Rakuten Group, Inc. will launch Rakuten Zenkoku Super, an online supermarket platform, in 2021. As a first step, Rakuten reached an agreement with Beisia which will see the supermarket chain join the new platform. Based in Gunma Prefecture, Beisia operates 138 stores in Tokyo and 14 additional prefectures across Japan.
With this platform, Rakuten provides a system for operating online supermarkets — including order management and online payments — to supermarket operators across Japan, leveraging the expertise gained through running Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper, which it operates together with Seiyu GK.
Rakuten will also provide a one-stop shop for retailers offering everything from customer acquisition and marketing support to consultation services for delivery operation setup. This allows participating businesses to reduce initial costs in the early stages of establishing their online presence and speed up the launch of their online supermarket.
Rakuten Zenkoku Super also aims to provide new levels of convenience to shoppers. Customers will be able to search for online supermarkets that deliver to their area simply by entering their postal code into the platform.
By logging in with their Rakuten ID at checkout, customers can enjoy a smooth shopping experience because their registered address and credit card details are stored and automatically retrieved. Customers are also able to earn and use Rakuten Points on the new platform.
As consumers and businesses alike adapt to the new normal, demand for online supermarket shopping continues to soar. From January through March 2021, Rakuten Seiyu Netsuper sales grew by 29.9% compared to the same period of the previous year, and sales from April through June continued to grow, with a 28.4% year-on-year increase for that period.
While supermarkets are increasingly eager to offer customers an online option, many lack the expertise required to operate an online business, and face the costs associated with infrastructure development. Through the new Rakuten Zenkoku Super platform, Rakuten will support and facilitate businesses entering the online supermarket space.
Rakuten’s mission is to empower people and society through innovation, and to that end, it operates more than 70 services in Japan and around the world. By leveraging the technologies and assets Rakuten has cultivated through such a wide variety of businesses, it aims to support the digital transformation of retailers across Japan. At the same time, Rakuten is working to provide great levels of convenience to customers and further contribute to the local communities in which it operates.