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Rakuten opens another e-marketplace in Europe

The Japanese ecommerce company Rakuten Inc. opened in Austria its fifth European e-marketplace. After the British Play.com, the French PriceMinister.com, the Spanish PriceMinister.es and the German Rakuten.de, Rakuten.at is now their most recent launch in Europe. Rakuten offers local merchants the opportunity to sell their products via one of Rakutens e-marketplaces.

Rakuten is founded in Japan, where its website Rakuten.co.jp is Japan’s number one e-commerce site if you look at the amount of sales. In the United States it also owns Rakuten.com, formerly known as Buy.com. The ecommerce company now tries to gain more ground in Europe as it already had some success with the British ecommerce site Play.com and their Price Minister websites in France and Spain. The German Rakuten.de is also a great success, with 17 million products from 8200 different merchants that are offered on the website. Rakuten.at started with 200 attached merchants and the aim for this year is to get to 1000 merchants. In 2015 Rakuten.at wants to break even.

Merchants who want to sell their products on Rakuten.de or Rakuten.at must pay 39 euros per month, plus 6% to 10% of a transaction’s value. For mobile transactions Rakuten also adds an additional 1% of the value to the fee. But in exchange, merchants can design their shops with branding and shopping functionality customers already know from their original ecommerce sites. Rakuten also handles risk management and will cover any losses that could occur with online payment fraud.

In Europe Rakuten also owns the Spanish Video-on-Demand service Wuaki.tv and the British affiliate marketing network LinkShare. If we think further ahead, one could expect Rakuten to open a e-marketplace in the Benelux or Scandinavia in a couple of years. In the Benelux it would then have major competition of the Dutch ecommerce site and e-marketplace Bol.com.

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