E-commerce milestone: Rakuten surpasses five trillion yen in gross merchandise sales for domestic e-commerce in banner year

Featured Image: Photo from Rakuten Ichiba’s most recent Shop of the Year award ceremony held in January 2021, recognizing the top merchants in categories ranging from food to fashion on Rakuten’s online marketplace in Japan.

Rakuten Group’s annual gross merchandise sales (GMS) for domestic e-commerce* reached record highs for 2021, surpassing five trillion yen (or, roughly $43.6 billion USD) for the first time in the company’s 25-year history.

To put that e-commerce milestone into perspective, GMS for the company’s online marketplace for its first month in business in 1997 was a modest 320,000 yen (around $2,800 USD). Since then, e-commerce has grown to become an integral part of society’s infrastructure, and the company has seen remarkable growth, thanks largely to the merchants and partners that have supported Rakuten over the years and the customers using Rakuten’s services.

A year after the pandemic drove increased stay-at-home demand and digitalization accelerated across all sectors — resulting in significant e-commerce growth for 2020 — Rakuten delivered impressive GMS figures once again.

Expanding ecosystem impact

This increase in domestic e-commerce GMS highlights the remarkable impact of the company’s fast-growing ecosystem — one that continues to expand through unique synergies with mobile carrier service Rakuten Mobile and Rakuten’s rapidly growing Fintech business services, such as industry-leading businesses Rakuten Card, Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Securities, Rakuten Pay and more.

And the company has its eyes set on an even bigger goal: These synergies are only set to expand in the coming years, leading the company to target 10 trillion yen in annual domestic e-commerce GMS next.

For more on Rakuten’s e-commerce businesses in Japan, visit here.

Editor’s Note: *Domestic e-commerce GMS is the combined transaction amount for Rakuten Ichiba, Rakuten Travel (GTV on checkout basis), Rakuten Books, golf business, Rakuten Ticket, Rakuten Fashion, Rakuten Dream businesses, Rakuten Beauty, Rakuten Delivery, Rakuten 24 (first-party business), auto business, Rakuma, Rakuten Rebates, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, etc. between January and December 2021. (Based on preliminary figures.)

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