It is often said that Rakuten is the largest eCommerce company that you’ve never heard of. However, in Japan, Rakuten is a household name: Over 100M members which is more than 80% of the entire population 44K merchants AU $23B online sales
Globally we have businesses in eCommerce, Banking, Digital Content, Mobile, Travel… even a professional baseball team!
By 2018, eMarketer forecasts AU $4T global eCommerce market of which APAC will represent about 63%.
Japan has among the highest mobile penetration globally. Halfway through 2014, smartphone orders surpassed desktop.
Remaining 7% of payments are through various channels including mobile payments.
Forrester commissioned a study of 6000 global online shoppers to ask about online buying preferences. Overwhelming majority of cross-border shoppers prefer to shop from online marketplaces. Marketplaces have buyer protection in place to build trust with shoppers. Loyalty programs such as Rakuten’s Super Point program.
The items highlighted are already addressed when using a marketplace vs own site.
Generally two reasons for buying cross border – item not available domestically or better price.
With the previous example, Gilt would reach a much larger addressable customer base in Japan and most likely sell the item at a higher price.
The example shown here was inspired by one of my Japanese colleagues who spent some time in our San Francisco office and took a liking to some local chocolate. She has since moved back to Japan and now turns to the internet to order her favorite variety.
Almost 4.5x more expensive in Japan from a top domestic merchant on Rakuten.
Left side chart represents breakdown of total eCommerce market in Japan. Right side list comes from PayPal – top cross border categories by customer spend.
Look at specific ways to identify sales opportunities: Get started and closely monitor what sells well and what doesn’t. In the past year goods priced in USD have gotten about 20% more expensive in Japan.
Products will not convert well if simply translating English content. Mobile Optimized: Over half of Rakuten sales are from mobile devices. APAC customers expect much more content than Australian customers!
To demonstrate the importance of localization, consider the following item pages for the same product – one from Australia and the other from Japan. Large, clean image with bulleted text and prominently displayed Add to Cart button.
http://item.rakuten.co.jp/kompas/10027338 Japanese product descriptions have much more images, text and video than Australian websites. Lifestyle images and product video (35 images in JP vs 2 in AU). Exact dimensions of all components with schematics. Step-by-step instructions for using grinder, cleaning grinder and adjusting grind settings. Emphasis on quality materials and where item was built. Excerpt of magazine review. Customer testimonials included on item page.
Reaching 100 Million Japanese Shoppers on Rakuten Ichiba
Reaching 100 Million Japanese Shoppers
on Rakuten Ichiba
Vice President of Global eCommerce Strategy
Merchant Development Manager, Overseas Sales Strategy
1. Rakuten Introduction
2. Japan eCommerce Market Overview
3. Cross Border eCommerce In Japan
4. Content Considerations
5. Rakuten Cross Border Overview
6. Achieving Success
7. How To Get Started
Rakuten Japan Marketplace Overview
*as of Jan 31, 2006
*as of Jan 31, 2015
Identifying Cross Border Opportunities
• Use web analytics to identify
existing cross border visitors.
• Research local competitors in
markets you’re considering.
• Brand manufacturers have the
most control over pricing and
• Keep an eye on exchange rates
to ensure competitive pricing.
• Don’t just translate English
product descriptions – localize!
• Use high quality images / video.
• Make sure content is optimized
• Leverage user generated
• Weights and dimensions in
• Apparel sizing conventions vary
99% of population
Over 50% of
orders are from
Rakuten’s Cross-border Program Simplifies
eCommerce in Japan
New Markets Bring New eCommerce Challenges
Establish local business entity and bank
Design a Japanese storefront on
Translate product catalog and brand
Prepare for ongoing eCommerce
operations in Japan
Run local marketing campaigns
Accept international payments
Manage a new set of inventory and
Ship products internationally
Handle customer service in Japanese
Rakuten’s Cross Border Program Simplifies EC in Japan
1. Customers shop on the Rakuten
marketplace in Japan
2. Rakuten orders go to merchant in
3. Australian merchant ships merchandise
to customer in Japan
“Personal Import” Makes it Easy to Sell in Japan
• Business registration in Japan not required
• Product registration in Japan not required
• Customer imports product as if purchasing from
Direct purchase of foreign goods from overseas companies by an
individual for personal use.
Customer is responsible for import process
Fully-landed cost paid by customer
• Customer in Japan pays for duties and taxes
• Shipping cost depends on seller’s carrier
• DDP options available from major carriers
below ¥16,666 is
exempt from duties
Reference: Japan Customs (http://www.customs.go.jp/)
Service Partners Ease Local eCommerce Ops in Japan
Service PartnersMerchant Rakuten
Rakuten’s Cross-border Program Simplifies EC in Japan
Australia Japan Deep knowledge of Rakuten
marketplace and success factors
Knowledge of Japanese market and
Japanese/English language capability
Knowledge of Japan marketing and
conversion optimization tactics
Communication with Japanese
Order management integrated with
End-to-End logistics support
Achieving Cross Border Success on
Rakuten in Japan
Rakuten is a Merchant-Centric Marketplace
(Largest GMS in
C2C + B2C
Custom Store Design Establishes Your Brand in Japan
Rakuten eCommerce Consultant Advises Your Business
• Business requirements
• Strategic objectives
• Japan market entry knowledge
• Merchandising guidance
• Performance feedback and improvement
• Marketing strategies
• Promotional recommendations
Rakuten eCommerce Consultant Leads You to Success
How can I increase
my average order
Let’s look at your
How can I increase
customers using R-
How can I attract
Try a limited-time
$100,000 / month
$50,000 / Month
$10,000 / Month
Rakuten Marketing Tools Drive Traffic to Your Store
• Sample/trial sets
• Product branding
• Prepare “entrance product”
• Secure stock
• Gift wrapping
• Including “recommendations”
• Advertisements, SEO
• Events such as Rakuten Super SALE, Shopping Marathons
• Rakuten Super DEAL
• Follow the Japanese calendar for seasonal events/sales
• R-Mail (mail magazine)
• Press release
• Customer reviews
• Super Points incentive
• Improving quality of page design
Australia Cross-Border Case Study: The Beauty Club
Store: The Beauty Club
Partner: EC Robo
Shop Open: 2015 September
ECC Helped The Beauty Club Grow Sales in Japan
The Beauty Club is a cosmetics retailer who competes with Japanese merchants to sell
many famous foreign brands. They recognize that price competitiveness is a key to
winning customers, but they don’t want to sacrifice margin.
Rakuten’s ECC worked closely with The Beauty Club to select inventory that would take
maximum advantage of the cross-border eCommerce model:
Emphasize items whose brands control prices in Japan, so The Beauty Club can offer a
lower price as an international seller.
Offer exclusive products by identifying brand products that Japanese merchants do not
currently sell on Rakuten.
Rakuten’s ECC helped The Beauty Club analyze historical sales data by item and CVR
to distinguish competitive and non-competitive products, and advised regular additions to
increase catalog demand and total sale.
ECC Helped The Beauty Club Solve Customer Challenges
“I finally found it on Rakuten. I used this item for over
10 years but could not find any stores that sell this item
“I used this product when I traveled abroad,
now I found it on Rakuten.”
“It’s hard to find in Japan. Great items and
the service of the store was excellent.”
ECC Increased Traffic and CVR for The Beauty Club
• Identified key products to attract
customers and differentiate from
competing Japanese merchants
• Increased traffic by introducing large
catalog of 20,000+ SKUs
• Overcame price competition by
identifying products with lower prices in
• Increased conversion by giving
customers unique assortment at
Get Started Selling Cross Border On
Rakuten in Japan
What are your Business Goals in Japan?
• What products are you selling?
• What is the demand for your products in Japan?
• Who are your local competitors?
• Who are you international competitors?
• What’s your strategy for selling in Japan?
• What is your sales target in Japan?
• When do you want to start selling in Japan?
Find a Rakuten Service Partner in Japan
• Brand manufacturer or multi-brand
• New brand or known brand?
• Content-dependent or brand-dependent?
• Size of catalog?
• Type of products?
• Marketing requirements?
• Inventory regularity?
Which Service Partner is Right for Your
Official Rakuten Service Partners
Choose a Shop Plan
• Select Shop Plan based on catalog size,
commission rate, and contract period
• One-time non-recurring account setup
• System fee ranges between 8% – 12.5%
of sales, varies by plan and volume
Plan Your Target Launch Date
Consult Partner Agree Apply Design Open
• Introduction to
• Proposal from
• Merchant signs
• Partner applies
• Design webstore
• List product
• Open merchant
• Begin active
Duration from CONSULT to OPEN is approximately 2 months
Rakuten Empowers Australian Merchants to Sell in Japan!
More customers Japan’s largest eCommerce channel
Your brand Fully customized store design
Your success Account consultants and partner services
VP of Global eCommerce Strategy
Merchant Development Manager