Rakuten launches its online marketplace to revolutionize e-commerce in Spain

Barcelona, 10 October 2013 – Rakuten, Inc., one of the world’s largest Internet services companies, today announced the official launch of its online marketplace in Spain ( In contrast to its competitors, Rakuten puts the merchants and their products in the spotlight. Rakuten offers consumers the same engaging and lively experience they enjoy in a real-world marketplace, where interaction between merchants and consumers is at the forefront and discovery is just around the corner.
Global success model
Rakuten’s store-centric model has proven to be phenomenally successful in its home market of Japan and around the world. In Japan, the flagship Rakuten Ichiba marketplace offers more than 142 million products, from over 40,000 merchants to their 85.5 million registered customers. Rakuten has been expanding the number of merchants, registered members, and products in each country around the world. More than 700,000 products are already available in Spain.

An offer that is tailored for Spain
A key reason behind Rakuten’s decision to enter Spain was the local economic structure. Marc Vicente comments: “The Spanish business landscape is dominated by small and medium enterprises. Therefore, the e-commerce business needs innovations and solutions that fit into this structure. Since there has not been a suitable platform available until now, 80% of local merchants have not previously used the Internet for selling their products.”

Against this background, Rakuten offers a complete online marketplace and shop solution: the merchants will have access to a unique combination of shopping software, shopping portal and check-out (i.e., billing and transaction management) – and ongoing personal support: every merchant has his personal E-Commerce Consultant at Rakuten. For advanced training, Rakuten offers its Rakuten Academy, providing information that is relevant for the merchants’ further success.

Rakuten aims to highlight the uniqueness of Spanish merchants and products
Rakuten Spain CEO Marc Vicente explained the philosophy behind the Rakuten marketplace: “We see ourselves as a partner for merchants. For example, a unique example might be a cheese farmer, who never previously considered e-commerce as a channel for his business. Well, we believe that even cheese farmers should be selling their products online and our job is to give them the tools to communicate with their discerning customers online. We want to harness the passion they have for their products and help them carry that over to an online platform. In this sense, the cheese farmer, the Spanish “Jamon” producer, the chocolatier, and the top fashion brands are all able to bring their businesses to consumers in the purest online interpretation of true commerce, the Rakuten marketplace.”

Consumer benefits
For consumers, provides a genuine alternative to other online marketplaces. Rakuten offers regular site-wide promotions such as the Rakuten Super Sale, which is a time-limited and extensively advertised sale on the Internet, where consumers can benefit from special discounts. Their loyalty program allows consumers to earn Rakuten Super Points for each online transaction, which can be used for future online purchases.  As a result merchants are set to benefit from increased customer frequency and long-time customer loyalty by an accompanying incentive program.

Other convenient features for consumers on the Rakuten marketplace include:
– Convenient shopping – centralized shopping cart and personalized recommendation system
– A central account, a central shopping list and a central Rakuten Super Points account – across the entire product range and all shops on the marketplace
Transparent fees for manufacturers and retailers – without additional investment
Compared to the cost of their own online stores (set-up, operation, application) fees for participation in the Rakuten marketplace are negligible: a one-off 25€ entry fee, then a monthly fee of 29,9€. The sales commission is between 6% and 12.5% dependent on the product type. There are also small commissions for the Rakuten Super Points program and for international sales.

Marc Vicente concludes: “We want to grow our merchant and product base by 300% by the end of  2013. Medium term, it is our mission to become the strongest online marketplace in Spain and to connect local merchants with a global audience.”

International marketplace
Founded in 1997 by Japanese entrepreneur Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services including e-commerce, eBooks & eReading, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, logistics, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. The Rakuten Group is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania.  Rakuten has expanded its e-commerce business to 13 countries and regions (now including Spain), while expanding its presence to 25 countries and regions including all the services and businesses.
About Rakuten
Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of services for consumers and businesses, including in the areas of e-commerce, eReading, travel, banking, securities , credit cards, e-money, logistics, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports. In both 2012 and 2013, Rakuten was ranked among the world’s Top 10 most innovative companies in Forbes magazine’s annual list. Rakuten is expanding worldwide and currently operates throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania. Is the headquarters of the company founded in 1997 with over 10,000 employees and partner staff worldwide, Tokyo.

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