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Rakuten Ichiba And My Painful Experience As a “Tech-savvy”

I made myself a “Persona” to represent a group of users with similar characteristics, behaviors, and goals. This persona served as a framework for conducting a mini-research project with one of the leading tech firms in Japan.


Phuong Le (Rei), 27

Job: Company Employee

Nationality: Vietnamese

Location: Nagoya, Japan

Having a full-time job from 9 to 5 in Japan, I usually don’t have time to go shopping. That’s where E-commerce (EC) platforms come into play. In Japan, I primarily use two online shopping platforms, Rakuten Ichiba and Amazon. While both platforms offer convenient services, I prefer Amazon because they offer an English version of their website, which makes me feel easier when using it, even though I can read Japanese. 

I lost my package over Rakuten Ichiba.

When using Rakuten Ichiba, I encountered a problem with my shipping address always being my old address in Tokyo (maybe it is because that was my first time I bought something on Rakuten?). I had to tick on my new address in Nagoya every single time I buy something. I spent a few minutes scanning the web to find ways helping myself placing order next time without having to switch between the addresses. I decided to give up on setting the default address and got back to the old strategy (switching between 2 addresses) every time placing orders (I was quite confident with the strategy).

The screenshot of the address confirming screen in Rakuten website

I kept getting stuff on Rakuten a few more times with the hope that someday the system would realize that I changed my address to Nagoya!
Everything was going perfect until one day, after a few days of waiting, I tracked the package that had been delivered to my old address in Tokyo.
Yes, it happened! I forgot to check the shipping address before placing orders! 

I attempted to set my new address as the default in a panic, but couldn’t find the option anywhere in the app, which was disappointing.
As a “tech-savvy” UX/UI designer, I was surprised that the feature didn’t seem to exist.

“If the user cannot find it, it does not exist”

Norman Nielson Group (The world leaders in research based on UX)

The potential harm to businesses  

I was thinking about the potential harm to businesses when Rakuten doesn’t address their customers’ issues. It could result in both direct and indirect costs.

  • The direct costs may include causing inconvenience to the users and affecting the business of the sellers. 
  • The indirect costs may include losing captive users to other competitors and receiving negative reviews on social media or poor ratings on Appstore.

Therefore, I biefly created a Design Challenge

User story

As a busy user, I often forget to double-check my shipping address when placing an order online. Typically, I use the same address for most of my deliveries, and only occasionally use a second address for sending gifts. It would be more convenient for me if I didn’t have to constantly check and change my delivery address every time I place an order, especially if I’m sending it to the same address every time.


This made me think about finding a solution to avoid changing the address repeatedly every time I use the same delivery address. I came up with some ideas, such as having radio buttons beneath each address that I have highlighted in the picture below, saying 「今度はこの住所を使います。」means “Use this address for next time”. This would save me time and make the ordering process more convenient.

Setting default address added with the highlight

To conclude

Eventually, I had to delete my old address which I only can do in the Rakuten App. I know people tend to use their smart phone to do things these day. However, it still causes inconvinience to user using mainstream platform like me.