Tokyo, November 16, 2020 – Rakuten, Inc. today announced plans to establish a new company to support brick-and-mortar retailers in Japan to implement digital transformation*1 with the introduction of multiple initiatives aimed at merging offline and online retail (OMO*2.) With the working name of Rakuten DX Solution, plans are on track for the company to be established in January 2021.
As user behavior and shopping habits continue to evolve, online services centered on e-commerce and cashless payments are becoming a fundamental part of consumer life. Customer expectations are on the rise for new online services and seamless experiences across online and offline retail from supermarkets and other businesses operating brick-and-mortar retail stores.
In the pursuit of its mission to contribute to society by creating value through innovation and entrepreneurship, Rakuten provides more than 70 services that utilize technology to contribute to the empowerment of people and local communities. By establishing this new company, Rakuten aims to empower the realization of a new kind of physical store through the digital transformation of food product and daily necessity retailers across Japan, by leveraging the expertise it has developed through its own businesses in areas such as OMO and data marketing.
Rakuten’s vision for the future of retail calls for acceleration of initiatives such as the optimization of inventory control and pricing with AI-driven user-demand forecasting, and the introduction of in-store checkout that circumvents cash registers with the use of smartphones. For OMO initiatives, Rakuten plans to leverage both online and offline purchasing data in order to offer personalized shopping information directly to customers and a more convenient shopping experience.
In addition, the company business plans include consideration of partnerships with companies that share the business vision for digital transformation for retail. Rakuten DX Solution’s potential partners include Tokyu Corporation.
*1 Digital transformation: Using data and digital techniques to attain a competitive advantage by transforming products, services and business models, as well as the very operations businesses are conducting, organizational structures, processes, corporate culture and practices based on the needs of customers and the company in order to keep up with dynamic changes in a given business environment. (Source: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Promotion of Digital Guidelines)
*2 OMO: Online Merges with Offline. A marketing technique that provides consumers with a more efficient shopping experience by breaking down the barriers between online services and offline brick-and-mortar stores.
Overview of company plans
Name: Rakuten DX Solutions, Inc. (working title)
Establishment: January 2021 (planned)
Address: Rakuten Crimson House, 1-14-1 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Business objective: Support the digital transformation of brick-and-mortar retailers.
Rakuten, Inc. (TSE: 4755) is a global leader in internet services that empower individuals, communities, businesses and society. Founded in Tokyo in 1997 as an online marketplace, Rakuten has expanded to offer services in e-commerce, fintech, digital content and communications to approximately 1.4 billion members around the world. The Rakuten Group has over 20,000 employees, and operations in 30 countries and regions. For more information visit https://global.rakuten.com/corp/.