The online marketplaces are undoubtedly the best platforms for the e-sellers to gain exposure and reach out to the potential buyers. Rakuten Inc. has been in the news since it went for a change in its name, which became effective from January 31, 2013. The top-notch online marketplace with its stellar reputation went for a change in its brand identity and it became Rakuten.com Shopping from Buy.com. On that very same day, it came up with a new fee structure for the online retailers. Google, the giant player in the web played its masterstroke in the fourth quarter of 2012 when it made the e-sellers who are interested in listing their products in Google Shopping to go for the paid option. Google Product Search changed to Google Shopping, when Google pronounced that it will be paid listing for the e-commerce merchants.
Rakuten’s New Pay Structure
Rakuten is a name to reckon with in the sphere of online marketplace and the e-sellers wishing to tap in the potential of this platform via product listing, will have to shell out some good amount of money. Rakuten.com Shopping has gone for a two-tiered fee system:
- Professional level costing $ 33 per month
- Professional Plus level costing $199 per month
The retailers who want to maximize their ROI or derive the best benefits of showcasing their voluminous inventory in Rakuten Shopping need to pay up on a quarterly basis. The amount rises up to $99 per month for the Professional level and $597 for the Professional Plus level respectively.
The Benefits that the Merchants can avail
The e-commerce merchants can reap in huge benefits when they will opt for the paid mode of listing. The web merchants enjoy the privilege of listing up to 50, 000 product SKU’s when they take up the option of paying $99 on a quarterly basis. When budget is not a restraining factor for the web merchants, they can utilize the benefits of the unlimited account, or the Professional Plus level.
The Commission that the Merchants need to Pay Up
It is entirely dependent on the product category and the sales volume of a merchant when it comes to offering of a specific percentage based on each sale as a commission to Rakuten Shopping. The percentage can vary from 5.0 % to 14.5 %. On the other hand, there is some perks for the merchants also in the form of rebate which they can enjoy based on their sales count.
How is Rakuten Planning to have an Edge over Amazon?
The account via which a retailer settles to enjoy the benefits that Rakuten can give him also consolidates his market position in the competitive business zone. The merchants who went for the professional level do not enjoy the unlimited access to BuyMail, which is one of the best services that this online marketplace offers. BuyMail, whose complete benefit the Professional Plus merchants can enjoy lets the e-sellers to directly send in e-mails to the potential customers. This direct email marketing campaign let Rakuten to have an edge over the giant online retailer, Amazon. Rakuten paves the way for consolidating a direct relationship with the consumers.
The Effective Future Planning
For the web merchants, it is important that they evaluate their own performance in the market zone enabling them to come up with innovative marketing strategies. Rakuten Shopping has planned to come up with merchant data tool which will enable the online retailers to track their sales figure, gauge the behavioral pattern of the customer that they are able to pull and assess their level of performance against the goal that the e-sellers have set for themselves. In order to reshape their ecommerce marketing strategies, it is crucial for the web merchants to find out their strength, weakness, opportunities and threats so that they can come up with fruitful programs for boosting their sales. The web merchants in need of gaining exposure in cyberspace via multi-channel marketing programs can bank on ChannelSale. In order to hook the attention of the buyers the SuperPoints loyalty program is a good one which help the customers to collect points which they can redeem in the form of money in their future purchases.