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Next I would like to talk to you about how we think about ecommerce differently than other ecommerce companies.These are themes that you will find in my book, Marketplace 3.0
For most ecommerce companies, the focus is on fast and cheap. We believe that's fine for some of what consumers needs are, but there is an interesting change in consumer behavior emerging
For us, shopping is about discovery, entertainment and communicationHumans like to talk to people about what to buy, or have referrals - this is why a neighborhood fish shop can survive alongside a supermarket. This same idea is why curation is becoming more important in ecommerce. Buying things has always been part of our social activity - story behind the product, a recommendation from someone who knows a lot about it, a referral from a friend...What we're seeing now is that the vending machine only gets you so far. People want to be connected, to buy from people behind the screen.This is what we're calling "discovery shopping" this is what we mean when we say, "shopping is entertainment."
And Rakuten has been doing this since day one.There is a big discussion going on now about how social media and ecommerce co-exist. This is where you come in: our platform provides you the opportunity to curate your products, to tell stories about them, to engage with your consumers in ways that other platforms do not provide.We are focused on shops, not individual products, so the social element of shopping on our site is driven by the conversation between you and your customers, just like it would be in a brick and mortar shop. This is very different from other marketplaces, and demands more from you in terms of participation, but as I have shown, the long term benefits of our model give merchants the ability to compete on things other than price, and drive loyalty and engagement that vending machine model ecommerce sites cannot replicate.
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