We were recently invited to represent Google at Rakuten’s first-ever Expo Malaysia, in The Gardens Hotel, Grand Ballroom last Monday. We were given a booth alongside other Rakuten partners including Southeast Asia’s leading payment gateway solutions ipay88, Toys “R” Us, and P1. The ambience was grand, with approximately 100 guests and partners present at the ballroom that day.
Rakuten Inc is a Japanese online e-commerce platform based in Tokyo with over 10,000 employees in 2013 and made $4.7 billion in 2012. The Rakuten event was set to provide a fresh perspective on e-commerce setups and it’s untapped potential in Malaysia today.
The Expo kicked off with a speech from Chief Executive Officer and President of Rakuten Malaysia, Masaya Ueno on the future of e-commerce in Asia. According to Masaya, the name Rakuten is derived from the Japanese word Raku-Ichi-Raku-Za which means ‘optimism’. Rakuten is actively selling in Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
They are also the only Japanese brand currently rankedin the Top 50 Global Brands alongside Accenture, Apple, Coca-Cola, Google and Mercedes. They have 40,000 merchants total, and over 95 million products worldwide.
The highlight of the event was the acquisition of Rakuten’s new global video streaming platform, Viki, that crowdsources translated subtitles. This new technology offers first-class content such as prime-time TV shows as well as movies on demand with 22 million users in more than 160 languages. This channel will later on be used to promote shopping through videos, bringing online shopping to a whole new level.
To top things off, there was a Panel Discussion on e-commerce in Asia, with representatives from Rakuten, Google, P1, Berjaya Books and iPay88. It was quite an insightful discussion. The discussion addressed Malaysia’s most common concerns on e-commerce stores and online shopping, such as how to avoid counterfeit products, payment gateway solutions and the main motivation for Malaysians to shop online.
It was a wonderful experience to be part of Rakuten’s first-ever Expo in Malaysia. Will be looking forward to the next!
Update: check out this comprehensive review on shopping at Rakuten Malaysia.