Sell in Japan with Rakuten Ichiba #RetailWithoutBorders

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Rakuten is the largest online sales channel in Japan, with about a quarter of all online transactions in Japan going through the marketplace. Nearly 90% of Japanese Internet users are registered members of Rakuten.

Traditionally Rakuten Ichiba has been difficult for Western merchants to attack, but Rakuten now have a ‘Sell on Japan’s #1 Online Shopping Mall’ program where they are actively recruiting retailers and brands in the UK.

At Pentagon‘s Retail Without Borders conference, I spoke to Rakuten’s Reid Wegner and he spoke of the massive opportunity for UK merchants, what types of product are attractive to the Japanese market and how Rakuten can help you sell on their marketplace from the UK and without the need to set up a business entity in Japan.

A key point Reid makes is that Japan is the fourth biggest ecommerce market in the world. It often seems simpler to sell to Europe, but these markets are much smaller. If you look at where the money is, you can’t afford to ignore Japan and Rakuten is the biggest gateway to Japanese consumers.

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One Response


    The EU / Japan FTA is set to enter it’s eighteenth round, with a deadline set of 2017, with only data privacy as the last major hurdle. Good news for Japan and all EU countries… Except, of course, for the UK.

    Come 2019 the EU / Japan FTA will no longer apply to UK companies and the Foreign Office isn’t even legally allowed to conduct lengthy negotiations until then. So UK sellers can look forward to selling in Japan on the same or worse terms as their EU competitors in around 2025.

    Also, given the anti-foreigner rhetoric of the brexit campaign, you can expect Japanese customers to be less than impressed with the UK in general.



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