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Digital 100

The Fastest-Growing Companies Online in Japan

The highly-anticipated annual rankings are live - discover the winning digital players of 2022! The globally recognized Digital 100 reveals the fastest-growing companies online in Japan across 10 key industries based on year-over-year (YoY) traffic growth. Plus, we unpack the digital tactics fueling their success so you can make the list next year.

People are returning to travel overseas, but still have a ways to go

People have gradually returned to international travel since April 2022, when the quarantine period after returning from an international trip became zero days, but domestic travel still accounted for much of the travel demand in 2022. Looking at traffic on tabikobo.com (+186%), the No. 1 growing international and domestic travel booking site, domestic travel-related page traffic accounts for 70% of desktop traffic and 55% of mobile traffic, and has yet to regain the traffic it had when the percentage of international travel was high. 

The dominance of original content is clear

The top ranking site is disneyplus.com (+652%), followed by contents-abema.com (+320%), a site dedicated to Abema TV announcements, in 2nd place, and the service site abema.tv (+13.9%) in 9th place. Disneyplus.com is the only site where Disney's works can be seen. Abema TV attracted attention for its free distribution of all games of the World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar at the end of the year, but its other unique original content, such as martial arts and shogi, are its most significant features. 

The need for language learning grows in times of uncertainty

The top four language education sites are kimini.online (+720%), cafeeikaiwa.jp (+98%), qqeng.com (+83%), and berlitz.com (+81&), while duolingo.com (+68%) in 6th place and bizmates.jp (+57%) in 10th place, meaning that 6 language-related websites ranked in the top 10. Gakken's kimini.online, in particular, showed an astounding growth rate of 720%. The driving force behind this growth in less than two years since its launch is its blog content on English learning. The site generates 50% of its traffic, and the conversion rate to members seems to be on track as seen in the increase in traffic to the members' site. Language skills are essential for career advancement, and it can be assumed that the need for learning English has increased in the uncertain economic situation.

Top brands from different genres face off

Shein.com, a fast fashion brand from China, was the No. 1 brand with the fastest growth rate (+707%). It is followed by y-aoyama.jp (+102%), a business wear brand; freaksstore.com (+60%), a select store brand popular among young people; hermes.com (+44%), a top luxury brand; workman.jp (+31%), a leader in work clothes, camping equipment, and outdoor wear; and the newest trend-setting fashion brand, workman.jp (+31%). jp, and shop-shimamura.com (+31%), which covers everything from the latest fashion trends to practical clothing, bedding, and interior design.

Honda tops the list, Toyota's presence with three sites ranked

American Honda Motor's honda.com (+33%) was ranked No. 1, with 90% of its traffic coming from direct access, indicating an increase in internal traffic. toyota.co.jp (+32%) was ranked No. 2 by Toyota Motor Corporation, and its product site toyota.jp (+8%) and corporate site global.toyota (4%) were also ranked, indicating the large amount of interest Toyota has received from a wide range of stakeholders, from investors to consumers, and the size of its presence.

Services that cater to job seekers' specialties and work styles are growing

Job search and employment support services that are unique to the expertise and work style of the job seeker dominated the top spots. acaric.jp, a job hunting site specializing in graduate students and science students, ranked No. 1 with a growth rate of +228%, and labbase.jp (+109%), which also provides a scouting service for science students and researchers, ranked No. 7. We-expats.com, a job site for foreigners, came in second (+156%), followed by en-ambi.com, a job site for young, high-caliber professionals (+151%). 

Stay-at-home demand continues

The top 10 list shows that the demand for home comfort continued in 2022: ecovas.com (+133%) in first place for home cleaning robots, toshiba-lifestyle.com (+86%) in second place for Toshiba-brand white goods, regza.com (+32%) in seventh place for Toshiba REGZA-brand televisions and other video equipment, mi.com (+29%) in eighth place for smartphones and smart home-related equipment, ankerjapan.com (+29%) in ninth place for mobile chargers, audio and smart home equipment, and siroca.co.jp (+28%) in 10th place for kitchen appliances and household appliances. Six sites are home appliance manufacturers.

100-yen store shows its strength online as well

Daisonet.com, the preeminent 100-yen store with outstanding name recognition, ranked No. 1 with a growth rate of +249%. The company used paid search only slightly in 2021, but in 2022, it no longer used paid search, and instead relied solely on organic search and referral partners to attract strong traffic. In 2022, the mindset of household budget defense increased due to price hikes of products since the spring and the rising cost of utilities. In this context, e-commerce sites that meet the needs of people who want to buy quality products efficiently grew significantly and ranked in the top 10. 

Attractive campaigns drive stunning growth of fxgt.com

In 2022, when cryptocurrency prices fell and exchange rates and stock prices fluctuated wildly, people were forced to be more conservative in their investment decisions, but interest in cryptocurrency and FX has grown. In particular, fxgt.com showed an impressive growth rate of +1753%. The site features attractive offer and has increased traffic through aggressive display ads and referral campaigns. In contrast to the overall downturn in the cryptocurrency market, NFT showed strong popularity. Among the NFT marketplaces, the globally popular opensea.io was the only one to rank 5th with a growth rate of +275%. 

Solution for improving the post-purchase CX arrived in Japan

narvar.com, a SaaS platform for improving the post-purchase shopping experience in e-commerce, has grown by 414% to become the No. 1 in the list. narvar was founded in the U.S. in 2012 and launched its services in Japan in 2021. While e-commerce tends to focus on customer attraction and conversion, narvar.com specializes in the post-purchase customer experience, even covering the the return process. The data shows that a positive impression during the return process leads to the next purchase, and this solution is likely to attract more and more attention in 2023. In 2022, the trend toward DX in back offices continued in order to flexibly accommodate new work styles, such as teleworking due to the Corona disaster. 

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Methodology
The Digital 100 is the official list of the fastest-growing companies online. To identify the winners, we analyzed websites with over 100,000 visitors* for 10 categories, ranking the 100 websites with the largest year-over-year (YoY) increase in visitors on desktop and mobile web devices in Japan in 2022 vs. 2021.
*For Fashion and Apparel, sites are selected based on the number of monthly visits of 1M or more.