JAKARTA, November 1, 2012 -- Rakuten, Inc., the world’s 3rd largest e-commerce marketplace, will participate in the Cool Japan Strategy Promotion Program run by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (hereinafter METI) to support Japanese retailers hoping to break into Indonesia’s burgeoning e-commerce market. On November 12, Rakuten will hold an exhibition at major shopping facility, Grand Indonesia, located in central Jakarta featuring products sold by 29 selected Japanese merchants. The products will also be promoted for sale at Rakuten’s online shopping mall in Indonesia, Rakuten Belanja Online. Through this initiative, Rakuten also aims to empower Indonesian users to enjoy unique Japanese products.
With the aim of fostering “Made in Japan, Made by Japan” product brands overseas, the Cool Japan Strategy Promotion Program run by METI publicly advertised for participants early this summer. Rakuten’s proposed “project to support the cultivation of overseas sales revolving around Indonesia,” was launched in July, following METI’s project approval. Rakuten chose 29 select merchants to participate based criteria which included the extent to which their epitomize Japan and potential to sell well in Indonesia.
As part of the project, Rakuten will support retailers in setting up temporary shops for a limited time on Rakuten Belanja Online and through the Grand Indonesia exhibition of Japanese products entitled COOL JAPAN INDONESIA from November 12th through December 9th. The event will provided participating merchants with an opportunity to advertise their products directly to consumers in Indonesia.
Twenty nine of selected merchants already have a strong presence on Japan’s “Rakuten Ichiba” Internet shopping mall. All of the participating businesses offer traditional products passed down through generations, or products reflecting the latest trends in Japan.
“Exhibiting these products in a popular consumer area and selling them directly online will enhance Indonesian consumer’s interest toward Japanese culture and products, while providing a test marketing opportunity for various companies to develop future business plans for the Indonesian market.” said Ryota Inaba, CEO and President Director of Rakuten Belanja Online.
“The 29 Japanese merchants joining RBO through the Cool Japan initiative join the over 400 Indonesia-based merchants on RBO that have already recognized the massive potential of the Indonesian market and its savvy shoppers”, added Ryota.
For consumers, the exhibition will offer an opportunity to experience traditional Japanese culture and modern-day trends. During the event, various home scenarios will be set up, replicating today’s modern-day Japanese home. Attendees will be able to participate through trying on traditional Japan clothing and taking photographs. There will also be a number of activities taking place, including a lucky draw, a rice cake pounding event, and others.
On November 12th, Rakuten will launch a special microsite and Facebook page to support the campaign and will launch the grand promo opening on November 12-14, 2012.
With the number of households with over US$10,000 of disposable income increasing at a rate of 20% a year, Indonesia is slated to become the largest e-commerce market in ASEAN. Indonesia also boasts the fourth largest mobile phone user population which is expected to reach 160 to 200 million within the year. Of this number, smartphones are expected to account for roughly 30%, further fostering e-commerce adoption.
Rakuten’s investment in the Cool Japan initiative marks the start of Rakuten’s plan to help local Japanese merchants expand into Indonesia’s growing e-commerce market.