Why should you take notice of Rakuten?
It’s 2015 and whilst here at Tamebay HQ we suggested putting Rakuten on the back burner for Q4, the New Year is here and it’s time to take a serious look at their plans for the future. We asked Marc Waxman, Head of Marketing at Rakuten.co.uk why you should consider selling through its marketplace. Here’s what he had to say:
Put simply, we launched Rakuten.co.uk to help more independent retailers to sell online. Even the smallest of businesses can enjoy rich rewards from selling on the web, and we want to help more businesses benefit from selling through the internet.
We have a team of Ecommerce Consultants in our Cambridge office who are there to make driving sales and reaching new customers easier. They’re available whenever you need advice and are happy to answer any question at all.
Getting set up on a marketplace and listing all your products can be an initially daunting task, but the consultants are on hand to help you get set up and can answer technical questions about how to use the back end system. You can learn how to update product descriptions or add promotions so that your customers have complete and detailed information. They can also help you to learn new skills such as search engine optimisation so that your products can be found easily.
Tailored business advice
We can advise on making the most of your first few weeks on the site, as well as tactical advice like how to handle deliveries and orders, refunds and customer queries. However being on a marketplace isn’t about just making one off sales. Our team can provide long term business advice so that you can reach bigger goals and grow your business globally. The internet is borderless so the opportunities are endless once you are selling to people in other countries.
In addition, we encourage our merchants to build customer loyalty. Rakuten’s loyalty scheme Super Points aids this but there are also ways that you can target customers through marketing and with personalised recommendations to keep shoppers coming back to your store.
Build a bigger brand – but keep your independence
After carefully crafting your own product and building a brand that reflects what you stand for, it can feel wrong to sell alongside hundreds of other sellers. However, we help merchants to express their personality through a branded storefront and marketing. This means that customers can interact with your brand directly so that customers can get to know you and you can get to know them.
Our team of Ecommerce Consultants can help you to personalise your merchant area. Shoppers choose independents over big brands for their unique can’t-get-anywhere-else products, expert knowledge and friendly approach so we help you bring that to life online through your storefront. You need to showcase your personality on your online shop just as much as you do in your physical store window to strengthen customer relationships.
Want to join us?
Of course, we can’t guarantee instant business success – no marketplace can. But with the business advice and support from Rakuten.co.uk, you can make your business a success online and build long-lasting relationships with customers without having to compromise on your unique brand personality. If you’re interested in joining Rakuten.co.uk express your interest here.
I dont want SEO or pretty shop fronts there are hundreds of companys out there already ,that offer that
its buyers we need
Where do they plan to promote their market?
Mention Rakuten to friends &family they say Who?
Maybe they should have communicated with existing Play.com sellers about the launch? The first communication we got from Rakuten was an email on the day it went live. We only knew about play.com becoming a zombie site from Tamebay so many sellers probably paid the next six months subscription without knowing what was going on.
The problem with Rakuten.co.uk is lack of choice and they only have themselves to blame for not communicating with and migrating existing sellers.
Rakuten have made a massive mistake IMO. As mentioned above they have not ensured they have enough buyers on the site and that is linked to a lack of choice.
There was a big hype about the place amongst sellers when Rakuten first bought it which they could have harnessed to create a really good marketplace but instead they seem to have managed to drive people away instead.
Some of their ideas such as super points are all good but what is the point in collecting points when there is nothing on there you want. That sort of system is reliant upon people using it for everything.
Rakuten has the potential to be a welcome player in the marketplace and add some competitive element to the Ebay/Amazon duopoly.
Unfortunately for whatever daft reasons they have got their launch model wrong. I received an email from them a few weeks ago and the subscription prices are hardly welcoming.
I can’t see how this business expects to grow quickly with a £30pm subscription mark. They have very few buyers – my money would just end up being used to help beta test their infant marketplace
I was a Play seller (and affiliate) but when Rakuten took over they introduced ridiculous subscription fees and wanted 6 months (or something like that) up front in one chunk.
I got regular calls from a rep trying to get me to commit to the new fee structure, in the end he became quite invasive, he was snooping at my eBay shop telling me what I had listed there would sell well on Rakuten.
He stopped calling but carried on emailing with what seemed like ever increasing desperation.
TLDR; they’re too expensive to bother with and too pushy.
I’ve just had a look at a random picked dvd set on the new rakuten site and it seems that all the individual listings are separate like ebay rather than everyone sharing the same listing like Amazon. Personally I think it’s easier as a buyer to see them all on the single listing rather than everyone having their own listing. I don’t suppose it matters that much at the moment but if they get numerous sellers it will be a pain.
I did initially pick a dvd that has only been released for a couple of months and there is only the single seller on the new site compared to 11 on Amazon although their price is actually cheaper than all except Amazon themselves, except that seller is cheaper on play.com compared to ratuten.
Firstly you made a huge mistake not looking after existing play sellers, I haven’t heard a thing from any of your team about signing up to the new site, does that mean you don’t want us.
Secondly I actually ordered from the site before Christmas to make the most of your fiver off £40. First issue was I spent £40 with three different sellers but you can only checkout one seller at a time (stupid). Then I placed an order with a seller, a large one at that, and waited 10 days nothing arrived. Called the seller and they said they cancelled the order, however in my account it said shipped. 3 weeks later I am still waiting for my refund!
Just about every statement the guy from Rakuten makes is B******S. I’m not sure which planet he is from but it certainly isn’t planet reality!!
We have been selling on Play.com for 2-3 years.
We registered our interest to migrate to Rakuten THE DAY it was announced.
Have we had any contact from their “team of E Commerce Consultants” in the 4 months since then….NO!
Have we had ANY information about how to migrate….NO!
Have we been kept informed ont he timescales for migration….NO!
When I raised the issues with Play.com seller support in December I was told “I know there is only a small team handing the onboarding of sellers to the new platform and they have a huge amount to work through”
When I asked if Play.com was going to be “turned off” in line witht he original timescale I was told “Yes as far as we know”
So the conclusion is we along with many many others it would appear will lose a platform without being “migrated” to the new one.
looking at the range of sellers currently selling on Rakuten I would say that the “team of E Commerce Consultants” handling it are either not large enough or not capable.
Tamebay should be putting the questions raised in this response and others to the so called “Head of Marketing” to get some actual answers to the questions rather than marketing “blow” and “corporate speak” about how wonderful everything is at Rakuten!
Why should you take notice of Rakuten?
Not taking any notice.
To be honest, even if you paid me to add product I probably wouldn’t bother, to suggest we pay you is frankly a ridiculous proposition.
I still can’t find them without going via play.com
Can someone tell me the point of paying £25M for a name and then redirecting it to an unpronounceable, unmemorable url?