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?