Two years ago, Rakuten bought the US-based Buy.com for $250 million. On January 31, Buy.com will redirect to Rakuten Shopping at Rakuten.com, completing the transition to Rakuten’s marketplace-style business model that started shortly after the purchase.
In Japan, Rakuten leveraged their many merchant partners to increase sales by highlighting the people behind the products. By more directly presenting their collection of third-party virtual stores to US shoppers, the metrics-driven Rakuten will find out fast if this decentralized method of e-commerce can compete with the more traditional models used by Amazon and their ilk. We’ve discussed Rakuten’s “shopping mall” style of e-commerce here, including an interview with COO/CMO Bernard Luthi and a recent review of Rakuten’s 2013 e-commerce predictions.
Find out more at internetretailer.com.