Selling on a marketplace may seem easy, but many professionals find it difficult to sustain their sales. From product strategy and logistics to inventory management and advertising, you need to build a well-honed strategy before you start selling on marketplace. To maximize your chances of selling on Rakuten, follow our dedicated guide and tips.
On Rakuten, there are many different categories of items, so you have plenty of choice when it comes to selecting the products you want to sell. Several strategies are possible:
- Sell a best-seller: a product that is sought-after by many buyers, and which is normally easier to sell, but for which the competition will be much more intense. This is generally the case for computer, telephone, household appliance, DIY... categories.
- A niche product: a less common but promising item. Competition is much less developed. The target is more restricted, but the business opportunity with a visibility strategy is interesting. Examples: specific products for sports, pets, hygiene, etc.
- Multiple strategy: you mix highly sought-after products with rarer items and develop different marketing actions to attract your targets. You can stand out from the competition by adopting a particular pricing strategy or a differentiated brand positioning.
The choice of suppliers should not be made lightly. Your supply is the cornerstone of your e-commerce business, because without a product, you won't be able to sell on Rakuten. Make sure you find several sources of supply, so you don't run the risk of running out of stock when one supplier can't deliver. This will also enable you to negotiate prices between several sources to maximize your margins.
Don't forget to carefully analyze the competition on Marketplace Rakuten. If you want to make your mark on the platform, you need to know who your rivals are, what their prices are, what benefits they offer their customers... This will help you define your own strategy. If you're like a hundred other sellers, chances are you'll have trouble selling on Rakuten. It's better to find a way to offer a different focus, whether in terms of the products themselves (brands, colors, provenance), your positioning (brand tone, target audience...) or the benefits you offer (trade-ins, after-sales service, customer service...).
Selling on Rakuten as a professional merchant
On this marketplaceit's possible to sell whether you're a professional or an individual. This is what makes this platform different from others. If you'd like to set up as a seller pro, you'll need to follow the registration process by filling in a dedicated form. This includes a few details about your business: your company, your registration, your product catalog, etc. The marketplace then studies your application and validates your registration request within 3 to 10 working days.
Creating your Rakuten e-shop
Once your request has been validated, you will be able to access your Rakuten Merchant Center. This is your online merchant space. Your first task is to create your e-shop. This is your seller's showcase, on which you'll display your products, your product categories... A well-designed store is essential if you want to share your world with your visitors and succeed in selling on Rakuten.
You can add your products in a variety of ways, with varying degrees of speed:
- Add your items manually using the integrated web tool at marketplace,
- Use RSS feeds to download your catalog faster,
- Connect the API of a third-party product management service.
Rakuten Fulfillment for logistics
Like Amazon Marketplace and Cdiscount Marketplace, Rakuten offers professional merchants an automated logistics management service: Rakuten Fulfillment Network. This solution enables you to outsource all your sales logistics. Your products are stored in Rakuten warehouses in France and/or around the world. An algorithm gathers order requests and distributes shipments to the warehouses. Your products are packaged, shipped and delivered by the service. It's a real time-saver on a daily basis, allowing you to concentrate on your sales development, marketing and other aspects of your e-commerce business.
Of course, you can still retain some of your order management. All you have to do is indicate in your Merchant Dashboard which products you wish to outsource to logistics.
This is Rakuten's in-house advertising platform Marketplace. It enables you to set up sponsored product campaigns. This enables you to make your product sheets stand out at the top of search results on the site. The benefits: increased visibility, higher click-through rates, increased conversions.
Rakuten Club R
Rakuten's Club R is a unique loyalty program, bringing together buyers who want to take advantage of discounts and cashback, and sellers who want to reach more customers. Membership is free for merchants. It will enable you to offer interesting member benefits and enjoy increased visibility on the Rakuten Deals page.
Acquisition levers outside marketplace
In addition to the marketplace, you can also set up campaigns to drive traffic to your e-shop and sell on Rakuten. Among the most frequently used acquisition levers are :
- Google Shopping: this tool allows you to create direct links to your Rakuten product listings from Google search results.
- Social networks: display ads linking to your e-shop on the most popular social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok...
How to manage your stock despite the Rakuten payment delay?
The way marketplaces work is that you don't receive the money from your sales directly into your business bank account. Buyers pay their orders to the marketplace, which collects and holds the money. It then pays you your cash periodically, after deducting Rakuten commissions. On this platform, the money is paid when the customer has noted his order, after receipt. The payment period can be up to 23 days. During this time, you don't collect your sales and may therefore have difficulty reinvesting to buy stock and develop new product ranges.
To sell on Rakuten on an ongoing basis, you can turn to a third-party solution like Qashflo, which will advance the money from your sales the day after your shipments to ensure a more regular cash flow and thus facilitate the development of your business.
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