To start a very profiting business in Japan, Rakuten is undoubtedly a very promising platform. In Japan, it is quite a common scenario to see people checking out Rakuten to buy goods, even more than Amazon. To give your business a new vista in 2023, Rakuten is undoubtedly a very reliable platform as it represents 27% of the e-commerce market share in Japan. This largest online marketplace of Japan is undoubtedly a very nice choice if you are looking for an effective way to boost up your multi-channel strategy in Japan and on a global scale. Becoming a Rakuten seller in 2023 is thus very profitable to shape the success of your merchandise. So how do you sell on Rakuten? Here is a complete guide for you:
What is Rakuten?
Rakuten or the “Amazon of Japan” works as a B2B2C platform. With its name Rakuten Ichiba, it started the journey in 1997 with the hands of Hiroshi Mikitani. Currently, it has 1.3 million global members on the site, which makes selling easier for any of the Rakuten Sellers. The site holds its leading position in Japan, which inspires a large number of merchants every year to tie-up with the platform.
It performs as the Largest Marketplace in Japan that offers eCommerce fin-tech, communication service, digital content to its multitudes of active users. It gives opportunities to 44000 sellers to sell on Rakuten across 30+ countries and a variety of regions on a global scale.
Rakuten started to expand its market in 2005 to a global scale through its joint ventures and acquisitions. Rakuten has acquired Viber, Viki, Overdrive, eBates, and many more, which makes it a leading business giant on the global platform. Another aspect that makes Rakuten more reliable is its huge network system.
Rakuten in the U.S. is known as Rakuten U.S., which makes it have a significant place in the market in the United States. Currently, it has a burgeoning ecosystem in countries like France, U.S. which is making it more reliable and profitable as an eCommerce marketplace for the new merchants.
Selling Goods using the Rakuten marketplace in Japan
Selling on Rakuten in Japan comes with its benefits and various prospects. The Japanese Version of Rakuten opens up new areas and better opportunities to enhance your sales in the marketplace.
Why selling in Japan is advantageous comes with a good answer, i.e., it is comparatively a more prosperous country that engages a lot of the population to indulge in buying products from e-commerce. The online sales figure here is undoubtedly above average. Since the platform boasts all essential items, there is a huge opportunity to attract Japanese sellers to buy more.
However, there are difficulties, such as needing a bank account and a Japanese business entity. Also, the registration process is long enough as Rakuten goes through a thorough verification to examine the brand’s authenticity. It takes at least 4 weeks to start selling.
The Rakuten seller account comes with a shipping charge if you have a stock warehouse in another country. You may also need native speakers who can help you with the language to manage your store in the marketplace and to deal with the customer service portal.
Suppose you are thinking of making Japan your target market. In that case, it is better to use the proper business tools to streamline the multi-language catalogs process to prevent content errors. At the same time, you distribute your products on several platforms in this country.
To make your selling on Rakuten more effective, ensure you have the proper stock, clear descriptions, and images for your catalogs. Preferring Japanese market customization can help you have a very smooth business. You need to send your product content and SKU to allow the automation of the connection between your company and Rakuten for a stable and effective business in Japan.
How to Sell on Rakuten in the USA?
If Japan is not at all your preference for selling goods through Rakuten, then you can opt for the global marketplace of Rakuten. The marketplace also extends its opportunities to 29 other countries. You can pick any other market focused on selling to national customers. Also, the selling process on a global scale is much easier than in the marketplace of Japan.
The procedure is quite simple if you are considering expanding your sales in the USA. Here is how you can step into the Rakuten U.S.-
- Create a Rakuten marketplace seller account for the U.S.
- You have to fill the places with your company’s details, which includes I.D., telephone number and credit card details.
- The merchants must have a W9 form while applying to become a Rakuten seller.
- com also accepts W8 for merchants that come without the United States tax.
- Now you need to wait for the confirmation of Rakuten. It usually takes 3-10 days. After that, you can easily add your product details and start selling.
- You need to ensure fast and reliable shipping time for your U.S. customers.
How to Sell on Rakuten on a Global Scale?
If you are not a seller based in Japan or the USA, then you can also opt to sell on Rakuten using other marketplaces. You can avail the help of third-party partners who come with the approval of Rakuten.
To ensure the selling with Rakuten, you will need a signed contract with any service provider, which will manage all your setups, administrations, and the organizing of your stores. In such matters, Rakuten seller support helps you in the right way.
Rakuten opted to acquire PriceMinister in 2010, a leading online e-commerce platform in France, which gives you a huge opportunity to start selling your goods in France. The Rakuten rance boasts accounts of more than 22 million members with 10 million active users. The opportunity also grows up to sell in Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland.
Why is It Advantageous to Start Selling with Rakuten?
If you are thinking of giving your business speedy and effective growth from the very beginning, then you need to check on a marketplace that serves you in the best way to target a huge marketplace. Rakuten is ideal for such platforms, which is the first choice of many brands. Here are the benefits that it offers to you:
Rakuten works with a very diverse and huge network and marketplace that includes many e-commerce companies, marketing firms, loyalty bonus programs, logistics, and many more, making it a great area to check on.
Rakuten understands the needs of its sellers. It comes with the personalization option for the brands to identify the customization of the storefronts, which gets paired with their policies.
Reaching Out to Customers
Reaching out to more and more customers is much easier and more effective with Rakuten. It comes with many users who effectively browse the Rakuten platform, which enhances your reach towards them for a better sales rate.
The figures from the marketplace are very encouraging. Rakuten boasts about its 17 million unique shoppers. More than 8,000 professional sellers are there, and products are available on both an online platform and physical outlets. In addition, there are 5000 physical outlets available. Rakuten does not sell its own products, so the competition is much lower than other platforms.
Wide range of marketing and web services solutions
A sandbox is offered by the platform to test order tracking and transactions. Additionally, Rakuten has created an exciting ecosystem where distinct features are valued, like Rakuten Points and Coupons. When you play along, your visibility gets improved.
You receive payments over here every week. So you do not need to wait long to receive your payments. Rakuten keeps processes hassle-free to ensure that you can sell and earn without barriers.
Rakuten club loyalty points
It is a fantastic feature for people looking to sell products on Rakuten. It is a platform that provides you with additional sales opportunities. Additionally, when you join the club as a seller for free, you receive 2% of your sales amount in Rakuten Points. And you can spend this on different purchases.
What do You Need to Sell in Rakuten?
Selling on Rakuten is comparatively more accessible than any other platform. Here is what you are going to get while selling on Rakuten:
- Rakuten seller account on the Rakuten seller portal
- Your products are teamed with one of the barcodes from UPC, JAN, EAN, and ISBN.
- Your brand name
- A unique manufacturer’s I.D. is essential.
- Post the screening and confirmation, you need to list your products through F.T. feeds RMS web tool. You can also use third-party integration or open API.
What are the Major Product Categories to Sell on Rakuten?
When it comes to providing the category, Rakuten keeps it quite simple. It permits you a large list of items to sell on the platform. You can sell from tech gadgets to trendy fashion items. Also, there are baby essentials and other essential supplies. Here is what Rakuten offers you for selling:
- Home and outdoor
- Pet supplies
- Bags and luggage
- Beauty and personal care
- Sports and Fitness
- Health care
- Toddler and baby items
- Office Supplies
- Automotive and parts
- Other essentials
What can you not sell on the platform?
Several products are not allowed to sell on Rakuten and must be strictly avoided. Rakuten works to protect brands and patents. Here is a list of items that you cannot sell on Rakuten:
- Offensive material
- Stolen goods
- Explosive and firearms
- Animal products
- Trademark infringement
- Counterfeit goods
- Testers and samples
- Luxury fashion brands
What To Consider Before You Start Selling On Rakuten?
Things that you need to consider before selling on Rakuten are listed below:
Only exclusive branded items
You can only sell branded products. Without Rakuten’s approval, you cannot sell any product.
Rakuten is formulated in Japan, and thus, you need to have a business registration in Japan. Without this, you cannot sell on Rakuten.
Valid UPCs on items
Your products must possess a UPC. These codes are assigned uniquely for every item sold online.
Japanese bank account
You must have a bank account in Japan. This account will be used for Rakuten, and your every payment will be processed through this bank.
Rakuten in Japanese can be a barrier for sellers. So, you need to understand the Japanese language or have staffs who can understand the language.
You will need to set your products’ prices to the same as on different channels. This enables every platform to receive equal sales.
While dealing with Rakuten, you will need to handle the shipment. You will need to work on the processing and list the onset time, or else the order may get canceled.
What are the Prerequisites to Start Selling on Rakuten Marketplace?
Rakuten is currently leading the world market while beating Amazon by 27% in Japan for the eCommerce market share. In the U.S., Rakuten is paired with “Ebates” with nearly 40% cashback on the purchase in various ways to get the bonus points. It helps the sellers to earn effectively from repeated buyers. It takes nearly one or two months to ensure your Rakuten seller portal is live on the site.
Steps To Sell On Rakuten
It is very straightforward to sell on Rakuten. The plus point is that a consultant will assist the seller throughout the process. To sell on Rakuten, follow the given below steps:
Step 1: Registration
Rakuten’s team of onboarding consultants is specialized in overseas business. They will guide you to prepare every material for submitting for your company’s screening. Then, after you pass all the stages, you can start creating the store on the marketplace of Rakuten.
Step 2: Store setup
After gaining access to Rakuten Merchant Server, you will need to register the items and then upload the information of your company, then, the shipping and return policy needs to be set. Finally, the storefront is to be created. Do not worry, as a Shop Open Advisor will be there to guide you throughout.
Step 3: Shop Opening
After your store comes, an ECC or E-Commerce Consultant will be assigned to you to drive sales and maximize the performance of your store so that you can achieve success in the marketplace of Rakuten.
Sell on Rakuten: Cost and Fees
Selling on Rakuten is easy, but you will need to pay some fees to access the platform full-fledged. The fees are discussed below:
There are three kinds of subscriptions available- Classic (39 Euro per month), Extend (199 Euro per month), and Absolute (499 Euro per month).
$0.99 is charged as a listing fee for each item.
The commission varies broadly, ranging from 8% to 20% based on the items sold.
Because the variation is huge, check which item will attract the commission fees before proceeding.
The list of commissions is listed below:
|Personal Electronics, Accessories, and Hardware||8%|
|Jewelry and Watches||15%|
|Home, Outdoor, and Pet Supplies||15%|
|Health and Beauty||15%|
|Video Games and Software||10%|
|Automotive & Powersports||12%|
|Apparel and Accessories||15%|
|Everything Else (not included in other categories)||15%|
Best Practices on Rakuten
The best practices on Rakuten to receive fruitful results are given below:
Rakuten allows sellers to make a customizable storefront. Make sure that the storefront portrays your website and allows you to market your products in a way that suits your inventory and requirements. Also, the sellers are allowed to support brand consistency over different channels.
Custom product pages
Undoubtedly, some products have better sellers than others and bring more profit. Every seller wants to sell those types of products. For highlighting such pages, the custom product pages will help you out. While creating a custom product page, add demo videos, images, and deep content that portrays your product in detail and helps the buyers to make a better buying decision in your favor.
You are allowed to add up to 20 shipping options. Additionally, with Rakuten Global Express, you can save on shipping a lot. It is best to ship by combining the purchased products on different websites into a single package or purchasing items from shops that cannot offer overseas shipping.
Cooperate with eCommerce consultants.
Every seller on the platform is provided with eCommerce consultants, and advantages can be taken from it. Contact your consultant to get your pages reviewed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fee Structure for Starting Selling at Rakuten?
Selling at Rakuten comes with a variety of plans for the sellers. If you are selling from overseas, you need to choose a basic package designed for international merchants. This includes the registration and monthly account fees, affiliate fees, payment processing fees, and commission rates.
Is It Necessary to Speak Japanese to Sell with Rakuten?
The seller information page of Rakuten states that the merchants must be skilled in Japanese to handle customer support, order and return, marketing campaigns, page maintenance, and operating the shop interface. Hence it is necessary!
What makes Rakuten Better than Amazon?
Rakuten comes with the proper control and personalization for its brands, which Amazon lacks. It gives a more personalized shopping experience, making it better than Amazon in many aspects.
Can Anyone Sell on Rakuten?
Rakuten works as an only e-commerce marketplace. The merchants need to get approval before starting to sell with Rakuten.
Whether it is targeting the market of Japan or tie-up with third-party registered sellers, it sells globally. Rakuten is undoubtedly an excellent choice for your e-commerce business career. The new market of 2023 is more focused on buying goods online than buying from a physical store, which makes Rakuten the best place to give your more opportunities this year. Hence if you are thinking of trying your hands on e-commerce marketing for a better return and more profit, then Rakuten is the best place to start selling to create a significant place in the market.