Japanese e-commerce juggernaut Rakuten announced today that it has launched an online marketplace in Spain, where more than 700,000 products are already available, affirming its commitment to the European country after it acquired in June Spain’s version of Netflix: streaming and video-on-demand company Wuaki.tv.
Rakuten Spain CEO Marc Vicente claims that 80 percent of local Spanish merchants have not used the Internet before for selling their products, and the company is out to change that by offering each and every merchant a personal e-commerce consultant at Rakuten.
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For consumers, Rakuten is trying to stand out from other online marketplaces by dangling promotions such as the Rakuten Super Sale for users to get special discounts in a certain timeframe. Consumers can also collect loyalty points from Rakuten whenever they buy something, and these can go toward future online purchases. Rakuten says: “As a result merchants are set to benefit from increased customer frequency and long-time customer loyalty by an accompanying incentive program.”
What merchants will have to chalk up for setting up shop in the Rakuten marketplace: a one-off €25 ($34) fee and then a monthly fee of €29.90 ($40). The sales commission will range from 6 percent to 12.5 percent depending on the product type.
Vicente says that Rakuten wants to grow its merchant and product base by 300 percent by the end of 2013 — an ambitious target considering there are only slightly more than 2 months to go for the rest of this year.
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