Japan’s biggest e-commerce company Rakuten, which currently boasts a market cap of US$9.7 billion, has been relatively quiet after having acquired US-based Buy.com earlier this year (for US$250 million). Now Buy.com is announcing it has introduced a loyalty program called “Rakuten Super Points” on its site.
The way it works is pretty simple: much like the points program Rakuten has been using on its Japanese site for years, Buy.com members can earn back 1% of all purchases made through points that can be put towards future purchases on the site.
What’s interesting is that Rakuten transplanted this loyalty program to sites outside Japan and Asia for the first time (it’s already in place in China and Thailand). It should be safe to say the program will be used on Rakuten’s new European site, PriceMinister in France, soon, too.
Rakuten’s reward points program is one of the core elements and success factors of the Japanese site and is also available on Rakuten Japan’s English sub-site. Rival Amazon Japan has introduced a similar scheme, Amazon Point, in 2007.
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