Linnworks integrate with Rakuten

Linnworks featLinnworks have announced their first integration with the new Rakuten platform enabling their retailers to list on the site alongside the other marketplaces and venues they sell on. Play.com is due to be retired at some point in the first quarter of this year.

Their are some things we know and a few that we’re yet to find out that we’ll update you on as we get more information.

Rakuten FeatWhat the Linnworks – Rakuten integration does

  • Automatically download new orders from Rakuten.
  • Mark items as dispatched on Rakuten.
  • Send out confirmation emails to the Rakuten registered email address.
  • Submit order shipping information back to Rakuten once an order has been processed.
  • Automatically adjust inventory, to ensure you never oversell based on sales through other channels.

What we don’t know

  • We know that Rakuten will help existing merchants migrate product listings over from Play.com, but as far as we’re aware that’s only for retailers who had an existing Play.com integration. NB You will need a Rakuten subscription before you start selling, they don’t have a pay as you go arrangement for low volume sellers in the way that Play.com did.
  • We don’t know how simple the listing process on Rakuten is for retailers who previously sold on Play.com without a subscription or for retailers who want to add new inventory they’ve never listed on Play.com before.
  • We don’t know what the sell through rates on Rakuten are.
  • We don’t know when the global marketplace aspect of Rakuten will kick in to enable retailers to list on other Rakuten sites across the EU or world wide.

Rakuten Inventory Progress since October

Rakuten hasn’t made much progress filling their site with inventory since they launched in October last year. We’re monitoring the growth of listings in five key categories that we know many retailers trade in. We’d expect these figures to jump now Linnworks have an integration as it would only take one retailer to list all their inventory in any single category to make the currently listed numbers pale into insignificance.

Rakuten vs Play.com vs eBay.co.uk Inventory

Category Rakuten
October 2014
Rakuten
January2015
Play.com
October 2014
eBay
October 2014
Laptops 27 52 17,397 58,835
Pets – Cats 456 498 1,607 69,105
Women – Footware 3 151 13,394 238,400
Home & Garden – Cookware 463 594 14,251 231,599
Baby – Pushchairs & Accessories (NB No actual pushchairs listed) 30 136 1,264 74,722
NB eBay’s figures may be inflated compared to Play.com as eBay doesn’t have catalogue listings to combine offers from multiple sellers

Getting started with Linnworks and Rakuten.co.uk

The first thing you’ll need to do to sell on Rakuten is to apply to open an account and if possible get your existing inventory migrated over from Play.com. Linnworks offer a 30 day trial account if you’re not already a customer.

We’d be very interested to hear from you if you’re a Linnworks user and already listing on Rakuten. We’d love to know how easy the process was and what your conversion rates are in comparison to the costs. Plus are your sales growing month on month as Rakuten continue to drive traffic from Play.com?