Yahoo Japan coming out of 2012 on a high note

Yahoo JapanYahoo Japan sees major gains from mobile commerce and e-commerce

Yahoo Japan, one of the largest Internet companies in the country, had a very lucrative 2012. The company, which boasts of its own search, mobile, and e-commerce platforms, has done very well despite strong competition from Google and others looking to engage consumers in the mobile space. New analysis from Trefis, a financial and stock market analysis firm, suggests that there are two major factors that have contributed to Yahoo’s success over the last year: Mobile commerce and e-commerce.

Mobile advertising drives commerce higher

In 2012, Yahoo Japan generated approximately $3.5 billion in profit, with a company-wide gross margin of 90%. Trefis analysts expect that this growth will continue into 2013, especially as Yahoo looks to take advantage of the growing mobile commerce and advertising sector. Analysis shows that mobile advertising accounted for approximately 17% of Yahoo Japan’s total value in 2012. These advertisements helped spur mobile commerce, which also helped the company in terms of finances.

E-commerce initiatives prove successful

Yahoo’s e-commerce business is considered is most lucrative factor, accounting for 18% of the company’s value. E-commerce generated a significant portions of the company’s profits in 2012, largely backed by the performance of mobile commerce campaigns and mobile advertisements. Growth of the e-commerce sector is expected to slow in 2013, but Yahoo Japan will likely continue seeing promising results from this sector in the years to come, especially as more consumers become enthralled with mobile commerce.

2013 is likely to be a good year for Yahoo Japan

Yahoo Japan is expected to have a very strong 2013. The company has been putting more focus on engaging mobile consumers recently, largely because Japan is home to one of the largest mobile markets in the world. Smart phone penetration in the Japanese market is significant, eclipsing other countries by a healthy margin. This typically means that companies with a focus on mobile consumers tend to have a more powerful reach in the market than others.

Augmented reality toys from Disney may be jumping the gun

augmented reality disneyWhile there is some promise behind these high tech products, many believe the concept is lacking.

Disney has announced a line of augmented reality toys that allow a child to view the object through a smartphone or tablet in order to watch a favorite character interact with the item, but many reviews have indicated that the technology may not quite be adequately developed to provide the magical experience with which the company is typically associated.

Though there are some strengths to the idea, critics are calling it gimmicky and confusing.

Is augmented reality ready for the type of play experience that Disney is hoping to achieve? The products have been geared toward a very young demographic, in order to allow them to both play with the toys and watch their favorite characters do the same, with a certain level of interaction, as well.

However, many wonder if this type of augmented reality product is being released too soon for the tech.

It may be that the concept itself has not been fully developed in order to allow for the ideal level of interaction and, therefore, value to be obtained in this type of product. While those who are in favor of the toys feels that it adds an added element of fun and magic, critics wonder why a child should have to set the toy aside and watch a character play with it, instead of actually using the object him or herself.

At the same time, they augmented reality feature of the toys does offer an added experience, not only through the fun of watching a favorite character magically appear to play with the toy, but the animated characters also encourage the child to participate through song and interactive games.

Though the concept may be somewhat basic, it is still applying a great deal of fascinating technology that remains in its infancy in terms of consumer involvement. As adults seem divided, it appears that it will need to be the children who decide whether or not the effort was worthwhile.

The toys themselves were created and manufactured by a licensee called Jakks. They worked together with NantWorks, which is a company that uses augmented reality primarily for Disney developing and advertising.