Shopify is big in Japan

Rakuten: Can the giant from Japan become an Amazon killer?

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When the Japanese internet giant Rakuten bought Tradoria in the summer of 2011, the industry was amazed. Rakuten who? The astonishment was even greater when Rakuten / Tradoria announced their intention to break Amazon's hegemony in Europe.

At the German Online Retail Congress, Germany boss Beate Rank reaffirmed the goals. "We want to become the market leader in Germany". Can it work? 9 questions and 9 answers.

How big is Rakuten really?

Huge. At least in Japan. For the first quarter, Rakuten posted sales of 98.7 billion yen, up 20.3% year over year. Global gross merchandise sales have doubled year-on-year to 29.2 billion yen. The platform has 40,000 dealers, 70 million customers, 35 percent market share.

When does Rakuten want to be number one in Germany?

In five years, Rakuten wants to overtake Amazon in this country. Even earlier.

Where does Rakuten stand today?

In Germany they were still more likely to run. Around 6,600 dealers are on the platform. Rakuten does not even make it into the top ten in Nielsen's online shop ranking.

How does Rakuten plan to attract more dealers?

Unlike Amazon, you don't want to sell goods yourself. Traders will like this.

Can't that be all?

No. Rakuten also sees itself as a service provider. Dealers can design their shop individually. Rakuten does not specify any layouts.

Great, you also have to do everything yourself, right?

No. Rakuten also takes the dealers by the hand. E-commerce consultants offer affiliated retailers advice for more success in e-commerce with training courses, web seminars and workshops for beginners and advanced users. The consultants advise on different product groups and also help with marketing measures.

The full-service offer from Rakuten Germany also includes complete payment processing, customer communication during the ordering process and assuming the risk of payment defaults.

Nice, but what about the customers?

Rakuten lures with a loyalty program, the super points. The more customers shop, the more Rakuten Superpoints they get. Customers can then redeem these and use them for new orders. In this way, customers are repeatedly "lured" to the platform. Customers can also buy from all retailers using a central shopping cart.

How does Rakuten want to attract customers' attention?


And how likely is it that Rakuten will really get past Amazon?

Rakuten has a lot of catching up to do. It doesn't help in this country if you're four times the size of Amazon in Japan. What Rakuten can bring forward, however, is the know-how in matters of mobile commerce that you bring with you from Japan, the independent payment systems (Rakuten Checkout) and the entire ecosystem of Rakuten from e-commerce, travel, financial services, internet services, credit cards, Portals and media, online marketing. Some of this is likely to be rolled out even more intensively in this country.


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