Rakuten France: marketplace guide

About this guide

This is a ChannelEngine guide on the French operation of Tokyo-based marketplace Rakuten. Here you can find information on how to request a Rakuten account, how to configure this channel on ChannelEngine, what the specific requirements are, and more.

Table of contents

Commercial information

How to request an account

Associated costs

Channel features

Settings and configuration

Channel-specific requirements and exceptions

FAQs

Rakuten France: front-end

Commercial information

Founded 7 February 1997
Founder Hiroshi Mikitani
Headquarters Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Area served (orders) 29 countries and regions
Open for cross-border shipments in pretty much anywhere
Revenue circa USD 21.15 million
Number of visitors circa 15 million (2021)
Website Rakuten France
Set-up cost none
Commission 6-21%, depending on the product category and the monthly package
Other costs EUR 39.00, EUR 199.00, or EUR 499.00 (excl. VAT)
Payment twice a week (every Monday and Thursday)
Product categories electronics, fashion, beauty, toys, DIY, garden, pets, home, books, music, and more
Input language French
Input currency EUR
Content creation yes*
Profile on ChannelEngine Rakuten

* Product content can only be exported once. For more information on this, check out the Mappings section.

How to request an account

To start selling on Rakuten France, go to their Open a Rakuten account page and fill the form. A Rakuten ecommerce consultant should get in touch with you to discuss the creation of your account.

Associated costs

Rakuten does not charge a setup fee, but it does charge a monthly fee – which varies according to the plan you sign up for. Bear in mind that the commission fees vary according to the plan you choose, from a minimum of 12% and a maximum of 21% (depending on the category) under the Classic plan, to a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 16% under the Absolute plan. None of these percentages include VAT.

Channel features

Supported Not supported
Product content* (no HTML support) External fulfillment
Product offers (EAN matching) Returns
Orders Cancelations
Shipments (including carrier mapping)
Repricing
Product variations (sizes/colors)*

* Variants are only supported under certain categories. For more information on this, consult the Mappings section of this article.

Settings and configuration

Setting up each channel on ChannelEngine follows the same flow, once you add the channel:

  1. Go through the Setup
  2. Create a Product selection
  3. Complete the Categorization
  4. Set up the Mappings: content, offers, and carriers
  5. Configure the Pricing: rules and currency conversion
  6. Finish the Activation
  7. Check the Listed products overview

Channel-specific requirements and exceptions

Setup

On Rakuten

Rakuten back-end: token

To retrieve the required API access token, log into the Rakuten back-end and go to Paramètres du compte (Account settings) > Tokens. The required API username is the same as your account name on Rakuten France's back-end.

On ChannelEngine

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten setup

Add the API username, API access token, and Ship from address country code. The latter follows the ISO 3166-1 numeric standard, for which the complete list of codes can be found on the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO) online browsing platform. E.g.: the code for France is 250.

NB: if you would like to attach offers to existing products on Rakuten France, rather than create new products, you can enable the Offers/EAN matching only? advanced setting under the Setup section. If this setting is disabled, all available attributes must be mapped – otherwise products do not get exported and/or existing offers are not updated. Bear in mind that, depending on the product category, attributes such as Taille and Couleur must be mapped regardless of the setting being enabled.

Categorization

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten categorization

Categorization is mandatory if you want to create or update existing product information on Rakuten. Both categorizations and mappings only result in updates if the content connection is enabled, and the relevant credentials have been entered (see the Setup section). The categorization is straightforward, and it uses attribute names in French.

Mappings

Content

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten content mappings

The only required attribute on Rakuten is Image URL, but it is highly recommended that you map as many attributes as possible. This goes for most, if not all channels, but it is particularly important on Rakuten as, once submitted, your content cannot be updated.

If you are one of multiple sellers offering the same product (based on the EAN), the only way to update its content is to contact Rakuten's customer service via email. If you are the only merchant offering a particular product, you can update its content via Rakuten's back-end. However, once Rakuten takes ownership of the product's information, updating it also needs to be done via their customer service.

Deleting content is not possible, neither via ChannelEngine's nor via Rakuten's back-ends. To remove an offer from Rakuten, set its stock to zero.

All products
  • Image extra URL 1-9 - the product's additional images. The requirements, which also apply to Image URL, are the following:
    • Resolution - 1,000x1,000 px
    • File size - 10 MB at most (lightweight images with a high compression rate are preferable)
    • Background - white or transparent
    • File type - JPG or PNG
  • Description - the product's description. Neither HTML formatting nor special characters are supported. The maximum number of characters is 4,000.
  • Référence privée (Private reference) - a unique identifier of the product, such as the product's SKU or parent SKU.

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten offer mappings

Unlike most other channels, Rakuten groups certain common attributes under each category – including Brand and Title.

Category-specific

Some of the most common category-specific attributes are listed below.

  • Couleur (Color) - the product's color. Note that there are two color attributes, so both the primary and secondary colors can be mapped – if applicable. If the product's category requires the mapping of this attribute, failing to do so results in a validation error.
  • Taille (Size) - the product's size. If the product's category requires the mapping of this attribute, failing to do so results in a validation error.
  • Fabricant (Manufacturer) - the product's manufacturer. Depending on the product's category, you may see the Brand field instead.
  • Poids (Weight) - the product's weight, in grams or kilos. It is also possible to list a range, such as 500 g to 3 kg.
  • Titre (Title) - the product's title. The maximum number of characters is 190.
  • Type - the type of product, which varies from category to category. E.g.: thermometer, thermostat, fan, etc.
  • Matière dominante (Main material) - the product's main material.
  • Marque (Brand) - the product's brand. Depending on the product's category, you may see the Manufacturer field instead.

Offer

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten offer mappings

Required
  • Code-barres (EAN/ISBN) - the 13-digit EAN of the product. EANs that do not comply, such as 12-digit EANs, are converted accordingly. If the product is a book, use its ISBN instead.
  • Price before (re)price rules - the exported price, after price rules are applied. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
  • Votre référence cachée (Your hidden reference) - the product's SKU. The maximum number of characters is 40.
  • Etat du produit (Product condition) - the condition of the product. E.g.: new, like new, good condition, etc.
  • Comment - the product's warranty, delivery information, condition, or other details.
Optional
  • Prix "promo" (Promotional price) - the sale price of the product, if applicable. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
  • Prix de référence (Reference price) - the reference price of the product, used when a promotional price is applied to display a from-for price on the product page. Note that the minimum value is 0.90 and the maximum value is 1 million.
Variations

Product variations are directly supported for the following categories. Product variations under any other category must be set up by Rakuten France's team.

  • accessoire_mode
  • sac_produit
  • vetement_sport
  • mobilier_produit
  • vetement
  • mev_table_cuisine
  • mev_ustensile_cuisine
  • mev_bijoux_declinaison
  • lunettes
  • decoration_interieur
  • lingemaison_produit
  • mev_actions_titre
  • mev_affiche
  • mev_autocollant
  • mev_buvard
  • mev_calendrier
  • mev_carte_postale
  • mev_gravure
  • mev_objet_collection
  • mev_objets_publicitaires
  • mev_philatelie
  • mev_ticket_produit
  • deco_festive

Carrier

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten carrier mappings

You can map your carrier to a specific list of carriers maintained by Rakuten. This allows for working track-and-trace links in the back-end, as well as for the buyer.

Note that Rakuten requires every order line to have a track-and-trace code. E.g.: if you are shipping three different products within the same order, each product needs to have a track-and-trace code – though they do not have to be unique.

Finally, Rakuten uses the deprecated country code FX (Metropolitan France) on orders, but this is converted by ChannelEngine to the standardized FR.

NB: by default, Rakuten France charges 25% of the total order value as shipping costs. This can be changed in the Rakuten France back-end, under Paramètres du compte > Expédition et package pro (Account settings > Shipping and pro package).

Pricing

Rakuten requires the prices to be submitted in EUR. If you do not have pricing attributes in EUR, you need to set a currency conversion.

Listed products

ChannelEngine back-end: Rakuten listed products

If you have problems with products not appearing on Rakuten, check the Listed products section for more information.
You can either filter on Channel status ( Invalid for all products that ChannelEngine has not exported, such as products with an empty EAN) or use the Validation and feedback tab to see all known validation/feedback errors for specific products.

FAQs

  • How often does each task run on Rakuten?
  • Tasks run according to the following schedule on Rakuten:

    Task Frequency
    Export product data to channel every 60 minutes
    Export product offers to channel every 15 minutes
    Import product offers from channel every 15 minutes
    Import orders from channel every 20 minutes
    Export order shipments to channel every 60 minutes
  • How do returns and cancelations work on Rakuten?
  • Rakuten France handles the all cancelations and returns, once buyers initiate the process. If the return or cancelation of one of your orders is requested by a buyer, Rakuten France gets in touch with you. To avoid cancelations caused by stock issues, make sure to keep a close eye on your stock and set rules on ChannelEngine if needed.

  • Do I need to manually approve incoming orders on Rakuten?
  • No. Although Rakuten France requires each order to be manually approved in their back-end, ChannelEngine has built in a system to automatically accept incoming orders.

  • What does the "Annonce/Produit interdit : Distribution sélective" validation error mean?
  • The seller is not allowed to sell this product on Rakuten France. E.g.: the affected product belongs to a prohibited brand.

  • What does the "L'alias est obligatoire pour les créations de produit" validation error mean?
  • The product type (aka category) is not set for this product, so it needs to be created via a content export – which means all available mappings are required.

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