Rakuten expands e-commerce operations in the UK


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Rakuten expands e-commerce operations in the UK.

Rakuten, the internet services provider, has significantly expanded its rewards programme in the UK. Celebrating its one year anniversary, the Rakuten Super Points loyalty scheme is now opening up to allow all customers to collect and use points towards purchases at third-party retailers for the first time in Europe.

The Rakuten loyalty programme is available in the UK and Spain and enables customers to earn points at over 200 of the UK's top retailers including Waterstones, ASOS, TK Maxx and Zavvi, when shopping through Rakuten.co.uk or Desigual, Fnac and Rumbo and others through Rakuten.es.

Up until now, points could be redeemed against various Rakuten services including content on Rakuten TV and Rakuten Kobo, as well as Viber Out calls with Rakuten Viber. As part of the programme's expansion, Super Points can now also be redeemed for shop credit that can be used online and in-store at a number of leading retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Currys, TK Maxx and Zavvi.

Rakuten first introduced its global loyalty rewards programme, Rakuten Super Points, 15 years ago and has proven a certified success with over one trillion yen worth of points issued. It is not only the most used loyalty point scheme in Japan, but also the most desirable with various options to spend, with McDonald's recently added to a long list of partners.

"Rakuten is a membership company and Rakuten Super Points are at its centre. Each Rakuten service owes a large part of its success to being part of the bigger Rakuten ecosystem and its over 1 billion members", says Arjen van de Vall, President Europe at Rakuten. "In Europe, this ecosystem will also be our key to success, and by opening up our loyalty scheme to third party retailers, we are taking a major step towards that."

The expansion of the loyalty programme comes as Rakuten becomes the Main Global Partner and first ever Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner of legendary football team FC Barcelona. The partnership between the two is based on shared values of optimism, professionalism and commitment to empowering local communities and is aimed at further promoting the Rakuten brand in the region and worldwide. Rakuten will also support the players and fans of FC Barcelona as they aspire to new heights, drawing on its resources and innovations across e-commerce, messaging, FinTech and digital content.

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