SCREENSHOT - Rakuten website.
Tokyo-based e-commerce firm Rakuten is to launch a new online shopping mall, Rakuten Online Shopping, to bring top products and Japanese standards to Malaysian customers.
The service will introduce consumers in Malaysia to an entirely new and unique online shopping experience. Rakuten is currently recruiting merchant partners to populate its online shopping mall leading up to its launch in late 2012, according to Rakuten Online Shopping president and chief executive officer Masaya Ueno.
"The Rakuten shopping experience brings the best of both worlds to consumers and merchants," said Ueno. "We empower merchants with the platform, tools and know-how they need to run successful online businesses. We also enable them to customise their storefronts to maximise their own brand appeal and allow them to communicate directly with their customers. This flexibility and interaction bring the online shopping experience to life and puts the fun back in shopping."
He said the company would concentrate on offering 'the best local and international goods while employing Japan's world famous customer service standards.'
"Malaysia is an attractive market owing to its economic stability and well-equipped infrastructure for the development of e-commerce, including Internet, logistics and online payment facilities," said Ueno. "Malaysian market growth and positive online shopping trends present Rakuten with a bright opportunity in this market."
"The indications validate our timely entry into the market," he said. "Initially, Rakuten seeks to partner mid- and large retailers across industries in Malaysia including fashion and apparel, IT and electronics, books and luxury goods."
Ueno added that Malaysia has a high Internet penetration rate among the ASEAN countries, and the online shopping market expected to grow at an accelerated pace in the future. Internet retailing reached RM842 million (US$266 million) in 2011 and the number is expected to exceed RM1.9 billion (US$600 million) by 2016.
Rakuten Online Shopping expands Rakuten's footprint in Southeast Asia, marking its third e-commerce market entry in the region, following TARAD.com in Thailand in 2009, and Indonesia's Rakuten Belanja Online in 2011.
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