Rakuten.com Shopping (formerly Buy.com) built its US marketplace with the goal of empowering retailers to make a connection with their buyers. Founded in 1997, Rakuten now shares its empowerment approach with more than 18 million customers globally, through 24 categories and 17 million products.
It’s easier than ever to diversify your sales and grow incrementally, and Rakuten encourages you to maximise your exposure by using its unique marketing tools. While Rakuten.com Shopping covers many categories, if you’re selling items in the Electronics, Home & Outdoor, Health & Beauty, Sporting Goods and Jewelry categories, then consider learning more about Rakuten.com Shopping and the opportunities that are available to grow your business.
If you’re already selling with Rakuten.com Shopping, read on to improve your listings and performance. For sellers who are waiting for the right time to get started, read below to be convinced that there’s no better time than 2014.
1. Create a Storefront to Promote Your Brand
One of the unique features of the Rakuten marketplaces is a retailer’s ability to create a highly branded storefront. Many buyers shop on the Rakuten.com Shopping marketplace by store, instead of by product, and Rakuten allows you to build and promote your brand by creating an image-focused storefront. The storefront’s structure can mimic that of your own website so you can merchandise in a way that fits your inventory.
You can let buyers discover your products on their own, or you can promote your Rakuten.com Shopping store via social media or other channels to drive traffic there. For more information on how to create a branded storefront, please visit the ChannelAdvisor Rakuten Strategy page.
2. Improve Your Content Quality and Conversion Rate
On Rakuten.com Shopping, you can create custom product pages (CPPs) for the products you want to highlight. CPPs will give you the ability to include a tagline, additional images, a video demo of the product and technical specifications. This rich content will give buyers added confidence in your products and answer their questions in order to move them toward a buying decision. Rakuten’s research shows improved conversion rates for products with CPPs.
Features of CPPs:
Provide full control over content updates
Support videos, HTML and rich media images
Qualify your listings for promotional opportunities
Increase your brand recognition
For more information on how to create a CPP, please visit the the ChannelAdvisor Rakuten Strategy page.
3. Add SKUs
It goes without saying that adding more SKUs to a marketplace improves your chances of offering the right product to each buyer. Additionally, on Rakuten.com Shopping, each retailer has their own storefront. Therefore, adding more SKUs also has the benefit of building out your Rakuten presence and letting buyers view all your offers.
4. Participate in Promotions
Rakuten.com Shopping runs highly promoted daily deals and gives its retailers opportunities to participate. You can choose to work closely with your Rakuten account manager — e-commerce consultant (ECC) — to identify opportunities for promoting your products.
One successful strategy is to create a “hero deal” for your store to draw traffic and attention to the other listings in your store. This strategy works well when you’ve invested time in building a branded storefront and are using a CPP for the promoted product.
If you’re new to Rakuten.com Shopping, you can jump-start the process by reaching out to your success manager (MPSuccess@marketplace.rakuten.com) to request an ECC.
5. Work with an Advocate to Grow Your Business
Rakuten.com Shopping offers ECCs to all of their merchants. The ECC’s goal is to help you maximise your sales efforts and grow your business. They can review your listings, offer marketplace best practices and help you participate in marketplace promotion opportunities.
January 2014 is an ideal time for reaching out to your ECC to discuss the Rakuten.com Shopping promotion calendar and your marketplace opportunities for the coming year.
Have more questions? Not sure if Rakuten.com Shopping is the right marketplace for you? Check out our FREE Rakuten.com Shopping profile in our 2013 Marketplaces Series for more info on this potentially lucrative marketplace.
More Information for Getting Started:
Contact Rakuten to get started, or for account or technical issues.
Blog post by Gina DeFrank, ChannelAdvisor product manager, and Jayson Humphrey, ChannelAdvisor strategic partnership manager