New Context

New Context

DG Commerce’s Future Vision: One-Stop Support from E-Commerce Website Building to Marketing and Payment

The e-commerce market is continually growing, including both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. According to a survey by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, year-on-year growth for 2022 was 9.91% in the Japanese B2C e-commerce market and 12.8% in the B2B market. At the same time, the increasingly complex e-commerce market environment and customer purchasing behaviors are inseparable from the marketing strategies of companies and brands. In this era, it is not enough to simply build an e-commerce website.

What do people working in marketing and e-commerce fields need to know, and what issues must they consider? How will marketing be carried out in the future? We interviewed Kazunori Shimizu, president of DG Commerce Inc. (a joint venture by DG Financial Technology, Inc. and System Integrator Corp.), along with System Integrator president Satoshi Hikiyashiki.


Chief Executive Officer, DG Commerce Inc.

Kazunori Shimizu

Worked at a major electronics manufacturer before joining System Integrator Corp., where he was involved in the e-commerce website business during the 2000s, the era when Japan’s e-commerce market was established. After this market began diversifying in the 2010s, he worked in the Digital Garage Group’s e-commerce businesses, including DG Financial Technology, NaviPlus, and Scudetto. He continues helping e-commerce businesses grow from a variety of angles.

Representative director, president, CEO; System Integrator Corp.

Satoshi Hikiyashiki

Began working at Sumisho Computer Systems Corporation (currently SCSK Corporation) after graduating from Aoyama Gakuin University’s Faculty of Law. Joined Sumitronics Asia Holding Pte Ltd in 2000. Was appointed director of System Integrator (SI) in 2002, then representative director, president in 2022. Was involved in ProActive sales at Sumisho Computer Systems. After becoming director of SI, he planned the GRANDIT Web-ERP launch and helped grow the e-commerce business as sales manager.

Maximizing the strengths of both companies for e-commerce business growth

Shimizu: When DG Commerce Inc. was launched, our goal was for System Integrator (SI) and the DG Group to complement each other in necessary ways to provide further value.

Hikiyashiki: SI is a Japanese company with a long history in e-commerce system development. It has the business expertise and technological skills to fulfill the complex requirements of large-scale clients. However, we’ve concentrated resources on system development, so SI wasn’t as concerned with regular sales efforts. We were aware that our strengths did not include marketing and market-based product development.

We thought about training human resources to grow in this area, but it wasn’t a realistic option because it would take at least two or three years to catch up to the market. We examined what we were lacking and consulted with many companies. The DG Group said they could provide all the elements we didn’t have, and we began thinking about collaboration.

Shimizu: In contrast, the DG Group was facing the challenge of how to further improve our system-building skills in the e-commerce sector. SI is a leading company in the industry. Among Japanese companies, it has a particularly good e-commerce website track record and knowledge. SI was an ideal partner because it complemented us in areas we were lacking.

Hikiyashiki: When the new company was established, SI provided SI Web Shopping, Japan’s first e-commerce website package. SI Web Shopping has been implemented by medium-sized e-commerce businesses aiming for annual sales in the range of billions of yen, as well as large businesses striving for even bigger sales amounts. It’s highly customizable and is also used by businesses that sell services rather than goods.

Shimizu: The DG Group offers wide-ranging support from product and service recognition to marketing, promotion, and customer satisfaction. It also provides expertise in payment solutions featuring many different payment methods and high-level security. It can offer one-stop data analysis and consulting, from marketing to payments, with overall support that helps clients grow their businesses. 

An era that values customer attraction over e-commerce site construction

Shimizu: The overall e-commerce market is expanding, with particular growth in the non-product sales field. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s FY2022 E-commerce Market Survey, the B2C e-commerce market grew by 32.43% in the service field during the one-year period from 2021 to 2022. Many people are engaging in digital consumer behaviors, and I feel like businesses that previously neglected digital transformation (DX) are starting to focus on e-commerce.

The food service industry is one example. Fewer people dined out during the COVID-19 pandemic, but delivery sales soared. This is somewhat unrelated to e-commerce, but all major restaurant chains now take mobile orders. Businesses and consumers have realized that digital services provide better convenience, and are beginning to utilize them proactively.

Hikiyashiki: Besides food service, I feel like COVID-19 also had a big impact on e-commerce market growth. Many physical stores are installing systems to optimize operations—partially due to labor shortages—and many tools have come into rapid use.

Speaking from our standpoint as a system developer, I get the sense that client needs are changing slightly. SI was founded in 1995, around the time of the dot-com bubble. Back then, all companies had to do was build a website where people could buy their products. 

Today, online shopping carts have become less important. The bigger issue for clients is how to draw customers to their websites. Marketing is a much more significant issue today than building an e-commerce website.

E-commerce businesses must provide new types of convenience

Hikiyashiki: The e-commerce environment has been greatly transformed for businesses and consumers over the past few years. I think this will continue along with changing behaviors and technological innovation. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) can provide highly accurate recommendations. It’s possible to imagine a world where AI can look at a consumer’s past purchases and the websites they visited to suggest items based on what the consumer is searching for and what designs they prefer. That would be great for people like me, who don’t particularly enjoy shopping.

Some have predicted that shopping will be naturally integrated into our daily lives. E-commerce makes shopping much more convenient, but you still have to visit the e-commerce site or shopping mall where the products you want are sold. Just like you can purchase items via Instagram today, we might see systems that allow consumers to shop while living their daily lives.

Shimizu: I also predict that people will be able to shop without visiting e-commerce websites someday. Today we use smartphones, but brand-new wearable devices might make that world possible.

Hikiyashiki: On the other hand, some people do enjoy the act of searching for and buying products. I think it would be good to have a function that allows them to turn off automatic recommendations in their daily lives. Think of it like Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) gates on the expressway; drivers can still choose to use cash payment lanes. It would be great if individuals could select ideal lifestyles premised on diverse values and ways of living.

Because businesses and consumers are thinking about e-commerce in different manners, businesspeople will have to try new ways of doing things. I think they need a stance of suggesting lifestyles that are more convenient.

It will be essential to keep considering topics like what services are needed in our aging society with a falling birthrate. Another example is e-commerce and digital businesses for the growing number of pet owners. E-commerce marketers tend to focus on how to encourage purchases. I don’t think that’s enough to promote e-commerce, grow the market, or expand their businesses.

One-stop support from e-commerce website building to marketing and payments

Shimizu: From the standpoint of a business operator, society may change as all types of merchandise are automated and human involvement decreases in many fields. The DG Group is developing a data analysis technology leveraging the latest technologies. This system will gather data from places where it could not previously be acquired. We’re aiming to practically implement technology that makes it easy for businesses to predict what new products would match people with particular attributes.

It’s been 30 years since the birth of Japanese e-commerce, and I doubt that online shopping carts will change much going forward. Instead, related fields will change. I think the overall DG Group’s role is to develop technologies that increase client profit.

Hikiyashiki: I think online shopping carts will remain the same, and that product sales formats won’t change much, either. That’s why it’s important for e-commerce businesses to become more skilled at attracting customers. Furthermore, I think they will have to offer appealing experiences to consumers. They don’t have to do anything fancy—companies that survive will continually do the simple, basic things they must according to rules they already understand.

Shimizu: DG Commerce provides added value that goes beyond fulfilling client requirements, delivering products, and carrying out system operation and maintenance. We start by talking to the client about their products and main targets, then we suggest optimal system specifications.

Sometimes our proposals include a promotion, product development, and payment solution strategies. The new company is unique because we can make broad-ranging proposals—from e-commerce website building to related fields—based on the viewpoint of what clients truly need right now to achieve business growth, which is their true objective. We don’t intend to focus solely on e-commerce websites, but to offer support in related fields and to be recognized as a partner.

DG Commerce and SI will work together to create new value and become great partners for all e-commerce businesses that are striving to increase their sales.

DG Commerce Inc.

DG Commerce provides one-stop support to e-commerce businesses with a focus on e-commerce websites, from marketing and payment solutions to fraud detection expertise, as well as analysis and utilization of customer behavior, purchases, and other data.