Why you should sign up for Rakuten marketplace today

Rakuten, the revamped Play.com platform, has had a new team put in place to support UK retailers wanting to sell on the platform.

We know there were significant teething problems when Rakuten.co.uk initially launched in the UK, but over the past month we’ve been talking to the Rakuten guys and they’ve assured us that these are all behind them.

Rakuten position themselves as unique in the marketplace business. They don’t have a competing retail business like Amazon does, and they don’t have a C2C business like eBay. Rakuten is a 100% marketplace for professional sellers, meaning that customers can buy from trusted merchants and merchants can trade knowing that the competition they face on the platform is coming from other merchants, not Rakuten or hobby sellers.

New streamlined approach for retailers in the UK

Signing up and getting started with Rakuten is the complaint we heard most frequently. Rakuten have done two things which will please merchants, the first of which is that they now have rolling monthly fees – no more signing up for six months in advance.

We’re also pleased to report that Rakuten have a new approach in place in the UK and at their EU HQ in Berlin that aims to make the entire process with us, from signing up to going live, as streamlined and easy as possible.

  • Sales Consultants will answer any questions that interested sellers may have, and help guide them through the signup process
  • Merchant Advisors are there to assist sellers with their Rakuten setup, helping with storefront design and getting products listed, be that through a multichannel platform or through our merchant toolbox.
  • Merchant Support will help merchants get the most out of their Rakuten stores once they go live, working with sellers to gain maximum exposure on the marketplace.

What do Rakuten offer?

  • No competing 1st party retail business
  • Fully customised storefronts and product listings for every merchant allow for a unique shopping experience
  • A platform for new customer acquisition. Rakuten fund acquisition campaigns for all eligible merchants, meaning they can concentrate on selling and Rakuten take care of the rest.
  • Integrations with all major aggregator platforms ensure that setting up and selling on Rakuten as part of a multichannel strategy couldn’t be easier
  • Simple and transparent fee structure. Rolling monthly fee plus commission based on final sale value are the only costs. There are no listing fees and no banking fees, meaning merchants are free to list as many products as they want and only pay commission when a sale is made. The monthly fee is cancellable at any time and there is no minimum contract length.
  • RakutenSuper Point loyalty scheme, which all merchants are automatically included in at no additional cost. Points are awarded to customers for any purchase on the site and can be redeemed against future purchases, with Rakuten absorbing the value of the points redeemed and the merchant always realising the full sales revenue.
  • Free e-commerce resources for all merchants. Our Rakuten Academy is a free resource that offers hints and tips on selling on Rakuten, but also on wider e-commerce topics as well. Merchant also have access to Rakuten’s Merchant Support team, who they can contact at any time to ask questions and to get help with selling on the platform. The Rakuten philosophy is that they only succeed when our merchants succeed, and their business model is predicated on that fact.

Which retailers are Rakuten looking for?

Rakuten are keen to engage with established retailers who already sell across marketplaces and their own websites, and who are looking for an additional sales channel. They have several focus categories for 2016 and are actively seeking merchants in these categories to bolster our offering. If you sell Fashion; Home & Garden; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoor; Pets; Groceries; or Toys & Baby then get in touch with Rakuten.

These categories have experienced massive growth over that last 12 months and Rakuten are driving them forward for the remainder of the year to help make the marketplace as diverse as possible.