Merchants who want to sell on Rakuten need to realize that this platform is one of the biggest and most popular. It services one hundred and five million people with forty-four thousand vendors. It started back in 1997 in Japan. Unlike many other marketplaces it provides just online storefront space to their clients and has no sales done on behalf of their own name.

Shopping Cart Elite offers solutions to many ecommerce challenges. Merchants can use their services for listing products and managing them, marketing and search engine optimization. Any vendor who plans to sell on Rakuten can utilize SCE and its tools.

As we said before, it is a third-party selling platform. This company sells no products as a brand, but merely offers vendors spaces on its platform. Its expansion on a global scale is worth mentioning as well. By acquiring businesses, coining joint ventures and investing in companies Rakuten has achieved great success. This Japanese e-commerce giant offers great propositions to vendors from many different countries.

What can merchants selling on Rakuten expect from the platform? The company provides them with landing pages they can customize as they wish. The concept of this marketplace is somewhat similar to other selling platforms – Amazon and eBay. To be more exact, it seems like something in between these two marketplaces. It’s not your typical marketplace, as vendors have more flexibility when it comes to presenting their products to the buyers.

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In addition to companies from Japan, you can find many foreign vendors who sell on Rakuten. Among them are some famous brands like Burberry and many other well-known firms. Many items are sold exclusively on this platform. However, even though some products are available elsewhere in Japan, still this marketplace can offer it for less. As far as vendors, there are manufacturers/suppliers and reselling companies. Advantages are given though to brands. Their products usually are better stocked and they have more variety of items. As far as pricing, brands also have an edge over reselling firms.

Let’s take a look at categories of items that vendors present for sale. The marketplace is vast and thus it is offering a large variety of items. They can be combined in many categories. Clothes and fashion products are among the most sought products. It gives great opportunity for international companies. The marketplace strives to get the well-known firms to cater to their shoppers.

The marketplace boasts millions of shoppers in Japan alone. Around eighty percent of the country’s inhabitants shop there. Practically the whole Japan. As far as demographic gradation, it offers goods to older and younger audiences. One can find there both cheap and expensive goods.

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One thing is evident and concerns all vendors selling on Rakuten. If you want to be a part of the marketplace, you need to offer first-grade goods and quality content. The descriptions of items need to be more detailed. They are usually accompanied with high quality photos.

Consumers in the USA and other Western countries value low priced and convenient products. Typically, an e-store attempts to make all buying processes easier and more straightforward. The story with Japanese buyers differs a lot. Although they pay attention to pricing, still they are preoccupied with the value/quality of goods. Vendors who sell on Rakuten must consider national peculiarities and shopping habits of people in Japan. They like to make plans on their purchasing endeavors and tend to compare goods to select better options. Therefore, sellers need to provide detailed descriptions on items. Reviews, generated by customers are also available there giving extra info and impressions.

Why do shoppers buy items from global brands and international sellers? It is same as everywhere else. Practically, Japanese marketplaces can add to global sales of many companies. Often, vendors who sell on Rakuten can benefit from providing sizes of products that aren’t as much popular in the US. Small sizes can go well in Japan because they are typical for this country.

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You might be wondering how to set up on this marketplace. Is it easy or difficult? What is the process to start selling on Rakuten? In this article we will give you some basics. First requirement is availability of local firm representing a foreign company. Some companies, especially bigger ones, have a capacity of setting up legal entities in this country. Smaller ones need to have some kind of representation in order to sell on Rakuten. Partner companies can do the job. Working as a sort of link between the brand and the marketplace they assist in many ways. Their goal is helping to run the business and perform all the necessary operations, including communications with the clients.

We should mention here also a somewhat complicated screening process. In Japan authorities pay close attention to vetting/screening to help in weeding out fakes. Every new vendor is carefully checked. Brands also have to present their storefront designs to the teams for approval.

Nowadays it is all relatively easy. It used to be even more complicated for foreigners to sell their goods in Japan. Now after screening/background check a foreign company can start selling on Rakuten upon approval.

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Now let’s talk a bit about their fees. Prices vary and merchants can select the most appropriate for their brands. In fact, there are 4 packages with fixed fee ranging from three hundred to five hundred dollars plus a commission for each sale/transaction. The commission also depends on sale volumes. Also, you need to consider the payments to local partners.

Consumers in Japan also pay attention to pricing. If they see goods of comparable quality, they choose the cheaper item. To keep each business on this site successful the company reviews the e-store performance regularly. Rakuten dedicates people to give consultations on how to increase sales.

One of the challenges for foreign vendors is Japanese language. The interface is almost exclusively in this language to facilitate the shopping process for local consumers. So to work in Ichiba vendors need to have people who speak Japanese fluently. But most of the times these services are provided by partner companies. They provide daily operations and create/update content. Client service is also something that makes the brand stand out from the rest of the marketplaces. All services get provided in Japanese. As far as return policy the things are somewhat different from the rest of the world. Japanese people very rarely return goods. It’s a sort of cultural thing and needs to be also taken into consideration when selling there. Overall, we can conclude that it is possible for foreigners to penetrate Japanese market and sell on Rakuten. They can set up and grow their estore on this platform achieving much success.

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For vendors who are interested in ecommerce operations we have posted more of our articles on the web.