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Whither Buy.com? Try Rakuten.com Shopping

Online marketplace rebrands, relaunches U.S. subsidiary.

Shopping site Buy.com has undergone a few changes since it was acquired by Japan’s Rakuten in 2010, including a name change to Rakuten Buy.com. Today it was announced that the site will get a whole new identity as it is relaunched as Rakuten.com Shopping.

According to a press release, the Buy.com brand will still be visible within the new Rakuten.com Shopping marketplace, but the aim is to make Rakuten.com Shopping the main destination. To that end, the marketplace will roll out a series of features this year, including a wider product selection, customized search options, videos for product reviews and comparisons, and a better browsing experience, whether users are on mobile or PC devices.

“We’ve discovered that consumers and merchants alike are looking beyond the typical vending machine approach of ecommerce”

Rakuten is positioning the B-to-B-to-C marketplace as “shop-centric, not product-centric,” and emphasizing interactive and discovery-oriented shopping, through features like social media integration, live chat and video services.

“We’ve discovered that consumers and merchants alike are looking beyond the typical vending machine approach of ecommerce, toward an experience that focuses on quality over quantity and interactive shopping over faceless transactions,” says Roger Andelin, president and CTO of Rakuten.com Shopping. “We are raising the bar for online shopping and continuously improving to meet the modern shopper’s wants and needs.”

Rakuten.com Shopping provides more than 16 million products in 24 categories, from more than 5,500 small and large merchants, according to Rakuten. While initially focused on U.S. merchants and goods, the intent is to expand the range of products and transform Rakuten.com Shopping into an international marketplace, the company notes.

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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