Rakuten France: marketplace guide
About this guide
This is a ChannelEngine guide on the French operation of Tokyo-based marketplace Rakuten. Here you can find information on how to request a Rakuten account, how to configure this channel on ChannelEngine, what the specific requirements are, and more.
Table of contents
|Founded||7 February 1997|
|Headquarters||Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan|
|Area served (orders)||29 countries and regions|
|Open for cross-border shipments in||pretty much anywhere|
|Revenue||circa USD 21.15 million|
|Number of visitors||circa 15 million (2021)|
|Commission||6-21%, depending on the product category and the monthly package|
|Other costs||EUR 39.00, EUR 199.00, or EUR 499.00 (excl. VAT)|
|Payment||twice a week (every Monday and Thursday)|
|Product categories||electronics, fashion, beauty, toys, DIY, garden, pets, home, books, music, and more|
|Profile on ChannelEngine||Rakuten|
* Product content can only be exported once. For more information on this, check out the Mappings section.
To start selling on Rakuten France, go to their Open a Rakuten account page and fill the form. A Rakuten ecommerce consultant should get in touch with you to discuss the creation of your account.
Rakuten does not charge a setup fee, but it does charge a monthly fee – which varies according to the plan you sign up for. Bear in mind that the commission fees vary according to the plan you choose, from a minimum of 12% and a maximum of 21% (depending on the category) under the Classic plan, to a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 16% under the Absolute plan. None of these percentages include VAT.
|Product content* (no HTML support)||External fulfillment|
|Product offers (EAN matching)||Returns|
|Shipments (including carrier mapping)|
|Product variations (sizes/colors)*|
* Variants are only supported under certain categories. For more information on this, consult the Mappings section of this article.
Setting up each channel on ChannelEngine follows the same flow, once you add the channel:
- Go through the Setup
- Create a Product selection
- Complete the Categorization
- Set up the Mappings: content, offers, and carriers
- Configure the Pricing: rules and currency conversion
- Finish the Activation
- Check the Listed products overview
To retrieve the required API access token, log into the Rakuten back-end and go to Paramètres du compte (Account settings) > Tokens. The required API username is the same as your account name on Rakuten France's back-end.
Add the API username, API access token, and Ship from address country code. The latter follows the ISO 3166-1 numeric standard, for which the complete list of codes can be found on the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) online browsing platform. E.g.: the code for France is 250.
Categorization is mandatory if you want to create or update existing product information on Rakuten. Both categorizations and mappings only result in updates if the content connection is enabled, and the relevant credentials have been entered (see the Setup section). The categorization is straightforward, and it uses attribute names in French.
The only required attribute on Rakuten is Image URL, but it is highly recommended that you map as many attributes as possible. This goes for most, if not all channels, but it is particularly important on Rakuten as, once submitted, your content cannot be updated.
If you are one of multiple sellers offering the same product (based on the EAN), the only way to update its content is to contact Rakuten's customer service via email. If you are the only merchant offering a particular product, you can update its content via Rakuten's back-end. However, once Rakuten takes ownership of the product's information, updating it also needs to be done via their customer service.
Deleting content is not possible, neither via ChannelEngine's nor via Rakuten's back-ends. To remove an offer from Rakuten, set its stock to zero.
- Image extra URL 1-9 - the product's additional images. The requirements, which also apply to Image URL, are the following:
- Resolution - 1,000x1,000 px
- File size - 10 MB at most (lightweight images with a high compression rate are preferable)
- Background - white or transparent
- File type - JPG or PNG
- Description - the product's description. Neither HTML formatting nor special characters are supported. The maximum number of characters is 4,000.
- Référence privée (Private reference) - a unique identifier of the product, such as the product's SKU or parent SKU.
Unlike most other channels, Rakuten groups certain common attributes under each category – including Brand and Title.
Some of the most common category-specific attributes are listed below.
- Couleur (Color) - the product's color. Note that there are two color attributes, so both the primary and secondary colors can be mapped – if applicable. If the product's category requires the mapping of this attribute, failing to do so results in a validation error.
- Taille (Size) - the product's size. If the product's category requires the mapping of this attribute, failing to do so results in a validation error.
- Fabricant (Manufacturer) - the product's manufacturer. Depending on the product's category, you may see the Brand field instead.
- Poids (Weight) - the product's weight, in grams or kilos. It is also possible to list a range, such as 500 g to 3 kg.
- Titre (Title) - the product's title. The maximum number of characters is 190.
- Type - the type of product, which varies from category to category. E.g.: thermometer, thermostat, fan, etc.
- Matière dominante (Main material) - the product's main material.
- Marque (Brand) - the product's brand. Depending on the product's category, you may see the Manufacturer field instead.
- Code-barres (EAN/ISBN) - the 13-digit EAN of the product. EANs that do not comply, such as 12-digit EANs, are converted accordingly. If the product is a book, use its ISBN instead.
- Price before (re)price rules - the exported price, after price rules are applied. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
- Votre référence cachée (Your hidden reference) - the product's SKU. The maximum number of characters is 40.
- Etat du produit (Product condition) - the condition of the product. E.g.: new, like new, good condition, etc.
- Comment - the product's warranty, delivery information, condition, or other details.
- Prix "promo" (Promotional price) - the sale price of the product, if applicable. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
- Prix de référence (Reference price) - the reference price of the product, used when a promotional price is applied to display a from-for price on the product page. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
Product variations are directly supported for the following categories. Product variations under any other category must be set up by Rakuten France's team.
You can map your carrier to a specific list of carriers maintained by Rakuten. This allows for working track-and-trace links in the back-end, as well as for the buyer.
Finally, Rakuten uses the deprecated country code FX (Metropolitan France) on orders, but this is converted by ChannelEngine to the standardized FR.
Rakuten requires the prices to be submitted in EUR. If you do not have pricing attributes in EUR, you need to set a currency conversion.
Repricing is only possible for products with condition 'New', not for refurbished products.
How often does each task run on Rakuten?
Tasks run according to the following schedule on Rakuten:
|Export product data to channel||every 60 minutes|
|Export product offers to channel||every 15 minutes|
|Import product offers from channel||every 15 minutes|
|Import orders from channel||every 20 minutes|
|Export order shipments to channel||every 60 minutes|
How do returns and cancelations work on Rakuten?
Rakuten France handles all cancelations and returns, once buyers initiate the process. If the return or cancelation of one of your orders is requested by a buyer, Rakuten France gets in touch with you. To avoid cancelations caused by stock issues, make sure to keep a close eye on your stock and set rules on ChannelEngine if needed.
Do I need to manually approve incoming orders on Rakuten?
No. Although Rakuten France requires each order to be manually approved in their back-end, ChannelEngine has built in a system to automatically accept incoming orders.
What does the "Annonce/Produit interdit : Distribution sélective" validation error mean?
The seller is not allowed to sell this product on Rakuten France. E.g.: the affected product belongs to a prohibited brand.
What does the "L'alias est obligatoire pour les créations de produit" validation error mean?
The product type (aka category) is not set for this product, so it needs to be created via a content export – which means all available mappings are required.