Selling on Rakuten Marketplace: why and how?

Selling on Rakuten Marketplace: why and how?

How do you go about it? What are the advantages and particularities of this platform? Find out in this complete guide.

Selling on Rakuten Marketplace: what are the specificities?

Rakuten France, formerly PriceMinister, was founded in 2000 and is directly based on the online marketplace model. Originally specialized in cultural goods, such as movies and video games, the platform has gradually expanded to all types of products, and is now a generalist. Sold to Japan's leading e-commerce company, Rakuten, in 2010, PriceMinister is gradually losing its brand name to become "Rakuten France" in August 2018. Below, we invite you to discover the specifics you need to know about selling on Rakuten Marketplace, namely pricing and marketing solutions.

What are the fees for selling on Rakuten Marketplace?

To sell on Rakuten Marketplace, there are several fees that you must pay:

  • The subscription: you can choose between Classic (39€ / month), Extend (199€ / month) and Absolute (499€ / month) ;

  • The commission: variable rate according to the subscription and the product category (5 categories in total, from A to E);

  • The management fee: proportional according to the price of the item sold (from 0,15€ to 5,00€).

You can find in the table below a presentation of the variable commission rates:

Please note that for repackaged items, an additional 1% commission applies. In the following table, we compare Rakuten's rates for professional sellers with other existing marketplaces:

We notice that Rakuten can be attractive for some product categories, and disadvantaged for others. For example, the commission on computers with the Classic subscription is higher (11%) than at Cdiscount (5%) and Fnac Marketplace (7%). In order to reach the same commission as Cdiscount, it is necessary to subscribe to the Absolute subscription, which reaches 499 euros per month against 39.99 euros per month for the single subscription of Cdiscount. On the other hand, in other categories, such as video games and software, do-it-yourself and garden tools, Rakuten is on a par with the competition, or even better.

What are the marketing solutions for selling on Rakuten Marketplace?

The platform offers several features to promote your ads:

  • Rakuten Ads: this tool allows you to organize advertising campaigns on the platform and its communication relays, like Facebook. You define a budget in advance and can monitor performance from your merchant dashboard.

  • Rakuten Points: for customers who are members of Club R, it is possible to accumulate points and get interesting discounts. You can deploy and customize this feature, according to your sales strategy, to increase your attractiveness.

  • Rakuten Coupons: this solution is similar to the previous one, except that it is open to everyone. It is in fact coupons that you can make available to consumers. This is an interesting tool, because ads with coupons benefit from a better visibility on the platform and are relayed in the newsletters.

  • Rakuten E-Shop: with this tool, you have a space dedicated to your products. You can customize this showcase according to your brand image, highlight the most interesting offers and improve the conversion rate.

Thanks to its complete offer and popularity, the former Priceminister has several advantages for professional sellers.

Why sell on Rakuten Marketplace? The advantages

A popular platform

The marketplace's figures are particularly encouraging. It boasts 17 million unique visitors, 9 million of whom are members of Club R. There are 8,000 professional sellers and the products are available both on the platform and via 5,000 connected physical outlets. Your ads therefore benefit from a high visibility. Moreover, Rakuten has the particularity of being a 100% marketplace, which means that it does not sell its own products. This means that the competition is less fierce compared to other platforms, such as Amazon, which sells Amazon Basics.

Modular formulas

Thanks to the three types of subscriptions, you can choose the most suitable formula according to your needs. For example, if you anticipate a low sales volume, the Classic subscription is the most economical. On the other hand, if you expect to make a lot of sales, the Extend and Absolute plans are more attractive, as their high fees are more than compensated by the low commissions on your products.

A range of webservices and marketing solutions

Rakuten provides a Sandbox for testing transactions and order tracking. Moreover, the platform has managed to create an interesting ecosystem within which different features are valued, such as Rakuten Points and Coupons. By "playing the game", you benefit from increased visibility.

Rakuten Club loyalty points

The Rakuten Club is another attractive feature for anyone who wants to sell on the Rakuten marketplace. First of all, as we've seen, it's a channel for additional sales opportunities. Moreover, by joining the Club as a seller (which is free), you get 2% of the amount of your sales in Rakuten Points, which you can then spend on various purchases.

The 3 steps to selling on Rakuten Marketplace

#1 Create a pro seller account

First, you need to fill out a form with various legal information, such as your company's name, legal form, and registration number. You can then validate your account and import your products into the catalog.

#2 Manage sales, delivery and after sales service

Once your products are online, you must take care of the operational part. Think about the rules, for example, the 3 days maximum delay to validate an order. You must also consider the logistics for non-conforming orders, retractions and returns. The delivery terms must also be defined, such as the choice between classic delivery, Express delivery, Relay Point, etc.

#3 Respect the Merchant Quality Score (MQS)

This is an evaluation tool to rate your quality and performance as a seller. Several MQS scoring criteria are taken into account, including customer satisfaction, delivery experience and catalog quality (you can find them in detail here). Your score out of 20 then gives a grade, from A to D. Having a good score is essential for you, as it boosts the visibility of your ads on the shopping site and Google Shopping. It also gives you access to marketing solutions and the accelerated payment feature.

⚠️ Beware: a Merchant Quality Score that is too low can jeopardize your presence on the shopping platform. Therefore, it is necessary to keep it as high as possible.

💡 Logistics is a fundamental aspect of your business and for optimal operational efficiency, it is in your best interest to choose an e-commerce logistics solution. This is what we offer with Cubyn and the cross-platform Fulfillment offering as part of our partnership with Rakuten.

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