Sylvain Senior Member Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 72 Location: Trois-Rivieres Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Marzocco GS3 Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario Drip: Technivorm
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2001, 7:52am Subject: E business in Canada on the slow start
I have read your article very carefully. I am working in computing for a long time and we are IBM E-Business certified. We have seen that the Canadian market is on a slow start and all peoples related to web transactionnal site are looking for a 2 years target for seeing a good improvement in the E-Business in Canada. Please sorry for my english...i am in Quebec and a french speaking.
jim_schulman Senior Member Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 3,772 Location: Chicago Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2001, 12:07pm Subject: Too many browsers, not enough buyers?
In the real world, when I go into a store, I usually buy something. On the web, I may visit a commercial site dozens of times without buying anything.
If I'm in anyway typical, e-business start-ups must be in for a shock - huge traffic, huge gobs of bandwidth to pay for, huge amounts of e-mail to answer, but no sales. For sites that get repeat business, e.g. coffee bean sellers, this is probably good; but for sites that have little or no repeat business, e.g. coffee equipment sellers, it must be utterly demoralizing.
Perhaps that's what's behind the seemingly idiotic lack of response to an offer of free advertising at a site frequented by, presumably, above average coffee spenders.
MarkPrince Moderator Joined: 19 Dec 2001 Posts: 5,646 Location: Vancouver, BC Expertise: Professional
Espresso: KvdW Speedster Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder Vac Pot: A bit too many Drip: Bonavita Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2001, 1:15am Subject: Re: E business in Canada on the slow start
Votre anglais est tres bien, pas de probleme, mon ami!
With regards to business in Canada, there are actually a lot of factors that go against eCommerce. One major one is the banks - they by and large were resistant to offering merchant accounts to online retailers. To get a merchant account to accept a credit card online often entailed putting a hefty security deposit (upwards of $40,000 or more) up at the bank in order to get the account. That's highway robbery. AND in Canada, you cannot go to one bank and get a merchant account for both Visa and MC. You had to go to one bank for Visa, then another bank for MC. Still another source for AmEx. That's a joke, but one that benefits the banks - more of your deposit money in their accounts, earning them a lot more interest than they're paying you.
Things are slowly changing, and with Paypal now offering their services to Canadians, small startups have other options for accepting payments. Especially if you sell low ticket items. Even then with paypal, you take a hit in several ways - you take a transaction hit (about 3.5%). You take a deposit fee hit (a couple of bucks). You get a REALLY crappy exchange rate (about 1.53 Cdn for a US dollar, when the bank will pay you about $1.58 for that dollar if you sell it to them), and charge you $1.61 for the dollar if you buy it).
Even some banks are finally coming out of the stone age and offering slightly competitive Internet account status that lets you, for higher fees, accept credit card payments.
But still, all of this is absolutely no reason or justification for businesses to not answer their emails from inquiring customers (or potential customers, or people offering what is, in effect, free advertising to a targetted market).
EspressoOutfitters Senior Member Joined: 1 Mar 2004 Posts: 18 Location: Tacoma Expertise: Professional
Posted Sun Apr 24, 2005, 12:31pm Subject: Re: Venting about Canadian Coffee and Espresso Online by Mark Prince
Things are turning around a bit, but not fully. I get these killer brochures from vendors, they spend big bucks for these, noticably they'll have cards pinned to them as well as samples. "But" you go to their web sites, many are just designed wrong, have sparce content and do little more then hang out as an online biz card. Myself as a vendor and espresso cart builder "url http://espresso-outfitters.com ", rely upon some of these sites to take care of the day to day biz, I also take into consideration every single question asked of me, and if I can't find the answer, or the question was misformed, I'll point them the right direction. I think a big part of it is none of them took you seriously back then,......Look at you now ... I'd have to say, why they still haven't taken you seriously by know is beyond me !!!!
Anyway, ranting at a very old article, but it did touch at a problem that still is prevalent today. With the email, the only draw back is that it's not, nor ever going to be 100%, so there will be messages lost as well as blocked from sending, especially if you send several in succession, so you should give the original numbers a little padding with that considered. Keep up, upon the right course, and even though I'm not a cheeze head, most of my relatives are from Canada.
JasonKerr Senior Member Joined: 26 Dec 2005 Posts: 1 Location: Westwood, CA Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Dec 26, 2005, 3:38pm Subject: Re: Venting about Canadian Coffee and Espresso Online by Mark Prince
A new perspective.
Whether you're talking to a vendor or a customer, and whether it's electronic or not, if you are trying to get "something extra" with out of your audience, then you're doing direct marketing. Direct marketing gets small return as a rule.
Two percent response is a very respectable rate for direct marketing.
From a numbers perspective, your results actually sound pretty fantastic. A 10% response on your mailers is generally unheard of. You must really be sparking some interest. If those numbers are really accurate, then you should probably follow up with everyone you mailed to.
Also, the return rate on your emails is also exceptional, generally email marketing gets a small fraction of the response rate of mailers.
I know, it feels like they are the vendor and you are the customer so they should pay more attention, but the moment you want something extra, they become the customer.
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