Singaporeans “e-shopaholics” now have another place to shop online – Rakuten has officially launched Rakuten.com.sg and is now taking order. Rakuten’s model works like Qoo10 which is a market place for merchants to create their store and manage their own products – instead of operating their own ecommerce stores.
We can see that one big name is already inside, which is Toys R Us – http://www.rakuten.com.sg/shop/toysrus/ and a bunch of smaller retailers. Nothing much for now but it will soon build up.
It is a good platform for merchants to try on ecommerce and piggy-backing on Rakuten’s marketing power (yet to be seen) but it will never beat having your own online store. Rakuten will definitely list all their nice features but in contrast – here are some issues a merchant may encounter:
- high commission on top of the credit card processing fees, unless you have volume
- 12 months commitment
- if you have an existing online presence somewhere, it will be a nightmare managing orders and syncing all your stock quanity
- limited features, limited payment options (worldpay for now), limited delivery options (Ta-q-bin and Singpost for now)
- degrading of brand identity
- low visitation rates as compared to other plaforms