Bye Bye Buy.com
Earlier this morning we predicted that Rakuten will dump the Play.com brand within months. Now this seems even more certain as Rakuten have announced their intention to dump the Buy.com brand in the US.
Buy.com brand to be retired
From January 31st Buy.com will be redirected to Rakuten.com (which currently forwards to the Rakuten Japanese website). Buy.com (or Rakuten.com as we need to become accustomed to calling them) will not become a marketplace only model in the same manner as Play.com will cease retail operations, but will continue direct sales as well.
Rakuten aim to become a global marketplace
Rakuten has been quietly buying up ecommerce retailers and marketplaces for the last few years. Established in Japan they’re now making a bid not only to conquer Europe with Tradoria (now Rakuten.de), Play.com (soon to be Rakuten.co.uk), Buy.com (soon to be Rakuten.com) and Priceminister in France (How long before Priceminister becomes Rakuten.fr?).
Will you be selling on Rakuten?
If you’ve been looking for a viable alternative (or more sensibly a third marketplace) to trade on, then forget Tesco marketplace and HMV marketplace. Rakuten is coming and if you don’t get involved with them you’ll be missing out on potential massive marketplace sales and a definite massive marketplace marketing budget. As the sites are rebranded Rakuten will be making sure that the world knows that they’ve arrived.
It’ll be interesting to watch this develop over the next few months. To be buying out marketplaces as they are, they must have something up there sleeve and I for one will be making sure that our online business is part of it!
Rakuten have fascinated me for a while. They certainly are putting everything in place to succeed. Apart from all their big purchases, the most interesting thing i’ve heard so far is that all their staff have been made to learn English
Rakuten.com or Buy.com… (or Play.com when it is made redundant…)
which is easier for Western consumers to remember or pronounce I wonder?
I don’t think eBay need to worry too much.