If you like to keep up to date with all things ecommerce, then you will know that Rakuten has created a new UK market place that will be launching this October. UK market place Play.com, which is owned by Rakuten, will trade until the end of 2014 and then close in March 2015. Merchants currently selling on Play.com are being encouraged to migrate over to the new platform in time for the launch.
The new platform will offer online retailers the chance to create personalised stores, exclusive offers and loyalty schemes. Rakuten will also be setting up training programmes for merchants and providing them with the opportunity to work with the company’s very own social media team.
One of the ways Rakuten is enticing merchants over to the platform (Rakuten.co.uk) is by offering six months free subscriptions. However this is only for those that sign up before 1st October. If you sign up between 2nd October 31st December you will receive just three months free.
Whilst this is all very well and good, multiple reports have claimed that the majority of multi-channel management companies are not ready to support merchants on the new Rakuen.co.uk platform, with many still in the process of investigating APIs. This means that those signing up by 1st October to benefit from the free subscriptions will technically be managing their orders and inventory alone.
This news will leave many merchants debating whether or not the six months free subscription will be of any benefit to them. Factor in the cost of time to manage your listings, process orders and update your inventory and it could end up costing you more than the free subscription is worth.
With Christmas fast approaching, the majority of online retailers simply won’t have time to spend on setting up their new Rakuten stores, creating listings and managing their inventories. Since Christmas is the busiest time of the year in terms of sales, it is probably a wise idea to leave the migration until the New Year, when you have more time and the platform is better supported.
Speaking of Christmas, if you are looking to increase the efficiency of your operations, during the busy period, why not outsource order fulfilment to an experienced and established company like DK Fulfilment? Get in touch today on +44 (0)1788 820232.
Image credit: Rakuten Deutschland GmbH