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Rakuten - a Japanese Electronic Commerce and Internet Company

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BRIAN BALIACH

SCCJ/00289/2016

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COMPUTER NETWORKS

E-COMMERCE ASSIGNMENT

RAKUTEN

Rakuten is a Japanese electronic commerce and internet company based in Tokyo and founded in 1997 by Hiroshi Mikitani. It is also the largest e-commerce company in Japan and it offers digital content and communication services to over 1 billion members around the world and operates in 20 countries and regions. It is the largest Internet bank and the 3rd largest credit card company as ranked by transaction value. Rakuten is also a sponsor to an elite football team known as Barcelona (Interesting fact if you’re a football fan).

TECHNOLOGY

Rakuten’s front-end (the part of the site a user views using a web browser) has been actualized using HTML, CSS, XHTML, Javascript and the Bootstrap framework. While it isn’t clear what language was used to code the back-end for the Rakuten website (part of the site that is involved in processing of data on a front-end part of a website) because of security issues, the back-end contains an SQL Database, whose type is also unclear. Rakuten also has a mobile app, for both IOS devices (Apple Devices) and Android Devices. To access their app, you can just access the online store for apps of your mobile device – for apple devices, the app store and for Android devices, the Play store. Unfortunately Rakuten does not offer support to Windows mobile phones. You can still be able to have access to their services via a web browser on your mobile device.

HOW IT WORKS

Rakuten offers a variety of payment options to it’s members. The first payment method is by use of their Rakuten card which you can apply for directly from their site: www.rakuten-card.co.jp. They offer a bunch of options on what cards you can apply for including: Rakuten Disney Card Design, Rakuten Gold Card and plain Rakuten Card among others. To apply for a card, there’s a big red button named ‘easy application’ which when you click, will redirect you to another page where you now do the actual application. Note that the english might not be grammatically correct since Rakuten is a Japanese based company and you might need to translate text on the screen using your web browser.

At this page, you’ll be required to enter basic information like what brand of card you’d prefer and the type of Rakuten card you’d want (listed up). You’ll also be required to enter information about yourself, like your date of birth, your first name and your last name. Afterwards, you’ll be redirected to another page where you’ll provide information about your work, then finally, you’ll be required to register for a Rakuten Membership Account. As tedious as the process might seem, it’s worth it. After acquiring a Rakuten Card, you’ll be availed with interesting features like being able to pay for goods at a Retail store using your Smartphone. Rakuten card can also be linked to your Apple Pay (an Apple software that allows users to pay for their goods using their Iphone devices).

The second payment option: users are offered a means of paying for goods using the Rakuten app installed in their smartphone. Getting the app is quite straightforward. For starters, you need to own a smartphone. If you don’t then you might have to stick to using the old fashioned browser. Get the app from Apple’s App Store or (For Android) Google’s Play Store, As listed in an earlier section. You’ll also need to be a registered Rakuten member – which comes with juicy treats like Rakuten Super Points, which you earn when you buy goods, and can be used the same way you use real money. Once you have the app fired up, and you comply with the conditions just listed, you can visit any Retail store that has Rakuten Pay, get that blue T-shirt you’ve always wanted and pay for it at the cashier using your membership ID.

To pay with the app, you have one of the following options:

  1. Scan the QR Code of the product you want to purchase
  2. Self pay mode, where you manually input the price of the product you want to purchase
  3. Scan the barcode of the product you want to purchase.

Afterwards you’ll be directed to a screen where you’ll need to confirm your purchase, then finally a redirect to another screen with the transaction details:

ADVANTAGES

a) Rakuten has offered business and co-operations world-wide a large customer base, therefore improving their profits.

b) Rakuten has offered customers wide rang of products to choose from globally.

c) Rakuten offers its members loyalty points which they can redeem in purchasing products from their platform, therefore making purchases cheaper to the customer.

d) Rakuten offers merchants the option of customizing their store. This enables the merchant to attract customers and create a link with them. It also enables a seller to look professional or speak to the target audience.

e) Rakuten offerts merchants tools and techniques to help them improve sales on the site, and therefore boosting their revenue.

f) Rakuten offers mecrchants an e-commerce consultant that can help the merchant maximize sales and grow their business.

DISADVANTAGES

a) Access to the site is only available via a computer or mobile phone or both, with internet access, which may be expensive to purchase.

BENEFITS TO THE CUSTOMER

Hassle free to customers since they have more than one payment option available to them whenever they want to purchase a good.

REFERENCES:

www.rakuten.com

www.quora.com

www.wikipedia.com

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