Launch of Internet Sampling Service Using Yahoo! Japan and FamilyMart Store Products

-New service combining Internet and store sampling -

February 14, 2011

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has launched an Internet sampling service which uses Japan’s largest portal site Yahoo! Japan and Famiport multimedia terminals installed in approximately 8,100 FamilyMart stores nationwide, in cooperation with Yahoo Japan Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Inoue, President and CEO; hereinafter “Yahoo”), FamilyMart Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Toshima-ku, Tokyo; Junji Ueda, President and CEO; hereinafter “FamilyMart”), and Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Toshima-ku, Tokyo; Yasuhiko Uramoto, President & CEO; hereinafter “”).

With manufacturers of consumer goods such as food and beverages concentrating in recent years on the development of high functionality and high value-added products, sampling is attracting attention as the most effective method of corralling trial users or acquiring repeat purchasers. Until now, samples distributed in the street or in stores were mostly given out to large numbers of the general public, making this an inefficient means of targeting consumers who identify with the added value and functions of the new products that the manufacturers are developing. This method was also problematic in other ways, such as the limited area of distribution and the difficulty of verifying the results after use.

The four companies have formed a business alliance to provide a service that is linked to the “Famiport Coupon” coupon issuing service provided jointly by the Yahoo! Japan site “Premono”(*1), ITOCHU, and the FamilyMart Group. Fusing the Internet, which is a target reach media without geographical constraints, with actual FamilyMart stores located in all 47 prefectures of Japan, this is a new concept Internet sampling service that is even able to verify the results after use.

This Internet sampling service has the following features:

  1. Identifies sampling target
    Issues coupon IDs to the potential purchaser group that is being targeted by the provider of the product based on surveys to which consumers have responded on the “Premono” site in Yahoo! Japan
  2. Reduces sampling operating costs
    Coupon IDs are issued by e-mail and samples are handed over at FamilyMart stores, thus greatly reducing sampling operating costs such as distribution costs and labor costs.
  3. Gathers marketing data related to sampling
    Uses the “Premono” site in Yahoo! Japan to conduct preliminary and follow-up questionnaire surveys of sampling targets, thereby providing effective marketing data to the provider of the product

ITOCHU, together with Yahoo and the FamilyMart Group, will continue to refine and improve the convenience of the sampling service that links up the Internet with stores, thereby supporting the marketing activities of the companies using the service.

  1. “Premono”
    A site where consumers can apply to try out sample products, such as new products appearing on “Premono” that everyone is talking about, and actually get to trial the product if they win.
    URL :[Open in a new window]
    Service commenced: October 2009
    Samples distributed: 54,000 people or over (aggregate results)
    Copy submitted: Beverage companies, food companies, cosmetics and toiletries manufacturers, pet food manufacturers, publishers, etc.

Sampling Flow


Yahoo Japan Corporation

Headquarters Midtown Tower, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative Masahiro Inoue, President and CEO
Capital 7,521 million yen
Business Internet advertising, e-commerce, member services, etc.
Established January 31, 1996
URL[Open in a new window]

FamilyMart Co., Ltd.

Headquarters 3-1-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Representative Junji Ueda, President and CEO
Capital 16,658 million yen
Business Convenience store franchises
Established September 1, 1981
URL[Open in a new window] Co., Ltd.

Headquarters 3-1-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Representative Yasuhiko Uramoto, President and CEO
Capital 400 million yen
Business Service planning and operation of MMK terminals, Famiport at FamilyMart stores, EC site,, operation and advertising agency business through FamilyMart related medium, etc.
Established May 19, 2000
URL[Open in a new window]