How To

Getting Started with Rakuten.de

Before getting started on Rakuten.de, please be aware of these important requirements:

  1. Business residence in Germany – You have to have a business residence in Germany plus a German bank account and Sales Tax Identification Number.
  2. Official language is German – The official language on Rakuten.de is German. This means you need to provide all customer-facing text, e.g. titles, descriptions etc. in German. Your customer service team should also be able to deal with customer requests in German.
  3. Products must be listed in EURO – All listings on Rakuten.de must be listed in Euro. You will also be paid by Rakuten.de in Euro.
  4. Some categories require EAN – Rakuten.de offers to list for reduced fees in some categories. But a few of them require you to provide an EAN for your products to take advantage of that discount.

If these requirements are not an issue for you, getting started on Rakuten.de is as easy as completing these simple steps. You will want to reference each step in this guide while you are going through your Rakuten.de Launch Process.


 

Launch Options


When setting up Rakuten.de with ChannelAdvisor you will get dedicated help from our Launch team with our Launch Assistance Service – a paid service offered by ChannelAdvisor that allows for you to stay in contact via email with and get a limited number of telephone trainings from a dedicated ChannelAdvisor Implementation Specialist to help you get setup on Rakuten.de quicker and easier. To enquire about this service contact Sales for more information.


Prerequisites


Before beginning the launch process with any of the launch service options, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Create your Rakuten.de seller account – Fill out the registration form (in German only) from Rakuten.
  2. Obtain your Rakuten.de API key – You'll need this key when completing the Rakuten.de settings. You can find instructions on how to create your key on this SSC page .

Configure Inventory


Before listing your products on the Rakuten.de marketplace, it is important to be aware of Rakuten.de's listing requirements.


Rakuten.de Shop Category and Rakuten.de IDs

Your products will be both available for sale in your Rakuten.de Shop and on the Rakuten.de platform itself.

To organize your products in your shop you create categories directly in your Rakuten.de account. These are the Rakuten.de Shop Categories. If you haven't created your categories yet you can simply enter the value in ChannelAdvisor. We pass that info to Rakuten.de and the category will automatically be created.

If you want to improve search results for your products on Rakuten.de you should enter a Rakuten.de ID for your products. You can obtain a list of those IDs at https://merchants.rakuten.de/product/import/export . You'll need your username (Kundennummer) and password to obtain that list.

If this kind of information does not already exist in your inventory, you may need to add two new attributes to your inventory and populate those attributes with the preferred values. To learn more about adding attributes, please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

If you already have similar data points in your inventory but your values do not match the Rakuten.de values, you can utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your value to match a Rakuten.de value. Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

Product Variations

Rakuten uses Dimensions to define variation relationships. You will supply both a Dimension/Name (how your product varies) and a Dimension/Value (what field in the inventory contains the varying values) for each variation. You can define up to 3 dimensions in the template. If your product varied by both Color and Size, the set up would be Dimension1/Name = "Color" (text) and Dimension1/Value = inventory attribute field for "Color", Dimension2/Name = "Size" (text) and Dimension2/Value = inventory attribute field for "Size".

To send Product Variations to Rakuten.de you'll assign the label with which you designate "Rakuten" items to both the parent item and the child items.

Please note there is a limit of 100,000 items per seller account with Rakuten DE. Sellers who add more than 100,000 items to their chosen label, will receive an error for the SKUs above 100,000.

Images

Images aren't required but highly recommended. You can send up to 5 images.

Other Inventory Considerations

  • The character limit on titles is 100. HTML is not allowed.
  • The description length isn't limited. HTML is allowed. Check Rakuten's list of allowed and not-allowed HTML (in German only) tags to make sure your HTML won't cause listing issues.
  • The SKU has a character limit of 50. You cannot edit it. If you need to you have to delist the item, change it, then relist.
  • The Producer field has a character limit of 30.

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Configure Marketplace Settings


 


Configuring your Rakuten.de Settings will set the foundation for your account integration with the marketplace. You will select a label that will be associated with the inventory you want to send to Rakuten.de, define quantity settings and enter account information. Begin by navigating to Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Settings. View the Marketplaces Settings page for more details on the set up.

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List Your Products


Once you have completed the Marketplace Settings you will need to complete the Rakuten.de Product Mapping Template in ChannelAdvisor, located under Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Product Mapping > Template.


Mapping the Template

ChannelAdvisor Product Mapping Templates are used to define the exact data that will be sent to the marketplace when creating or updating a listing. The template will contain all the fields accepted by the marketplace and will allow you to specify what product information should be sent for each product listing. You will have four options to complete each template field. The option that works best for you will depend on how you have prepared your inventory for the site's data requirements.

For detailed information on how to utilize templates in ChannelAdvisor please visit the Customizing Template Fields page of the Strategy and Support Center.

Rakuten.de Template Strategies

Be sure to complete all required template fields indicated by a red asterisk. Below is a list of these fields along with additional information to keep in mind when mapping the template:

  1. Beschreibung – Map this field with the description field in your items.
  2. Produkt Name – Map this field with the item title field in your items. It has a restriction of 100 characters.
  3. Produkt Preis – Map this field with any of the price fields in your items, f/x Buy-It-Now or Retail Price.
  4. Inhaltsangaben – This field describes what is included in the product.
  5. Lieferzeit – Please use any of the values Rakuten designated to communicate how quickly you ship your products.
  6. Kommentar – You can use this field to populate internal notes that will only be visible to you in your seller portal.
  7. Steuer – Please use any of the IDs Rakuten designated. Do not enter 7 %, 19 % etc.
  8. Kategorie im Shop – This field represents your own Rakuten shop category. Map to the attribute in your inventory that contains the Rakuten.de Shop Category value. Or use Business Rules and Lookup Lists to manipulate your inventory data to supply the codes in your feed.
  9. Rakuten Kategorie – Map this field with the inventory attribute that contains the Rakuten.de IDs.

Additional information – also on the other fields – is displayed when you hover your mouse over the question tag icon next to each field in the template.

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Activate Integration



Activate Rakuten.de Integration

At this stage your account is ready to be activated to communicate and exchange data with the Rakuten.de marketplace. First you will assign the label you selected in your Rakuten.de settings to your designated inventory items. Next you'll activate the marketplace feed. Please navigate again to Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Settings to complete this step. View the Activating Your Marketplaces Integration page for more details.

Communication Frequency

Now that your Rakuten.de integration has been activated, ChannelAdvisor and Rakuten.de will be able to communicate. Depending on the number of SKUs and the complexity of your inventory information, the amount of time it takes to process, communicate, and update on the marketplace could vary. Refer to the Marketplaces – Processing and Communication Frequency page for more information on this subject.

Back to Top

 

Manage Your Listings


Once you have activated your Rakuten.de integration, you should begin seeing activity almost immediately. You may notice that some of your products have not listed properly or have not listed at all. It will be crucial that you consistently manage your Rakuten.de account integration in ChannelAdvisor to monitor these issues.

 

Rakuten.de Product Dashboard

ChannelAdvisor provides you with a dashboard that assists you with this effort. The Rakuten.de Product Overview page is a marketplace-specific dashboard that provides you with an overview of the current status of all your products assigned to Rakuten.de. You can access this page via the menu from Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Products > Overview.

Product Status View

The Product Status view will serve as your Rakuten.de listing management headquarters. From this view you will be able to view detailed information about all of the products you are sending to Rakuten.de. You will be able to monitor the performance of your items as well as troubleshoot any listing errors you may have received. Navigate to your Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Products > Product Status view.

Resolving Rakuten.de Errors

There is a wide range of listing errors that you may receive when listing to Rakuten.de. Resolving these errors can typically be accomplished by utilizing one of these two methods.

  • Method 1: Edit Your Template Mappings  – The Rakuten.de Template is what tells ChannelAdvisor what data to send. Failure to map the appropriate fields with the appropriate values from your inventory can result in listing errors. When you receive a listing error it is almost always a good idea to check your template.
  • Method 2: Edit Your Inventory Data – If you find the template appears to be mapped correctly and in accordance with Rakuten.de's specifications, more than likely the source of the error is in your inventory data.

Back to Top

 

Fulfill/Cancel Orders


Sales are handled through the integrated shopping cart of each Marketplace. Order information details are then imported to ChannelAdvisor in the All Sales view where you can manage your fulfillment process, update shipping and tracking information and process any refunds or cancellations.


Importing Orders

From your All Sales view you can easily manage the fulfillment process for all orders imported from the marketplace. Whether you use ChannelAdvisor or a third party fulfillment system to manage your orders, ChannelAdvisor offers the tools to optimize your fulfillment strategy.

  1. After a purchase has been completed, the ChannelAdvisor Complete software will automatically import all the relevant order details needed for fulfillment. See the Processing and Communication Frequency page for details on how long after a purchase orders are imported.
  2. Once imported, your orders will appear in the Sales > Orders/Transactions > All Sales view alongside all of your other orders.

Please refer to the Sales and Fulfillment section for additional information.

Update Shipping and Tracking

After fulfillment is complete, your next step is to update the ChannelAdvisor Complete software with shipping and tracking information. This step is highly important since you will not be paid for your sales until this information is received by the Marketplace. Once your tracking numbers are provided and your order status is updated to shipped ChannelAdvisor will send this information to the Marketplace. There are three primary methods to complete this process. 

Refer to the Updating Shipping and Tracking Information page for further details.

Please note that Rakuten.de supports no partial shipments at this time.

Cancelling and Refunding Orders

A refund is only necessary if you have already marked the order as shipped. If you have not marked the order as shipped, canceling an order within our system, will cancel the order on the Marketplace. If the buyer contacts you after their purchase looking for a refund, you may process their request by going to the Sales > Orders/Transactions > All Sales view.

For Rakuten.de cancellations are only possible at order level. You cannot cancel a line item or partial quantity of a line item. But you can refund an order completely, partially or even refund only a certain quantity of a line item. If, however, there is an order level discount and you want to issue a partial refund, you would need to do that in the Rakuten Seller Portal directly because that is not supported through the software at this time.

Refer to the Cancellations & Refunds in ChannelAdvisor page for further details.

Back to Top

Before getting started on Rakuten.de, please be aware of these important requirements:

  1. Business residence in Germany – You have to have a business residence in Germany plus a German bank account and Sales Tax Identification Number.
  2. Official language is German – The official language on Rakuten.de is German. This means you need to provide all customer-facing text, e.g. titles, descriptions etc. in German. Your customer service team should also be able to deal with customer requests in German.
  3. Products must be listed in EURO – All listings on Rakuten.de must be listed in Euro. You will also be paid by Rakuten.de in Euro.
  4. Some categories require EAN – Rakuten.de offers to list for reduced fees in some categories. But a few of them require you to provide an EAN for your products to take advantage of that discount.

If these requirements are not an issue for you, getting started on Rakuten.de is as easy as completing these simple steps. You will want to reference each step in this guide while you are going through your Rakuten.de Launch Process.


 

Launch Options


When setting up Rakuten.de with ChannelAdvisor you will get dedicated help from our Launch team with our Launch Assistance Service – a paid service offered by ChannelAdvisor that allows for you to stay in contact via email with and get a limited number of telephone trainings from a dedicated ChannelAdvisor Implementation Specialist to help you get setup on Rakuten.de quicker and easier. To enquire about this service contact Sales for more information.


Prerequisites


Before beginning the launch process with any of the launch service options, you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Create your Rakuten.de seller account – Fill out the registration form (in German only) from Rakuten.
  2. Obtain your Rakuten.de API key – You'll need this key when completing the Rakuten.de settings. You can find instructions on how to create your key on this SSC page .

Configure Inventory


Before listing your products on the Rakuten.de marketplace, it is important to be aware of Rakuten.de's listing requirements.


Rakuten.de Shop Category and Rakuten.de IDs

Your products will be both available for sale in your Rakuten.de Shop and on the Rakuten.de platform itself.

To organize your products in your shop you create categories directly in your Rakuten.de account. These are the Rakuten.de Shop Categories. If you haven't created your categories yet you can simply enter the value in ChannelAdvisor. We pass that info to Rakuten.de and the category will automatically be created.

If you want to improve search results for your products on Rakuten.de you should enter a Rakuten.de ID for your products. You can obtain a list of those IDs at https://merchants.rakuten.de/product/import/export . You'll need your username (Kundennummer) and password to obtain that list.

If this kind of information does not already exist in your inventory, you may need to add two new attributes to your inventory and populate those attributes with the preferred values. To learn more about adding attributes, please refer to the Using Inventory Attributes page.

If you already have similar data points in your inventory but your values do not match the Rakuten.de values, you can utilize a business rule or a lookup list to transform your value to match a Rakuten.de value. Please refer to the SSC page on Business Rules and Lookup Lists to learn more about utilizing these tools to manipulate your data.

Product Variations

Rakuten uses Dimensions to define variation relationships. You will supply both a Dimension/Name (how your product varies) and a Dimension/Value (what field in the inventory contains the varying values) for each variation. You can define up to 3 dimensions in the template. If your product varied by both Color and Size, the set up would be Dimension1/Name = "Color" (text) and Dimension1/Value = inventory attribute field for "Color", Dimension2/Name = "Size" (text) and Dimension2/Value = inventory attribute field for "Size".

To send Product Variations to Rakuten.de you'll assign the label with which you designate "Rakuten" items to both the parent item and the child items.

Please note there is a limit of 100,000 items per seller account with Rakuten DE. Sellers who add more than 100,000 items to their chosen label, will receive an error for the SKUs above 100,000.

Images

Images aren't required but highly recommended. You can send up to 5 images.

Other Inventory Considerations

  • The character limit on titles is 100. HTML is not allowed.
  • The description length isn't limited. HTML is allowed. Check Rakuten's list of allowed and not-allowed HTML (in German only) tags to make sure your HTML won't cause listing issues.
  • The SKU has a character limit of 50. You cannot edit it. If you need to you have to delist the item, change it, then relist.
  • The Producer field has a character limit of 30.

Back to Top

 

Configure Marketplace Settings


 


Configuring your Rakuten.de Settings will set the foundation for your account integration with the marketplace. You will select a label that will be associated with the inventory you want to send to Rakuten.de, define quantity settings and enter account information. Begin by navigating to Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Settings. View the Marketplaces Settings page for more details on the set up.

Back to Top

 

List Your Products


Once you have completed the Marketplace Settings you will need to complete the Rakuten.de Product Mapping Template in ChannelAdvisor, located under Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Product Mapping > Template.


Mapping the Template

ChannelAdvisor Product Mapping Templates are used to define the exact data that will be sent to the marketplace when creating or updating a listing. The template will contain all the fields accepted by the marketplace and will allow you to specify what product information should be sent for each product listing. You will have four options to complete each template field. The option that works best for you will depend on how you have prepared your inventory for the site's data requirements.

For detailed information on how to utilize templates in ChannelAdvisor please visit the Customizing Template Fields page of the Strategy and Support Center.

Rakuten.de Template Strategies

Be sure to complete all required template fields indicated by a red asterisk. Below is a list of these fields along with additional information to keep in mind when mapping the template:

  1. Beschreibung – Map this field with the description field in your items.
  2. Produkt Name – Map this field with the item title field in your items. It has a restriction of 100 characters.
  3. Produkt Preis – Map this field with any of the price fields in your items, f/x Buy-It-Now or Retail Price.
  4. Inhaltsangaben – This field describes what is included in the product.
  5. Lieferzeit – Please use any of the values Rakuten designated to communicate how quickly you ship your products.
  6. Kommentar – You can use this field to populate internal notes that will only be visible to you in your seller portal.
  7. Steuer – Please use any of the IDs Rakuten designated. Do not enter 7 %, 19 % etc.
  8. Kategorie im Shop – This field represents your own Rakuten shop category. Map to the attribute in your inventory that contains the Rakuten.de Shop Category value. Or use Business Rules and Lookup Lists to manipulate your inventory data to supply the codes in your feed.
  9. Rakuten Kategorie – Map this field with the inventory attribute that contains the Rakuten.de IDs.

Additional information – also on the other fields – is displayed when you hover your mouse over the question tag icon next to each field in the template.

Back to Top

 

Activate Integration



Activate Rakuten.de Integration

At this stage your account is ready to be activated to communicate and exchange data with the Rakuten.de marketplace. First you will assign the label you selected in your Rakuten.de settings to your designated inventory items. Next you'll activate the marketplace feed. Please navigate again to Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Settings to complete this step. View the Activating Your Marketplaces Integration page for more details.

Communication Frequency

Now that your Rakuten.de integration has been activated, ChannelAdvisor and Rakuten.de will be able to communicate. Depending on the number of SKUs and the complexity of your inventory information, the amount of time it takes to process, communicate, and update on the marketplace could vary. Refer to the Marketplaces – Processing and Communication Frequency page for more information on this subject.

Back to Top

 

Manage Your Listings


Once you have activated your Rakuten.de integration, you should begin seeing activity almost immediately. You may notice that some of your products have not listed properly or have not listed at all. It will be crucial that you consistently manage your Rakuten.de account integration in ChannelAdvisor to monitor these issues.

 

Rakuten.de Product Dashboard

ChannelAdvisor provides you with a dashboard that assists you with this effort. The Rakuten.de Product Overview page is a marketplace-specific dashboard that provides you with an overview of the current status of all your products assigned to Rakuten.de. You can access this page via the menu from Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Products > Overview.

Product Status View

The Product Status view will serve as your Rakuten.de listing management headquarters. From this view you will be able to view detailed information about all of the products you are sending to Rakuten.de. You will be able to monitor the performance of your items as well as troubleshoot any listing errors you may have received. Navigate to your Marketplaces > Rakuten.de > Products > Product Status view.

Resolving Rakuten.de Errors

There is a wide range of listing errors that you may receive when listing to Rakuten.de. Resolving these errors can typically be accomplished by utilizing one of these two methods.

  • Method 1: Edit Your Template Mappings  – The Rakuten.de Template is what tells ChannelAdvisor what data to send. Failure to map the appropriate fields with the appropriate values from your inventory can result in listing errors. When you receive a listing error it is almost always a good idea to check your template.
  • Method 2: Edit Your Inventory Data – If you find the template appears to be mapped correctly and in accordance with Rakuten.de's specifications, more than likely the source of the error is in your inventory data.

Back to Top

 

Fulfill/Cancel Orders


Sales are handled through the integrated shopping cart of each Marketplace. Order information details are then imported to ChannelAdvisor in the All Sales view where you can manage your fulfillment process, update shipping and tracking information and process any refunds or cancellations.


Importing Orders

From your All Sales view you can easily manage the fulfillment process for all orders imported from the marketplace. Whether you use ChannelAdvisor or a third party fulfillment system to manage your orders, ChannelAdvisor offers the tools to optimize your fulfillment strategy.

  1. After a purchase has been completed, the ChannelAdvisor Complete software will automatically import all the relevant order details needed for fulfillment. See the Processing and Communication Frequency page for details on how long after a purchase orders are imported.
  2. Once imported, your orders will appear in the Sales > Orders/Transactions > All Sales view alongside all of your other orders.

Please refer to the Sales and Fulfillment section for additional information.

Update Shipping and Tracking

After fulfillment is complete, your next step is to update the ChannelAdvisor Complete software with shipping and tracking information. This step is highly important since you will not be paid for your sales until this information is received by the Marketplace. Once your tracking numbers are provided and your order status is updated to shipped ChannelAdvisor will send this information to the Marketplace. There are three primary methods to complete this process. 

Refer to the Updating Shipping and Tracking Information page for further details.

Please note that Rakuten.de supports no partial shipments at this time.

Cancelling and Refunding Orders

A refund is only necessary if you have already marked the order as shipped. If you have not marked the order as shipped, canceling an order within our system, will cancel the order on the Marketplace. If the buyer contacts you after their purchase looking for a refund, you may process their request by going to the Sales > Orders/Transactions > All Sales view.

For Rakuten.de cancellations are only possible at order level. You cannot cancel a line item or partial quantity of a line item. But you can refund an order completely, partially or even refund only a certain quantity of a line item. If, however, there is an order level discount and you want to issue a partial refund, you would need to do that in the Rakuten Seller Portal directly because that is not supported through the software at this time.

Refer to the Cancellations & Refunds in ChannelAdvisor page for further details.

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