ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Companies

Amazon Japan corrals outside vendors into rewards program

Independent sellers push back over increased costs

Amazon Japan is offering what Japanese consumers love: rewards points.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Amazon Japan is expanding its rewards program starting May 23 to include all independent vendors, giving customers back 1% or more of every purchase they make in the form of redeemable points.

The e-commerce operator already rewards points on orders it fulfills directly. Customers can then apply the points to future purchases on the platform over the following year. The new setup includes all orders through third-party sellers, which until now could choose whether to opt in to the program.

Japanese rivals like Rakuten have similar programs, which are extremely popular in Japan. While the change could win Amazon Japan more loyal customers, it also raises the question of whether the policy violates antitrust regulations.

Amazon Japan plans for the sellers themselves to pay for the points, arguing that more customer rewards will encourage more purchases. But some sellers say they will have no choice but to raise prices to factor in the additional cost.

According to a source at the Japan Fair Trade Commission, the company may be found to be abusing its dominant position if it forces sellers to shoulder the cost without proving that the new system directly benefits them.

"The big question will be whether it has the consent of the sellers," the source said.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media