Is your multichannel solution ready for Rakuten?

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There’s little more than three weeks left for you to sign up to Rakuten’s new marketplace in the UK, Rakuten.co.uk if you want their signing on free subscription bonus. Whilst Play.com will continue until late Q1 next year.

Rakuten emailed Play.com merchants offering them up to six months free subscriptions if they were to join Rakuten.co.uk by the 1st of October, sign up between October the 2nd and December the 31st and you’d only get three months free. “Joining” was described as “having a storefront live on Rakuten.co.uk”.

We’ve spoken to many multi-channel management companies and none of them are currently ready to support you on Rakuten.co.uk. At most we’ve been told they’re investigating APIs to enable them to connect, but that’s as far as they’ve got. If you have a storefront live on Rakuten.co.uk when they launch, then you’re pretty much on your own so far as collecting orders and managing your inventory goes. It’ll all be a manual process.

The question you need to ask yourself is how much will it cost in time to manage your listings on Rakuten.co.uk, checking multiple times per day for orders and updating your inventory manually when you sell product on alternative platforms and will the time investment balance potential sales. If the equation doesn’t work for you then the few months free subscription could end up costing you more than it’s worth.

Here at Tamebay we’re still not convinced that signing up to Rakuten.co.uk is something you should be doing before Christmas. Hopefully you’ll be flat out with sales regardless and it’s something you can address in the New Year when you have more free time and when your multichannal management provider supports the new platform.

The other question which hasn’t been answered is what about those who sell on Rakuten.com (ex Buy.com) and Rakuten.de (ex Tradoria.de). Rakuten have stated that the move from Play.com to Rakuten.co.uk is to relaunch on their new global platform. Does this mean that at some point those selling on Rakuten’s US and German platforms will also be migrated and if so will it be a seemless process in their multichannel management solutions?

21 Responses

  1. Without doubt we will not be looking into this until after the busy period. To try and set up something brand new at this time of the year would be impossible.

  2. Merchants WILL be able to use APIs to manage their products and orders from 1st October on Rakuten.co.uk

  3. I’ve been told by Channeladvisor that will be supporting Rakuten.co.uk but probably not at the beginning as they will be sorting out their systems.

    I have signed up/inquired a while back but have not heard from them. I guess they will be contacting sellers soon or should it have been done by now?

  4. I haven’t really been contacted by Play/Rakuten yet, not properly. I had a proposal email from my ‘account manager’ who followed up with an email straight after to say he was leaving and someone else would be in touch.

    Since then I have heard nothing from anyone…..this is a right mess and I very annoyed as a week before this kicked off we paid our subscription to play!

  5. Let’s put Rakuten in the pipeline for early next year rather than running around to put new system in place.

    Wish you all the best for next few months!

  6. I went over to rakuten.co.uk, clicked on “enquire” under “merchants”, got an orange pop up with nothing on it….now what?

  7. I spoke to the head of Rakuten integration back in June 2014, and was told that they were hopefully going to integrate Play.com and Rakuten Europe by Christmas. I was also told that there was not much point carrying on with my Shop Subscription until this was done.
    They were going to tell us when to start again – No news yet!!!

    All I can say is that I really hope that Rakuten (Japan) do not give up on the UK, just because Play.com was not a great purchase.

    But I will not look at Rakuten until after Christmas.

  8. I am curious if anyone has tried selling on choiceful.com?
    I suppose they are only a small site (or seem to be) so it’s probably similar to ebid as in they probably don’t do much. I think I have bought something off them in the past but from what I recall just the once.
    Unfortunately for them as a buyer I automatically go to ebay or amazon and only if I can’t find what I am after do I try elsewhere.

  9. I currently sell on play.com and havent recieved any information about moving to Rakuten? Does anybody have any information on how to sign up if you haven’t recieved the email?

  10. I’ve just started my integration with rakuten (getting set up in time for the free 6 months) and so far it has seemed fairly simple and flexible.
    The orders appear to let you tick of regions domestically so we should finally be able to target highlands/islands separately for postage costs.
    The categories appear to work similar to ebay with a Rakuten category and your own category (like store categories). I haven’t seen the front end yet but so far looks impressive.
    I sent off an enquiry for interest about 1 month ago on rakuten.co.uk, and we were contacted by a new play account manager in the past week.
    I am still in the setup process and will be using linnworks when they are ready to list that way for the rest of my inventory. Apparently they are nearly ready according to the rakuten representative.
    Does anyone have any other questions? I will be finishing the setup today hopefully so might have more info then.

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