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FBA Leaving You Unfulfilled? Rakuten Wants to Deliver

Despite Amazon’s high-tech advances in the fulfillment business, they have had their share of issues, most recently with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) orders being handled by a new California facility. Such issues prompt the time-sensitive seller to consider alternatives, one of which would be Rakuten Super Logistics.

The business formerly operated under the Webgistix name and still can be found at that eponymous .com. Rakuten manages five fulfillment centers in the United States and claims they can reach 98 percent of the country via ground shipping in one or two days. The centers also handle returns that are processed per the seller’s instructions.

Rakuten provided EcommerceBytes some additional details about their service. Rather than touting robotic technology a la Amazon.com, Rakuten instead credited its qualified workforce and B2C-experienced managers running its sophisticated fulfillment networks. This helped them overcome the biggest challenge to satisfying two-day delivery expectations.

The company also positioned itself as being more seller-friendly than its Amazonian counterpart. “While Amazon FBA utilizes data sets that they have obtained from the fulfillment services provided to their merchants to then undercut their own merchants, Rakuten Super Logistics U.S. believes in empowering merchants,” they said.

“By providing multichannel cloud fulfillment to these retailers and allowing them to have full access and control of their data throughout the process, RSL U.S. is able to establish lasting, valuable relationships with merchants that provide them, and their customers, with a high level of personalized customer support and protect their reputations.”

Rakuten also thinks it can show FBA sellers they should consider using other fulfillment providers in addition to Amazon. “Research shows that Amazon sellers who use FBA in addition to other fulfillment providers actually score higher on user rankings on Amazon as a result of the high value in customer service, accuracy and speed provided by the fulfillment partner,” the company said.

Rakuten was a bit reticent when asked about specifics regarding the number of sellers and types of product lines using its fulfillment, saying they have “hundreds of merchant customers across the US and overseas” offering a “gamut of products.” Their global network does allow sellers to reach customers in Canada as well as throughout Europe.

“The RSL U.S. 2-Day delivery network offers merchants with a viable alternative to FBA’s Prime offering,” Rakuten said. The company wants FBA sellers who may wish to compete less with Amazon to know that they do have alternatives.

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.