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Rakuten to Launch Exclusive Membership Program for Designer Brands

Rakuten, the cashback shopping platform, has announced the upcoming launch of Rakuten+, a membership program created specifically for designer brands.

This program aims to connect these brands with select, highly engaged Rakuten members, offering them access to the most loyal and active shoppers of designer fashion on the platform, the company said in a Thursday (May 30) press release.

Rakuten+ is set to be available in the fall, according to the release.

The program will allow designer brands to leverage elevated cashback rates to grow their audiences, incentivize everyday shopping and foster loyalty, the release said. Shoppers who are part of Rakuten+ will earn at least 10% cashback on participating brands and retailers year-round.

Higher cashback rates have been shown to correlate with increased average order value and repeat purchases, per the release.

Rakuten+ aims to help designer brands take advantage of Rakuten’s ability to reach shoppers throughout the entire customer journey, according to the release. 

Julie Van Ullen, chief revenue officer of Rakuten Rewards, said in the release: “Rakuten+ offers a distinctive opportunity for designer brands to connect with some of Rakuten’s most active and loyal members who consistently shop and spend more with each purchase. By partnering with Rakuten+, these brands can tap into a unique value proposition within an exclusive luxury bubble.”

Rakuten has been actively making strategic investments to enhance its reputation among designer brands and expand its selection of high-end brands on the platform, per the release. These efforts include partnering with New York Fashion Week and hosting exclusive shopping events.

It was reported May 22 that another new initiative is being tested by Rakuten Group’s resale arm, Rakuma. The company has partnered with eBay to see if U.S. consumers will jump at the chance to buy secondhand Japanese fashion.

This collaboration seizes on the favorable exchange rate due to the yen’s weakness as well as on consumers’ overall value-seeking behaviors.