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M1 and Rakuten in e-commerce tie-up

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AS online shopping booms, M1 and Rakuten Singapore are pairing up in a deal that is the first of its kind between the Japanese e-commerce firm and a local company.

AS online shopping booms, M1 and Rakuten Singapore are pairing up in a deal that is the first of its kind between the Japanese e-commerce firm and a local company.

As part of the arrangement, M1's corporate clients will get a three-month subscription waiver when they launch their e-commerce business on the Rakuten Singapore Online Shopping marketplace, the telco said on Monday. According to M1, the merchants will get advice from Rakuten's e-commerce consultants on online business strategy, implementation, sales and marketing, as well as lead and revenue generation.

"Online shopping is a big hit with Singapore consumers, and companies without an online retail presence risk losing out on this growing pie. Our partnership with Rakuten will enable our corporate customers to conveniently and cost-effectively create an online presence to leverage on the growing appetite for online shopping to further drive their business forward cost-effectively, without having to invest in complex technical or human resources," said Willis Sim, M1's director of product development and corporate sales.

Since its soft launch here in December 2013, Rakuten Singapore has seen its customer base grow more than 10 times, while order volume has been increasing 50 per cent month on month. Mobile shopping, in particular, has continued to grow in popularity. As of the third quarter of 2014, Rakuten Singapore has seen mobile users accounting for more than 35 per cent of site traffic and 30 per cent of sales.

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"Singapore is a very important market for us and we're happy with how the business has grown since our launch in January this year. It is uniquely positioned to become a hub for e-commerce in the region, and local merchants can look forward to reaching new customers overseas through their online businesses," said Shingo Okamoto, Rakuten Singapore's head of e-commerce.

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