Prioritizing high quality service: Rakuten PRO for merchants

The distinctive online marketplace model pioneered by Rakuten has always been about empowering merchant growth. The stronger the merchants, the stronger the platform, and vice versa – and nowhere is that more true than at Rakuten Germany, where a new system has recently been introduced so that can further encourage its merchants to do their very best for their customers.

Introduced in May 2016, Rakuten PRO offers a low commission option to registered merchants that make a commitment to offer high quality service, including prompt order fulfillment and exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.

“The system is designed to reward merchants that are committed and take good care of their customers. Those merchants can enjoy lower prices, while customers can enjoy better service and – in many cases – lower prices, too,” explained Guido Schulz, Country Manager Commercial, Rakuten Germany.

In its first two months, the new system has been a solid success, with more than 100 vendors signing up. “We’re very happy with the response of merchants to the new plan,” Schulz said. “We would like to see about 10% of all traders committed to the Rakuten PRO level of quality by the end of this year.”

The 85% saving on merchant fees consists of a smaller platform sales commission – just 2% instead of the usual 5-9% – as well as waivers for the usual 1% affiliate fee and 1.5% cross-border fee.

“Because we want to ensure the highest quality merchants come to Rakuten and continue to grow their businesses on our platform, even at the reduced rates, Rakuten PRO merchants continue to enjoy all the benefits of a merchant-centric marketplace – legal certainty, payment guarantee and sales promotions,” explained Schulz.

One of the most important criteria for PRO traders is that they deliver goods promptly. Orders received by 2 p.m. on a weekday must be shipped the same day, while orders received after that time must be shipped the following weekday.

Other criteria apply to levels of customer satisfaction. Merchants must receive 4 or more stars in their shop’s user reviews and the number of customer complaints must be kept to less than 1% of the total number of orders.

Some merchants relish the challenge – and the benefits that accrue from meeting them. One of the first shops to use the new Rakuten PRO model was the electronics retailer Olano, which has been selling on for three years.

“Quality has always been our top priority for customer loyalty. Customers who weren’t satisfied with their first shopping experience rarely come back,” said Alexander Bachmann, Olano company spokesperson.  “We very much welcomed the introduction of the new PRO model! Not only because it gives us greater freedom in pricing through the lower sales commission, but because all merchants and, most importantly, the customers will benefit from an even better shopping experience on,” he continued.

Schulz is delighted that Rakuten Germany can facilitate the efforts of merchants like Olano.

“This is a very important part of our future strategy,” he explained. “For our business to succeed and grow in this competitive environment we must continue to empower merchants to be the very best they can.”

More information about’s Rakuten PRO initiative:


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