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HOME REGIONS Asia-Pacific › Rakuten launches Malaysian e-mall

Rakuten launches Malaysian e-mall

by Stuart Wilson, Wednesday 7 November 2012

Japanese e-commerce specialist Rakuten has opened a Malaysian internet shopping mall featuring more than 11,000 products from 40-plus local retailers. The Rakuten Online Shopping virtual mall aims to provide consumers in Malaysia with an entirely new online shopping experience that is entertaining and interactive. Consumer electronics, computer and IT products are available with retailers such as Senheng Electric and Best Denki already signed up as partners.

"Rakuten Online Shopping brings to the market a unique and interactive online shopping experience," said Masaya Ueno, Rakuten Online Shopping’s president and CEO. "At Rakuten, our philosophy is shopping is entertainment. We believe that shopping online can and should be as exciting and interactive as a live market and not simply the vending-machine-like experience that most sites offer."

Unlike existing shopping sites, Rakuten Online Shopping is populated with multiple stores that cater to various segments of interest. The site aims to offer Japan’s customer service standards and collaboration with partners to deliver a trusted shopping environment that is efficient, hassle-free and secure.

The site also features the Rakuten super points loyalty rewards programme that incentivises shoppers with points that are redeemable as payment for future purchases.

"The launch represents a significant first step in our journey towards growing Rakuten into a full internet services company in Malaysia. We aim to build an ecosystem here that is similar in Japan, where we now offer over 40 different internet services, in addition to e-commerce, all connected by Rakuten super points," added Ueno.

Going forward, Rakuten plans to grow its base of merchant partners across key industries to expand its product categories in Malaysia. Utilising what Rakuten describes as a ‘business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) model’, retailers are able to build online storefronts on the marketplace and sell directly to consumers.

"Rakuten Online Shopping is a win-win model for consumers and merchants," said Ueno. "We aim to foster continued e-commerce growth and elevate the maturity of the industry by empowering more retailers to open their businesses online, strengthening local expertise and transferring knowledge to local merchants."

Malaysia is Rakuten’s third e-commerce market entry in the region following Tarad.com in Thailand in 2009 and Indonesia’s Rakuten Belanja Online in 2011. Malaysia represents Rakuten’s first greenfield entry in its global e-commerce expansion. With the launch of Rakuten Online Shopping, hopes to tap into the growing e-retail market in Malaysia, which is expected to exceed US$623m by 2016.

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