All about RakutenRakuten Group

What is Rakuten? Rakuten, Inc. ( Rakuten Kabushiki-gaisha) (JASDAQ: 4755) operates and manages business to consumer electronic commerce site, Rakuten Ichiba, and consumer to consumer auction site, Rakuten Freemarket. Its business is centered in Japan, although it has began international expansion through acquisitions. The chief executive officer is Hiroshi Mikitani. The company has its headquarters in the Shinagawa Seaside Rakuten Tower (Shinagawa Sea side Rakuten Tower) in Higashi Shinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo.

The company was founded in February 1997 as MDM, Inc. Rakuten Shopping Mall yVsRakuten Ichiba) started operations in May the same year. In June 1999 MDM, Inc. changed its name to Rakuten, Inc. In June 2004 it was the second ranked site in Japan as measured by unique audience.

Rakuten's 2010 revenues were US$4.2 billion (JPY 346.1 billion) with operating profits of approximately US$782M (JPY 63.7 billion), suggesting 18.6% gross profit.

The company is publicly-traded (JASDAQ: 4755). As of December 2010, it has a market capitalization of US$10 billion (JPY 1 trillion) and some 10,000 employees worldwide . Rakuten ranks amongst the top 10 Internet companies in the world (along with Google, Amazon, eBay, Baidu, Yahoo, etc.)

 What services do they provide?    E-Commerce Marketplace, managing Japan's largest online retail marketplace.
  • Credit and Payments, offering personal consumer credit services including consumer loan card payment and loans.
  • Portal and Media, managing portal sites which act as the gateway to the internet?and performing other activities.
  • Travel, operating hotel booking and other travel-related websites and providing other services;
  • Securities, providing services such as online securities brokerage.
  • Professional Sports, managing a professional baseball team, planning and selling related merchandise and performing other activities.
What services do they provide? Rakuten main services

Rakuten Ichiba:The biggest online market in Japan

You can find everything you may want. The number of shops is over 35,000 and the users are over 50,000,000 as of 2011. Since thousands of different shops sell the same goods by different prices, you may feel that it is a bit difficult to search goods in Rakuten ichiba.But you must be able to find the cheapest price in Japan when you get used to use Rakuten Ichiba system.

Points you may have to know
1.The number of goods in Rakuten Ichiba is too many as mentioned above, so you had better seach goods by specific product names or model number of products wiht search function , and then find cheapest one using sort function.

2. You can get and use Rakuten super point for each shopping.Weekend and the day after the day when Rakuten eagles or Vissel kobe win ,the point rate is doubled or tripled(You need entry the campaign in advance).

3.Rakuten group send a ton of information Emails, it might be kind a spam for users who do not read Japanese language. But you do not have to be anxious about it because how to stop them is mentioned in this site(e-NAVI support).

4.You can check reputations(0 to 5 by review system) of shops or products at the each product pages in ahead of purchase. These reputation are written by the users who actually bought the products at the shops, so they must be reliable.

Rakuten Global Market:Top 10 online market in the world with various languages support.

Multi- language version of Rakuten Ichiba. Currently they support English,French, Chinese, Korean languages and global shipping service.

Rakuten Travel:The biggest online travel service in Japan

They provide over 50,000 Hotels (Ryokans,Pensions ) worldwide reservation ,Airplane,Tour Bus,Amusement park tickets are also available.You can get and use Rakuten super point as well.
Reputation of each Registered Hotels are provided just like Rakuten Ichiba's reputation system

Rakuten Credit Card: Customer satisfaction No1 card in Japan.Brand: VISA JCB Master

You can see the details of Rakuten card in Rakuten credit card page.

Rakuten Bank: Providing Internet banking service

Rakuten bank was started as E-bank then,renamed after an acquisition of Rakuten Group.
Rakuten(E-bank) bank was born as the second net bank in Japan.
Now Rakuten bank is the biggest net bank and the num. of users is close to 4,000,000.
How to use Rakuten Bank is introduced in Rakuten bank support page.

Rakuten Auction: The second biggest web auction site in Japan

No1.auction site in Japan is Yahoo! Japan Auction . As for auction, Rakuten is outdone by Yahoo! Japan.Though Rakuten's listing fee is free of charge, Japanese users tend to use Yahoo! Japan auction because the reason why Rakuten system is not user friendly, the scale is mush smaller than Yahoo! auction, Shipping method etc.. are limited to some services.

If you would like to try Japanese auction ,we recommend Yahoo! Japan auction.
How to use Yahoo! auction is mentioned in Life in Japan.com page.

Rakuten Insulance: Providing total insurance planning and service

Rakuten Securities: The customer is over 500,000 and Top 5 security company in Japan.
The user interface of Rakuten securities is well constructed and provides a plenty of information about stock market.

If you understand Japanese language, it must be worth using the service.

Rakuten Books: Selling books and magazines online.
It is a part of Rakuten Ichiba, and selling various books,magazines.CD,DVD include foreign books and magazines.

The shipping fee is free of charge nation-wide when the total amount of purchase is over \1,500. In addition users can get and use Rakuten super point.

Rakuten Download: Selling Digital contents online
Animation,Music,PC software,Comics ,Adult movies,Photo album of idols etc...

Rakuten Online Rental: Providing rental DVD etc online

Rakuten Broadband: Internet service provider(ADSL,Optical fiber)
If you have phone Line
12MB plan:Rakuten ISP montly fee:\1874 + NTT line fee:\126= \2,000 Per Month
Currenly ISP fee is a half price during 12 months. So actual fee is \1,062.
In addition, you get 100 Rakuten super points every month.

50MB plan:Rakuten ISP montly fee:\2974 + NTT line fee:\126= \3,100 Per Month
Currenly ISP fee is a half price during 12 months. So actual fee is \1,612.In addition, you get 100 Rakuten super points every month.

Rakuten Super WiFi: Providing pocket WiHi service with LTE. \3,880 Per Month

Rakuten Delivery
: Online Food delivery service
You can order various foods online, like Pizza,Sushi,Chinese food ,Drinks,Lanch box,etc...

Rakuten Edy: Edy(Web money service)
Edy service is mentioned in Edy support page.

Rakuten Toto:Japan Football(Soccer) toto(Lottery). Max. prize is \600 Million.

Rakuten Sports: Managing Rakuten eagles(Baseball) and Visssel Kobe(Football)

Rakuten Kobo: Selling E-book reader & E-books on Kobo store)

Rakuten GORA
: The biggest online site for golf course reservation

In addition, various branched group services are managed by Rakuten Group. And all of them can be used by Rakuten member accout and provide Rakuten surper point service.
Newspaper story Newspaper story

The Japanese economy is mired in deflation, the population is shrinking rapidly,and retail sales are projected to fall by 1 percent annually in the next five years.But there is one specific area that is bucking the trend: online shopping.

In a recent report, the Japanese government said the countryfs online B2C business-to-consumer) sector grew by 17 percent to over $45 billion in 2008 on a year-on-year basis.
The future looks ripe for brisk business, too. Consulting firm McKinsey expects e-commerce in Japan to expand by 10 percent a year, until at least 2015. Nomura Research even expects the market to balloon to $135 billion in fiscal 2014.

While consumers in the U.S. and Europe mainly visit Amazon or eBay to shop online, the g800-pound gorillah in Japanfs e-commerce market is Rakuten. Established in 1997, the eponymous company behind the service has evolved into the countryfs biggest online shopping mall operator.

Over 33,000 merchants opened shop at Rakuten Ichiba, the companyfs B2B2C market place, so far, serving a staggering 60 million registered members. The company has 6,000 employees, generated over $3 billion in revenue last year and boasts a $10 billion market capitalization. Amazon doesnft break down country-specific financials, but industry experts believe its Japan branch doesnft even come close to Rakutenfs numbers.

But how exactly did Rakuten manage to keep the American retail juggernaut, one of the worldfs iconic web companies, at armfs length for so long? The main reason for its success can be found in the strong entrepreneurial spirit of Rakutenfs founder, Hiroshi Mikitani. It was he who first saw a business opportunity in supporting Japanese brick and mortar stores by setting up customized storefronts on the web.

Toward the end of the 1990s, building and maintaining websites was costly and usually needed to be outsourced to specialized IT vendors. Mikitani disrupted Japanfs e-commerce sector by undercutting fees of existing vendors by up to 80 percent, hiring an aggressive sales force, and providing every merchant who opened a Rakuten store with individual service (i.e. phone support, seminars etc.).

In return, retailers had to pay their virtual real estate fees upfront, which not only helped the startup reduce risk,but also maintain cash flow. This basic charge model still applies today, with Rakuten also pocketing around 3 percent of the revenue each retailer generates as commission fees. Today the site offers everything from groceries, fashion@items,electronics, books, software to automobiles?around 60 million different items in total. Rakuten established itself a quasi-monopolist in Japanfs e-commerce space, even though Amazon entered the country as early as 2000.

However, the early success wasnft enough for Mikitani, a Harvard graduate and offspring of a wealthy family from Kobe. Rakutenfs next goal was massive horizontal diversification, and that endeavor worked well, too. The company is now active in fields as diverse as credit, online payments, travel, securities, auction services, TV and even professional sports.
In most of these sectors, Rakuten holds a leadership position.

Amazon Japan, on the other hand, is still mainly positioned as a B2C platform. But even without the synergy effects Rakuten has thanks to its wide ranging business segments, Amazonfs operations in Japan are said to be profitable. In fact, the company has been continuously expanding its business in this country in recent months. For example, the company has begun@building additional distribution centers and offering gcloud computingh services to local IT firms. The Americans should be warned, however, as Mikitani is ready to shift gears yet again.

Rakuten currently plans to set up its own distribution centers and offer same-day shipping, putting itself in direct competition with Amazon. The first such center, to be opened in Chiba this fall,is expected to ship up to 100,000 products (offered by Rakuten itself) per day. Rakuten will set up at least five more centers of this size by 2013. Simultaneously, the company is rapidly deploying its globalization strategy, more so than any other Japanese Internet firm in the past.

Mikitani never made a secret of his plan to eventually challenge Amazon even outside Japan, and recent developments have shown there can be no doubt he means it. In May, Rakuten acquired California-based shopping portal Buy.com for $250 million and paid the same sum for Francefs leading e-commerce platform PriceMinister just one month later. The company has built up subsidiaries in Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and other markets, too. At present, however, just 8 percent of online transactions come from overseas.

Rakuten aims at raising the rate to 70 percent by expanding into 27 different countries in the next few years. Mikitani also showed how serious he is about transforming his company into a global player by making it the first large Japanese company to ordain English
as the official in-house language, even among local staff. Industry observers will be watching closely for clues as to how Rakuten will transplant its know-how to countries steeped in very different cultures.
Which services provide English support? Currently only two services provide multi-language service.

Raktekun Globalmarket
Rakuten Travel
*Click the link, then change language

Rakuten Travel

Services our site provide how to use in English is
Rakuten Credit card
Rakuten Bank
Rakuten Edy

We intend to increase them near future...

Which service would you like to use?
Please let us know which service you would like to use if our site provide its English support.

Select the service then click Rakuten Vote (Vote) button.
Thank you very much for you cooperation in advance.^^