Rakuten.com Shopping, Formerly Buy.Com and Your Ecommerce Success

By September 9, 2013Marketplace

Rakuten.com Shopping – The Former Buy.com

Rakuten ShoppingKeep things simple. Be connected. Be human. These were behind the redesign of Buy.com into Rakuten.com Shopping earlier this year. Rakuten Shopping is the US arm of the Japanese-based Rakuten Inc., which is the third largest ecommerce company in the world.

So what’s behind those words that drove the redesign?

The folks behind Rakuten believe that the ecommerce model has grown away from a true relationship between merchant and buyer, which in the long run hurts merchant sales and buyer experience. So, how is Rakuten bringing back Main Street USA, 21st century style?

Firstly, their home page isn’t a page chock filled with listings like some poorly designed newspaper page. Instead you’ll find large images meant to attract the average consumer, and you’ll also find a focus on merchant profiles. Rakuten really encourages merchants to create profiles, and not just product listings, so that consumers get a sense of your branding and identity.

The costs behind Rakuten

One thing to note about Rakuten.com Shopping is that any e-merchant who wants to list and sell their products will pay a commission on each sale as well as pay a monthly fee. The fee structure comes in two forms:

• Professional level – for $33 per month you can list up to 50,000 product SKUs
• Professional plus – for $199/month you can list an unlimited amount of product SKUs

Regardless of which level you choose, you also pay a percentage of each sale as a commission, as well as a $.099 transaction fee. Percentages range from 8% to 15%, depending on the product.

This fee structure puts you and Rakuten in an interesting relationship. You may wonder why it’s worth paying a fee at Rakuten when you can list your products at tons of other places, without that extra monthly fee.

However, perhaps this monthly-free issue is more of bad PR than bad business. Yes, it’s true that you’ll suddenly have a monthly bill if you work with Rakuten, but you already do pay other CSEs monthly to list your products with them, don’t you? It’s just called something different.

Before you shrug off Rakuten.com Shopping as not worthy of your time and money, it pays to really consider your total costs and return on investments. Rakuten.com Shopping has a very loyal customer base, and, as a result of Rakuten’s merchant-profile push, these consumers oftentimes become loyal repeat customers.

It’s not as easy as just saying, “I don’t want to pay this monthly bill.” If you’re really looking for ways to improve your overall ecommerce portfolio, you have to run some numbers to understand if and how Rakuten can positively help you.

That’s easier said than done, of course. Determining with which markets and products Rakuten is successful requires hard work and research, which is exactly what product feed specialists like OperationROI do. Looking to find out if Rakuten.com Shopping is actually worth your while? We can help. Call us at 1-888-277-5429 or fill out our contact form.

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