A Professional’s Reputation and Insights on “ecbeing” – Shared by a Former Industry Insider


*This article is an English translation of the “元業界人が語る「ecbeing」のプロの評判と考察” article.

“I’ve heard a lot about ecbeing, but what’s it really like?”
“I’ve heard it’s really expensive…”
“It’s the biggest player in the e-commerce industry, right?”

“ecbeing” is the leading e-commerce system company in the industry, specializing in building e-commerce sites for mid-to-large-sized companies with annual sales of over 1 billion yen.

While ecbeing has fewer bugs and issues compared to competitors, as its main services are packaged solutions (rather than cloud-based), they do not automatically update, resulting in higher maintenance costs as a downside.

Today, the author, a former industry insider, will provide a detailed explanation of ecbeing, comparing it to its rival, ebisumarto.

The biggest appeal of ecbeing is its track record of building e-commerce systems with relatively few bugs.

If asked about ecbeing’s biggest advantage, it would be that it tends to have relatively fewer bugs and issues compared to its competitors. This is because they have been operating an e-commerce site construction business since 1999, and have accumulated experience dealing with a variety of issues and bugs over that 20-year period. As a result, ecbeing is often selected, especially in bidding competitions with major clients.

I’ve been in this industry for 5 years, and I’ve never heard any rumors of ecbeing experiencing major system failures. Even the most skilled vendors cannot completely avoid bugs. The key is the operational structure to ensure the same bugs do not reoccur. In this regard, ecbeing is relatively well-positioned.

ecbeing’s Three Business Models: Explaining “① E-commerce Site Construction Costs”, “② Maintenance Costs”, and “③ Marketing”

Let me explain the business models that ecbeing utilizes.

Business Model ①: E-commerce Site Construction Costs

Got it, here is the breakdown of the costs involved in implementing ecbeing’s e-commerce system:

Initial site construction cost: Around 6 million yen* to several tens of millions of yen

* Excluding “mercart”

The 6 million yen figure is the initial cost for launching with ecbeing’s standard package without any customization. However, since the companies implementing ecbeing are usually large enterprises, most cases involve customization, such as:

・Integration with core business systems
・Integration with order management systems
・Accommodating unique business requirements

Therefore, most projects end up in the 10 to 50 million yen range.

However, this does not mean ecbeing is particularly expensive. The competing solutions like “ebisumart” and “EC-ORANGE” also have very similar cost ranges.

ecbeing has a sales structure that avoids taking on unprofitable projects. Rather than taking on customization projects with no prior experience, they prioritize cases where they have existing implementation track records and can leverage their library of pre-built programs, allowing them to be a profitable business.

This may sound simple, but e-commerce system vendors often can’t resist large-scale projects from major enterprises, even though complex development for those large projects frequently leads to cost overruns and losses. The project scale and complexity often exceed the initial estimates, despite the high contract value.

As a side note, some large projects involve key client personnel with deep system knowledge leaving the company, making it difficult for the vendor to properly understand the client’s business flows. These kinds of “landmine” projects are ones e-commerce vendors always want to avoid.

Given this background, e-commerce vendors often end up declining even extremely large-scale projects from major retail chains, as the high risks of cost overruns and other complications outweigh the contract value.

Business Model ②: Maintenance Costs/Upgrade Costs

The basic ecbeing e-commerce system is a packaged solution (*they have also developed a cloud-based “mercart” e-commerce system, which will be explained later). Once released, the development is essentially complete. In contrast, ASP-EC or cloud-based e-commerce systems automatically update the system after release.

Therefore, with the packaged ecbeing e-commerce system, every time there is a need to improve security or update the system, the client has to request ecbeing to make the necessary modifications. But these maintenance costs are not cheap. Of course, the costs vary by project, but it’s common to hear from ecbeing’s sales staff:

“That modification will be around 1 million yen.”

As a result, companies using ecbeing often find themselves unable to afford the required modifications, and have to continue using an outdated system indefinitely. I’ve heard stories from an acquaintance’s hotel reservation system, which was built on ecbeing, being unable to make necessary updates due to lack of modification budget.

So ecbeing’s business model relies heavily on maintenance fees, and the more companies that adopt their system, the more maintenance work is required, allowing them to steadily accumulate profits. However, this was more of a past story, as the current era is dominated by the rise of cloud-based e-commerce solutions.

This is because a rival like ebisumart offers a cloud-based e-commerce system, where clients receive weekly updates for free automatically after implementation. As a result, ebisumart has been steadily eroding ecbeing’s market share. Please see the search volume comparison between “ecbeing” and “ebisumart” below.

◆Google Trends Comparison of Search Volumes for “ecbeing” and “ebisumart”

The blue line represents ecbeing, while the red line is ebisumart. As you can see, from around 2016 onwards, as the search volume for ebisumart has increased, ecbeing’s has been declining. Moreover, there have even been instances recently where ebisumart’s search volume has surpassed ecbeing’s.

Therefore, the inability to keep up with the currency of cloud-based e-commerce systems means that the business model of profiting from maintenance is gradually beginning to collapse. However, ecbeing has recognized this trend, which is why they have launched the “mercart” cloud-based e-commerce service.

Reference: “mercart” official website

However, perhaps due to being a late entrant, mercart only seems to be able to handle mid-sized projects, and for more complex customizations, the traditional packaged solution is still required.

In other words, the fact that ecbeing now needs to provide a cloud-based e-commerce system service is proof that the competition, ebisumart, has caught up to them.

Business Model ③: Marketing

Creating an e-commerce site is not particularly difficult these days. Especially if the budget and requirements are well-defined, even individuals can now possess e-commerce systems suited to their business scale. The advancement of technology has made it quite simple to just have an e-commerce site.

The real challenge with e-commerce sites lies in driving traffic and attracting users. Most consumers tend to shop on major shopping malls like Amazon, Rakuten, and ZOZOTOWN, so even for large companies, it is not easy to drive users to their own e-commerce site and generate sales.

This is where ecbeing’s strengths come into play. They have a dedicated large-scale marketing team for their existing clients. This team shares success stories of ecbeing’s clients and helps with horizontal deployment, implementing marketing strategies to boost the sales of client companies.

While not as specialized as a professional consulting firm, basic e-commerce marketing activities are carried out, and from what I’ve heard from my acquaintances, the quality of consulting is quite high, with satisfactory client feedback.

The exact costs are unclear, but it seems to be a reasonable annual amount in the range of several million yen. Lately, the impression is that ecbeing is placing more emphasis on consulting rather than just e-commerce system construction.

If it’s just for regular subscriptions or distribution clubs, there are cases where an ASP (Application Service Provider) solution is sufficient.

If you are a business operator considering an e-commerce site going forward, and your products are for regular subscriptions or distribution clubs, using ecbeing would be too costly.

Even though ecbeing does support regular subscriptions and single-item sales, if you don’t particularly need the extensive functionality, you can construct an e-commerce site using an ASP (Application Service Provider) for:

◆ASP for Subscription-based and Single-item Sales

Initial cost: around 30,000 yen
Monthly fee: around 15,000 yen

Of course, by implementing ecbeing, you’d have the capability to integrate with core business systems and customize extensively. But if you are just starting an online store business, it would be better to first try an ASP solution which is cheaper and quicker to set up, and then test the operations before potentially moving to a more robust system like ecbeing.

For subscription-based and single-item sales, ASPs like “RPST” are well known for being user-friendly and having a wealth of features such as landing pages. RPST is a representative ASP specifically designed for subscription-based sales (distribution clubs), with many mechanisms to help increase sales.

As they also offer brochure downloads, those considering subscription-based sales or distribution clubs should check out their official website below.

Reference: “RPST” official website

The main rival company of ecbeing is ebisumart.

The undisputed rival service of ecbeing is “ebisumart”. This is because both companies target medium-sized and larger enterprises, so they often find themselves competing against each other for the same projects.

As mentioned earlier, the packaged solution of ecbeing, once released, does not automatically update the system, resulting in hefty maintenance costs. Additionally, a complete system renovation is typically required every 5-7 years, which is a major weakness.

In contrast, ebisumart’s cloud-based system is automatically updated, requiring far less long-term effort and expense compared to ecbeing. This advantage has been diminishing ecbeing’s merits.

To address this, ecbeing has also developed a cloud-based e-commerce service called “mercart”. However, the inherent conflict between “system currency” and “customization” places a heavy burden on the vendor side, leading to not insignificant bugs.

In this regard, the earlier entrant ebisumart has more experience with cloud-based e-commerce systems.

However, when it comes to client marketing support, ecbeing has a clear advantage in terms of organizational structure and track record, completely surpassing ebisumart. Ebisumart has set up a customer success team only in the last two years, which is still perceived as relatively small-scale.

To Those Considering Joining ecbeing

If you are aiming to become a developer, you may gain a lot of experience by working on large-scale projects and implementing packages for ecbeing, as well as dealing with cloud-based EC platforms like mercart.

Developing e-commerce sites requires unique expertise. Specifically, e-commerce sites face the challenge of unstable traffic (which can surge rapidly, especially when featured on television), so developers need to consider how to control traffic while keeping the e-commerce site running smoothly without interruptions. This aspect of development involves experiences not typically encountered in app development.

For those in sales positions, this company is known for its strict adherence to numbers, especially when dealing with major corporations. It offers excellent opportunities for career advancement. After three years of dedicated work, you will have the chance to work with major clients and partner with well-known ventures, which will help you build a valuable network.

However, be prepared for the fact that it’s not an easy job.


The strengths of ecbeing can be summarized as follows:

✔Fewer bugs and issues.
✔Focus on high-profit projects.
✔Profitability from maintenance costs.
✔Profitability from the marketing department.

It is worth noting that ecbeing is the only listed group company in the EC package sector (with Soft Create Holdings as its parent company) and is always invited to compete in medium to large-scale EC website construction projects.

If you are in charge of an EC website, it may be worth reaching out to them.


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