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November 25, 2011
  • Rakuten, Inc

Rakuten Ichiba Introduces Social Shopping Tool “Shop Together”

-The social shopping feature allowing customers to chat while they shop-

Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten,” Chairman and CEO: Hiroshi Mikitani, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo) today announced Shop Together, a tool that makes it possible for customers of the Internet shopping mall Rakuten Ichiba to chat with each other while they shop.*

With Shop Together, customers can chat with their friends over the Internet while viewing the same product. Customers will be able to invite their friends to a product’s Rakuten Ichiba webpage through e-mail or social networking services such as Facebook, mixi and Twitter, and then chat about the product while looking at the page.

Moreover, Shop Together is linked up with Facebook and mixi, making it easy for customers to quickly find any friends who are online. If the friend a customer wishes to talk to is offline, a message can be left for the friend.

In addition, since the Shop Together chat box opens in a separate window, customers can continue to chat even after leaving the viewed product page.

Shop Together is a feature first developed for Buy.com, a US company that joined the Rakuten Group in July 2010. This version of the tool has been custom developed for Rakuten Ichiba and the Japanese market. The announcement this time marks the latest in a number of e-commerce collaborations between Rakuten Ichiba and Buy.com that include the introduction of the Rakuten Super Point program to Buy.com and the development of Rakuten Super TV in Japan based on Buy.TV, a service that advertises products through videos supplied by Buy.com.

It is expected that the addition of social media features to Rakuten Ichiba will increase the amount of time each individual customer stays on the site, thereby leading to an increase in the number of products per purchase and the total sales amount per person, as well as a decrease in the number of purchase cancellations.

Rakuten will continue to enhance Shop Together moving forward, working to gradually expand the number of customers using the feature by implementing it throughout Rakuten Ichiba and the other services of the Rakuten Group.      

*During the introductory period, the use of Shop Together is limited to the “Rakuten Product”(http://product.rakuten.co.jp/)category on Rakuten Ichiba.

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