Shueisha builds a new platform for global manga art fans, supported by Stripe

Shueisha, which has published many best-selling manga, launched Shueisha Manga-Art Heritage (SMAH) in March 2021, a cross-border e-commerce business that sells manga art all over the world. SMAH combines traditional techniques with cutting-edge technology to provide museum-quality works to global fans, including works from popular manga such as Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece, Tite Kubo’s Bleach, and Riyoko Ikeda’s The Rose of Versailles.

Products used

Asia Pacific
Enterprise

Challenge

Shueisha has redefined the value of manga from a form of low-cost entertainment to art that meets the preferences of high-end fans and collectors. The SMAH project combines traditional printing techniques, such as letterpress printing and collotypes, with NFT blockchain technology, which certifies the print is genuine and traces the history of the work. To guarantee the quality of these works, each print edition is limited to 20 pieces or less, with buyers selected by lottery.

Shueisha’s manga works, which include world-famous characters, are licenced in more than 100 countries and 20 languages. Shueisha provides this unique cultural format across the globe in ways that span the real and digital realms, including art exhibitions, films, and video games. Masashi Okamoto, head of Shueisha's Digital Business Division, says that “manga, one of the most beloved forms of Japanese art, connects the past with the future. We’d be very pleased if SMAH became a bridge between Japan and the rest of the world.”

When Shueisha first contemplated global expansion for the SMAH project, it considered manually sending remittance requests to buyers by email. However, this process was operationally difficult, so Shueisha adopted an extremely simple strategy of “doing it by computer.” Due to global demand for the artwork, Shueisha needed a highly trusted partner to handle payments in multiple foreign currencies.

Solution

Shueisha partnered with Stripe to securely provide various payment methods in more than 130 different currencies. Stripe provided customer support and its simple, fast APIs during the development phase. By automating payments and creating an easy-to-use dashboard that showed the payment status of global customers, Stripe aimed to streamline SMAH operations.

Results

SMAH has received over $2.5 million in global sales, since partnering with Stripe. Stripe's customer support and APIs eliminated clerical errors and considerably shortened the development period. By automating payments as much as possible with Stripe, Shueisha staff were required to work fewer hours, reducing costs.

Okamoto also spoke about how Stripe's dashboard helped Shueisha understand business growth and trends for SMAH. “Stripe’s platform allows us to confirm payments in real time. We really value being able to visually discern patterns among customers and the issues that customers are facing. Also, being able to see daily sales numbers in tables and graphs increases our motivation to succeed.”

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