Rakuten today announced that its US company Buy.com (acquired in May last year) launched a special site that makes it possible for the 2,500 merchants registered on Buy.com to ship goods to Japanese customers.
Users with a Rakuten ID can buy products on Buy.com, from the US, using the same ID as in Japan.
The plan is to start off with about 20,000 products on the “international” site and then expand the business by offering more products and shipping to more countries.
Rakuten repeatedly said the company’s ultimate goal is to create an e-commerce platform that connects customers and merchants worldwide.
Here is the press release in full:
February 22, 2011
Rakuten Group’s Buy.com in the U.S. Opens
its Online Marketplace for Selling Goods to Overseas Customers
Buy.com, Inc. (‘‘Buy.com,” Head Office: California, USA) today announced that it has established an e-commerce site to offer international shipping of Buy.com marketplace products to outside the United States. Starting from the service directed for Japanese customers, Buy.com will gradually expand the same service to other countries. This allows Rakuten members in Japan to purchase goods from the United States through Buy.com using the same ID they use in Japan.
Buy.com is one of the largest business-to-consumer Internet retail marketplaces, where about 2,500 merchants currently offer a range of product categories. This service initially covers some 20,000 product items, including electric appliances such as home electronics and personal computers sold by Buy.com, as well as wine offered by Wine.com registered in Buy.com. More participation of the merchants and product items available for the international shipping are planned to be added one after another.
Regarding payment system, Buy.com introduced “Rakuten Anshin (Secure Online) Payment Service” offered by Rakuten in launching the international shipping service. This allows Rakuten members in Japan to receive “Rakuten Super Points” for purchases they make on the international shipping site of Buy.com, just as they do in shopping in Japan, and they can also use the points they earn for shopping. This service also enables Rakuten members to search and purchase goods that are being put on the market in the United States sooner than in Japan, that are not sold in Japan or that can be purchased at lower prices in the United States.
In commemoration of the opening of the international shipping site, Buy.com will mount a promotional campaign to provide Rakuten members in Japan with Rakuten Super Points equivalent to 1,000 yen for purchases of 5,000 yen or more they make on the new site, starting today to run until 9:59 a.m. (Japan Standard Time), March 8.
Building on the know-how and successful case stories of the Rakuten Group in Japan, Buy.com has been striving to date to enhance services to its users in the United States, including the introduction of Rakuten Super Points in November 2010. The Rakuten Group will continue to strive to become the world’s No. 1 Internet service company by sharing know-how, further stepping up interconnections of services, and realizing the mutual referral of users among subsidiaries and affiliates operating in various countries.
With more than 18 million customers, Buy.com is a leading retail marketplace, focused on providing its customers with a great shopping experience and a broad selection of retail goods at everyday low prices. Buy.com offers millions of products in a range of categories, including consumer electronics, computer hardware and software, cell phones, books, music, DVDs, games, toys, bags, fragrance, home and outdoor, baby, jewelry, shoes, apparel and sporting goods. Founded in June 1997, Buy.com is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Buy.com is owned by Rakuten, Japan’s leading Internet Company. Together, Rakuten and Buy.com represent one of the world’s largest online retail marketplaces, offering consumers more than 70 million products from more than 35,000 merchants around the globe.
Buy.com® and The Internet Superstore™ are trademarks of Buy.com Inc.
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe and North America. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo and has over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group/.