Allow Users to Establish Their Own Online Shops

Mercari to Accept Advance Applications to Open Storefronts Mainly From Creators, Producers, and Small-business Operators Starting Today Launch of “Legit 50% Off Promotion” Directed at Buyers Will Also Start August 2

July 28, 2021—Mercari, Inc. (“Mercari”) group company Souzoh, Inc. (“Souzoh”) announces it will delve into a business that will help sellers of all sizes start offering online sales. Starting today, Souzoh has launched Mercari Shops, an e-commerce platform that will allow anyone to easily establish their own online shop using their smartphone. The service is now open on a trial basis.

From today, and ahead of the full rollout of the service, which will begin in September 2021, the company will begin accepting advance applications for opening storefronts mainly from creators, producers, and small-business operators.

■Mercari Shops Official Website: https://mercari-shops-lp.com/

Mercari Shops Information

With a concept of “sell with ease,” Mercari Shops is an e-commerce platform that allows users to establish their own online shop and sell their products directly to consumers using just their smartphone. By using the same simple operations as when a user lists an item on Mercari, Mercari Shops will allow anyone* to have their very own shop on the Mercari app and enjoy access to Mercari’s pool of over 19 million monthly users without the need to gather their own customer base.
Note: During the launch phase, only shop operators who submit advance applications to open storefronts will be able to launch their shop.

By launching this service, in addition to the items listed by individual users, the Mercari app will allow users to purchase a variety of other products directly from producers and craftspeople to spread the fun of shopping even further with a single app. Some of the products available will include handcrafted goods made by creators, regional fruits and vegetables couriered directly from farmers, and gourmet dishes prepared in city restaurants.

Moreover, in 2021, the company will not only allow its users to create an online store on the Mercari app, but will also provide a feature that will make it possible to create stand-alone websites outside of the Mercari app.

Background Leading to the Start of Mercari Shops

Since July 2013, when Mercari launched as a safe and secure service where individuals can easily buy and sell items, the Mercari app has evolved into a marketplace used by many that yields such figures as more than 19 million monthly users and a cumulative total of more than 2 billion listings. In addition, as a result of people spending more time at home since the spread of COVID-19, usage of the app has increased even further, with the number of monthly users surging by roughly 2.5 million people1. Furthermore, due to reduced operating hours and a drastic reduction in demand for tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an increased demand among offline businesses to start offering online sales. This trend indicates more than a shift toward marketplace apps; it also shows the expansion of the online shopping market as a whole.

At the same time, know-how is in short supply when it comes to establishing and operating an online storefront or gathering customers. This issue has puzzled many small and medium-sized businesses, the majority of which have yet to establish their own online storefront. In Japan, the percentage of businesses that have started offering online sales rests at 6.76%2. What’s more, in a survey3 of small business owners, Mercari learned that only 25.3% of those that have established an online storefront said that their website was selling their products successfully4, while the remaining nearly 75% said that their online storefront was not selling their products effectively.

Mercari Shops employs Mercari’s platform of more than 19 million users as well as the company’s know-how in user interface/user experience (UI/UX) technology to realize a safe and secure environment where anyone can buy and sell. Resolving the issues involved in starting to offer sales will provide a new marketplace for all things of value.

1 According to a comparison of average monthly active users for January to March 2020 and January to March 2021
2 Percentage of all transaction amounts (by market share) that are e-commerce transactions, “FY2019 E-Commerce Market Survey”, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (July 2020)
3 For the details of the survey, see the annex “Attitude Survey about Producers’/Small Business Owners’ Internet Storefront Usage.”/
4 Percentage of small business operators that have established and operate an online storefront and who responded in a survey about their online sales that their products were “selling” or “selling somewhat” (n = 170)

Mercari Shops Accepting Advance Applications to Open E-commerce Storefronts Starting Today!

From today, and ahead of the full rollout of the service, which will begin in September 2021, the company will begin accepting advance applications for opening storefronts mainly from creators, producers, and small-business operators.

  • Application period: From July 28 to sometime in September, 2021 (tentative)
  • Overview of advance storefront openings:
    • Shop operators eligible to open their storefront in advance will gain access to the Mercari Shops feature on the Mercari app and will be able to start the procedures for establishing their shop. They will also be able to list and sell items from their shop.
    • Shops established using the advance storefront opening application process will be able to continue operating after the full rollout of Mercari Shops.
  • Notes
    • During the launch of the advance storefront opening phase, some features may be limited.
    • Applicants of Mercari Shops advance storefront openings will undergo a screening process stipulated by Mercari.

For details and to apply, see the following: https://mercari-shops-lp.com/

About the “Legit 50% Off Promotion”

To mark the launch of Mercari Shops, starting August 2, 2021, we will hold the “Legit 50% Off Promotion.”

1. Promotion summary 
During the promotion period, when an eligible user buys and rates an item on Mercari Shops, they will receive 50% of the total purchase price in points (up to 5,000 points). 

2.Promotion duration 
August 2 to August 30, 2021

Merits of Mercari Shops

1. Allows users to easily create their own online shop from their smartphone

Just like listing an item on Mercari, virtually anyone can establish their own online shop on the Mercari app; no technical knowledge or expertise necessary! Mercari Shops allows users to manage their items and stock completely from their smartphone.

2.Allows users to bring their products to Mercari’s more than 19 million active users.

With more than 19 million monthly active users, Mercari affords users the opportunity to sell without having to gather their own customers.

3. No sign-up or monthly usage fees

Mercari Shops allows users to establish their own online shop with no sign-up fees or monthly usage fees. When your item sells, you will be charged a fee equivalent to 10% of the listed price.

Overview of the Mercari Shops service

Name of service Mercari Shops
Developer/Operator Souzoh, Inc.
Target devices Smartphones (iOS/Android)
Supported languages Japanese
Service start date July 28, 2021
Usage fees No sign-up or usage fees
Handling fees 10% of the listed price
Target users Individuals, sole proprietors, and corporations
How to use the service
  • Starting on July 28, users will be able to access the service on the Mercari app from the [Shop] tab.
  • For details on how to establish an online shop in Mercari Shops, see the following: https://mercari-shops-lp.com/
  • Applicants will have to undergo a preliminary screening in order to establish an online shop.
  • Items requiring refrigeration will be available on Mercari following the start of a refrigerated shipping service, which is scheduled to launch sometime in 2021.
  • For information on items prohibited for sale and other behavior prohibited on Mercari, see the following: https://support.mercari-shops.com/hc/ja