Japanese companies selling houses, cars online amid pandemic

Kyodo News

Posted at Jun 29 2020 10:43 PM

Face-to-face communication with clients is generally the norm for Japanese companies selling houses, cars and other very expensive items, but the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has seen a shift to online marketing tactics.

Daiwa House Industry Co., for example, has set up a website that allows customers to choose their preferred designs and interiors and offers recommendation from more than 2,000 properties across the country except Okinawa Prefecture.

The company hopes to see strong demand from people in their 20s and 30s, as they are more accustomed to buying items online compared to older generations, and it says it has been overwhelmed by the response so far with a big increase in the number of viewers to its website.

For customers, a detailed explanation of the product and follow-up support in person are important, but the new marketing methods have gradually gained a foothold in the country, with Toyota Motor Corp. being no exception.

Toyota started online sales for all its cars, apart from the Lexus models, late last month.

The service allows customers to select a preferred dealer and get price estimates for their car of choice.

While payment cannot currently be done online, Toyota has said it will even create a system by which customers can do so in the not-so-distant future.

Toyota said it had planned to install the new marketing strategy before the outbreak, and believes usage will only increase as a result of customers being concerned about direct sales negotiations.