After its launch in 2013, Japanese mobile marketplace Mercari enjoyed huge domestic success, becoming Japan’s leading community-powered mobile retailer. However its own research showed it had very low brand recognition in its next chosen market, the United States.
Using Google Surveys, Mercari was able to further pinpoint its level of brand recognition in the US and tailor its marketing to that data. Mercari used Google Universal App Campaigns, language support and Shopping Ads to make the most of this important market. Today, Mercari is the leading mobile marketplace in both the US and Japan.
With its mission to “connect people who want to buy and sell things of emotional value through their mobile phones,” Mercari knew that the US market would be ideal for their mobile marketplace. However, a Mercari market survey held before they entered the US market showed great differences between US and Japanese consumer mobile behaviour and spending.
So when Mercari first expanded into the US market, it leveraged Google Consumer Surveys to confirm low brand recognition among their target market of 25-34 year old women.
Mercari decided to use a range of Google tools to make the most of every launch opportunity and increase brand recognition. They promoted their app using Google’s Universal App Campaigns. These focused on targeting consumers on their mobile devices using Google Play, Search, in-app advertisements, Google Display Network, and YouTube.
Mercari next assured that their app was fully localised by using Google’s machine translation service combined with a native speaker review to implement app language support and app promotion. Mercari also introduced creatives and products which were tailored to the preferences of the US’ varied demographics.
Turning Mercari into a brand with high recognition in the US was key for Mercari. So a media promotion using video ads and Shopping ads was used to promote the app itself and the products available via the app. By displaying what consumers were looking for at the precise moment that they wanted it, consumers could make a purchase by the website or by downloading the app.
Mercari Senior Marketing Specialist Shuto Iiyama recalls, "Google supported our business growth in America in several areas, including brand recognition, app promotion, website promotion, and language support. They really helped us out!”
Mercari’s forward thinking, careful planning and use of Google tools resulted in 13x the number of installs of the Mercari app in the American market. It also led to 18x the number of buyers and 19x the number of sellers. Thanks to this livelier marketplace, Mercari enjoyed a significant increase in its sales.
Commenting on the successful launch, Shuto says "In the future, we hope to combine Google's various services and our own data for machine learning purposes in order to acquire customers with high customer lifetime value, as well as expand our brand recognition using various ad expressions, methods, and routes."
Thanks to researching its new US market and acting on those insights, Mercari has not only found a new home in the US market, it’s also finding thousands of new homes every day for previously-used products throughout the country.
Google supported our business growth in America in several areas...they really helped us out!
Mercari Senior Marketing Specialist Shuto Iiyama