Purchasing stationery in Japan

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Apparently there is quite a sub-culture of pen collectors in Japan, but that was not one of the issues investiged by MyVoice when they looked at stationery.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,602 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 18% aged fifty or older.

It seems that in nearly every restaurant I go to that requires credit card signatures and has a woman on the till, said woman will have a cute pen decorated with Hello Kitty or the like, often complete with a dangly mascot. For my part I rarely buy stationery, with the last one being a stick of glue in a 100 yen shop last year. Most of my work pens are from work or freebies from conferences.

Oh, and I’ve never really got the appeal of four-colour pens; I grew out of them early into secondary school, yet half my office seems to have them and use them regularly.

There’s nothing terribly graphable in this survey, so instead lets have an advertisement for pens:


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Online shopping usage in Japan

How many times did you buy online via PC last year? graph of japanese statisticsMyVoice recently conducted a survey into online shopping usage, the sixth time they have looked at this topic. The results of this survey are very relevant to anyone trying to sell stuff in the Japanese market.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,665 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% int heir teens, 15% in their twenties, 35% in their thirties, 30% in their forties, and 18% aged fifty or older.

The numbers below are much higher than I would have expected! It’s a surprise to me that books are the top item bought – there’s very little discounting on Amazon Japan and there’s no shortage of physical book stores so I feel the online benefit is marginal in Japan, but obviously my gut feeling is wrong.

In Q2SQ4, I’m surprised they didn’t have a specific answer for a text link through a blog, as when I buy stuff it’s usually after a search for reviews then an affiliate click-through from a blog.
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Confectionery consumption in Japan

How often do you usually eat confectionery? graph of japanese statisticsRecently MyVoice investigated the subject of confectionery consumption amongst its panel of monitors. As a cross-reference, last year MyVoice looked at cheering oneself up with sweets.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,582 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% were in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 35% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% after fifty or older.

I’m surprised at the relatively low figure for spending in Q6, especially given a quarter eat sweets daily – I wonder if this means people only counting treating themselves explicitly to sweets, rather than also adding in purchases of treats for children that they eat together?
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Coffee Japan’s favourite soft drink

Compared to three years ago, my bottled tea drinking frequency has... graph of japanese statisticsThis recent survey from MyVoice into tea and tea-like drinks, their second on the subject, with the first from two years ago translated here) found actually that coffee was the top drink, replacing green tea at the top of the list.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,578 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 35% in their thirties, 30% in their forties, and 18% aged fifty or older.

Recently when it comes to packaged drinks I’ve been more of a diet coke person, but I drink mostly black tea at work and green and houji (roasted green tea) at home. That’s a good point, does the “other Japanese tea” in Q1 include houji, or does it get counted with green tea? My personal feeling is that it falls under the other Japanese tea category.

In the following questions, “tea-related drinks” covers green tea, other Japanese tea, Chinese tea, black (Indian) tea, and blended tea (either tea tea or other tea-like base) plus other herbs.
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DVD and other media rental in Japan

About how often do you rent items? graph of japanese statisticsHaving wondered out loud in an entry a couple of days ago whether people fill their iPods from rental CDs, perhaps this survey from MyVoice into CD, DVD, book, comic, etc rental gives the answer.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,426 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 35% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% aged fifty or older.

Note than in the survey DVD would include Blu-Ray, I believe.

It’s interesting that over one in five has tried an online rental-by-mail system, and I also find it perhaps curious that none of the five named services have an obvious English-language (or other foreign languages) page – they stock a lot of English-language movies and there’s a reasonable number of us in far-flung corners of Japan who may be potential customers.
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One in five Japanese computer users has had a virus

Have you ever had a virus on your home computer? graph of japanese statisticsWith stories almost every week about a new bot network or browser exploit threatening Western civilisation, the need for not just straightforward virus-checking, but regular spyware and malware scanning, is as great as ever. This recent survey from MyVoice was their second look (I missed the first!) at computer security.

Demographics

Over the first five days of April 2009 15,682 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 18% aged fifty or older.

In the English-speaking world I could see a product named “Internet Security Zero” selling absolutely zero copies, but it’s not the first and won’t be the last product to misappropriate some English, with beer manufacturers being the worst with “Off”, “Style Free”, and “Lets Beer Nothing”, although I may have invented that last brand.

As I mention every survey, a combination of Avast anti-virus and Spybot Search and Destroy will keep your PC clean for free, and are a lot less obtrusive and memory-hogging than the commercial offerings. MalwareBytes is another program I’ve heard good things about for detecting nasties, but I’ve used it just once or twice.
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Japanese department stores: expensive with irritating staff

About how often do you visit department stores? graph of japanese statisticsThis survey from MyVoice, their second look at department stores, had a surprising to me set of results, with Japanese much less frequent users of these stores than I might have imagined.

Demographics

Over the first five days of March 2009 15,606 members of the MyVoice internet community successfully completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 14% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% aged fifty or older.

I recommend to every visitor to Japan that they go to department stores to at least just look; the basement floor is usually full of lots of speciality food stores that will be more than happy to hand out free samples at off-peak times. The best one I know for this is Hanshin Umeda – there’s always lots of free mouthfuls of wine, sake, fruit vinegar and tea to be had.

I quite often use these food areas, in particular RF1, which although a little on the expensive side has a wonderful range of salads. My favourites are their baked veggies – lots of potato, asparagus and carrot – and their Hokkaido Danshaku potato croquette, which are wonderfully soft and creamy.
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VCRs still standard in one in three Japanese homes

Which maker's Blu-ray recorder would you choose? graph of japanese statisticsThis look with MyVoice at DVD (and other media) recorder usage, their fifth survey on the topic, revealed a few interesting statistics such as the one in the headline and that the now defunct-for-over-a-year HD DVD format still outranks Blu-Ray recorders, although as noted last time I reported such a number, one wonders if there is a degree of misidentification by users. I wonder if HD DVD suggested Hard Disk plus DVD to some respondents?

Demographics

Over the first five days or March 2009 15,482 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 1% in their teens, 14% in their twenties, 37% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% aged fifty or older.

I got hit by a rather irritating feature between my cable box and my DVD recorder. Despite both being made by the same company, you cannot get a digital out into the DVD recorder that will allow me to record two channels at once. The support line said the only option was to rent their high-end set-top box that has a built-in hard disk recorder, but that seemed rather unsatisfactory, especially as we only took their cheapest package of converting our existing analog service to digital but no high vision, so we’ve ended up paying them an extra 300 yen plus we get a thinner paper program guide for the privilege.
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MOTTAINAI awareness high, activity low

Do you know the MOTTAINAI campaign? graph of japanese statisticsThis recent survey from MyVoice into environmental issues, their second time of conducting it, with the first time being here, found that positive action was quite low.

Demographics

Over the first five days of March 2009 15,563 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 14% in their twenties, 36% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 19% aged fifty or older.

MOTTAINAI is the Japanese word that approximately translates to “what a waste”.

Here is a public service advertisement about refusing a plastic bag that gets broadcast quite often even at prime time:

I find it quite depressing that such a small step is reckoned to be so difficult for people to understand or carry out that it bears repeating so often even at prime time, when there are a hundred and one other just as simple and more effective steps that they could be talking about, and there are another hundred and one more important messages that a public service advertisement could address.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the people who once saw a program somewhere that showed how at that point in time separated rubbish all got burnt together, therefore they don’t need to bother doing it themselves.
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Cars judged needed by vast majority in Japan

Would you like to try car sharing? graph of japanese statisticsGiven the quality of public transport and the concentration of the population in urban areas, I was surprised by the results of this survey by MyVoice into car life, where almost four in five rated it necessary to some lesser or more degree.

Demographics

Over the first five days of March 2009 15,391 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private online questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 14% in their twenties, 37% in their thirties, 28% in their forties, and 19% aged fifty or older.

For me, owning a car is not needed in the slightest. I do rent a car twice or thrice a year when we need to visit various cemetaries, but outside these times I can manage shopping either just carrying stuff or getting home delivery; our speciality is going to a nearby Conan home centre and buying two or three trolleys full of kitchen and bathroom items, which we can get delivered to our door for just 800 yen. Add in the train tickets at 1,020 yen and it’s still under 2,000 yen once every six weeks or so, far cheaper than a car could ever be.
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