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2 Million Users In 4 Months: Will Rakuten Recipe Overtake Cookpad?

CNET Japan wrote a pretty interesting analysis on the success of Rakuten Recipe, a recipe site Japan’s biggest e-commerce company is running.

Here’s a short summary:

Rakuten opened the site in October 2010. Rakuten Recipe now has 40,000 recipes and a whopping 2 million users. Yahoo Japan Recipe has 3 million users, while Japan’s biggest recipe site, Cookpad (listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange), boasts 8 million registered users.

Now Rakuten Recipe says it wants to overtake Cookpad’s user numbers by the end of 2011. I personally think this could happen not in 2011 but in 2012 if Cookpad doesn’t find ways to counter Rakuten’s user acquisition strategy.

There are 3 reasons for Rakuten’s success so far:

  • Users providing recipes as well as those writing reviews get Rakuten Super Points (which can be redeemed on Rakuten’s shopping site)
  • tight integration with online mega mall Rakuten (for example, users can buy ingredients via direct links on Rakuten)
  • Rakuten’s size (70 million registered buyers) and brand power make it easy to cross-promote Rakuten Recipe

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.