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Sellers ask antitrust body to probe Rakuten's free shipping policy

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The Rakuten merchants charge sales tax but Amazon merchants do not. Increase the prices to cover the transport charge except for the bigger heavier products. Still makes online shopping worthwhile and less time consuming.

Rakuten needs to do something about their very complicated site which I'm sure puts many off from using it.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Rakuten needs to do something about their very complicated site which I'm sure puts many off from using it.

On the contrary. This is what Japanese consumers expect to see. Different cultural norms in how information is presented but the average Japanese consumer prefers to see a lot of information at once, where-as western societies tend to put emphasis on the absence of information. Trust me, it drives many a developers crazy as well.

But it's the same reason that places like Don-Quijote as so chaotic.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I agree with Zichi. I just read the small print on a receipt after using my Rakuten card and found out I had to register it online. Tried to do it to no avail. The pages...and I mean pages just for simple registration would not work. I tossed the card in the garbage.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All Japanese websites need to do something about their very complicated site which I'm sure puts many off from using it.

Fixed it for you. But as ksteer said, that is because the websites are geared to Japanese consumers. I also think Japanese web design is horrid.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

On the contrary. This is what Japanese consumers expect to see. 

I don't think so because other Japanese sites are much easier to use. The Rakuten Global site is still the same as the Japanese version. I only buy from Rakuten if I can't find the item on Amazon.

Older people have a problem dealing with the internet shopping.

Its not more or less info, more to do with how its presented so I can achieve my aim of buying something quickly.

When you go to a brick and mortar store you don't have to search through piles of boxes looking for something. Everything is laid out on shelves.

On Rakuten a search for Smartphones & Tablets produces 593,754 Results. What are shoppers suppose to do with that?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Some Rakuten sellers do the whole "low cost but hugely inflated shipping" scam and you don't realize it until you're at the purchase page. With this new policy they won't be able to run it anymore and will have to compete fairly!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is what Japanese consumers expect to see.

I don't know about that. Who decides what to expect on a website? Existing websites? This is more of a "this website does this so we should, too."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Rakuten Global site is pretty easy to use. The only complex part is that the merchant will email you later to let you know the shipping cost and you have to confirm it, but all you need to do is email back saying "Yes, that's fine, thanks."

As far as free shipping goes...well, there's no such thing as free lunch and there's no such thing as free shipping either. Merchants eat that cost and sometimes to their own detriment to get sales.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is what Japanese consumers expect to see. 

Of course that is what they expect when they don't have choices. I'm betting these same consumers would switch over to more simplified websites if given the option.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Rakuten needs to do something about their very complicated site which I'm sure puts many off from using it.

It certainly puts me off from using it. It's ridiculous.

On the contrary. This is what Japanese consumers expect to see. ...But it's the same reason that places like Don-Quijote as so chaotic.

I think it's more like what the merchants and marketing/sales people think people here want to see. My Japanese wife absolutely hates Rakuten and refuses to use it, specifically because of the website design.

I also hate Don Qi for that specific reason. It's a disorganized cluttered mess in which I worry I will die in a fire trying to find an exit.

That ferris wheel on the side of the Dotonburi store is cool, though!

Of course that is what they expect when they don't have choices. I'm betting these same consumers would switch over to more simplified websites if given the option.

Some JP retailers have gotten wise to it, and have relatively modern and navigable websites. Nitori and Uniqlo are two such stores. (Although, Nitori can still find itself slipping back into that look on occasion.) I think they are taking cues from Western companies' JP sites, like Apple's and Google's.

The irony of Amazon looking so sleek and simple here in Japan is that back in the US, compared to other US retailers' websites, it's somewhat cluttered and messy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I think it's more like what the merchants and marketing/sales people think people here want to see. My Japanese wife absolutely hates Rakuten and refuses to use it, specifically because of the website design.

Nope. Not only has there been a lot of research into how people from Asian culture view layouts vs. Western people, Rakuten has teams that do the research on analytics etc, adapting the UI to user's behaviors.

I can't stand Japanese web design. But I'm not the target demographic.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japanese magazines are very cluttered. Many Japanese still use Yahoo Japan because they prefer a portal full of info to a blank page like Google. Searches on Amazon may produce clearer looking results, but only because Amazon is guiding you to preferred products, the "Amazon choice" or whatever.

I'm a heavy user of the second-hand sites, Yahoo Auctions and Mercari and many sellers on there will suck up the postage cost or use low cost postage which typically runs to 200-300 yen. Many items on Rakuten that are small enough to be sent the same way are 700 yen. In 2019, this amounts to poor service. I won't comment on Amazon Prime because that is a paid membership.

This does not mean that Rakuten should dictate to sellers, only that the service on Rakuten regarding postage can be poor and stops me using it. The other thing that is very poor and I bet will be unpopular is the automatic opt-in for spam emails. Fail to uncheck the little box and you will be heavily spammed with promos.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have purchased several through Amazon Japan and I have yet to pay for any shipping

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its economies of scale. As a bigger business, costs are reduced by shipping in bulk, steady contracts with shipping, and spreading out the cost biting to more customers. I'm antitrust, but this looks like the small-town shops should create a loose coop for economies of scale to compete.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is what Japanese consumers expect to see. 

"Of course that is what they expect when they don't have choices. I'm betting these same consumers would switch over to more simplified websites if given the option."

Just out of curiosity, is it the older shoppers who want everything on the website? What is the consensus on younger Japanese shoppers ( eg, teen & early twentysomethings)? Do the younger ones prefer a more simplified & cleaner website?
0 ( +0 / -0 )

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