So I have been speaking with my network around the world on the topic of e-commerce, e-marketing based on the conversations that we have recently with my local geek group. We talked at the beginning of why e-commerce never really took off in Mexico. The conclusions where that enviromental circumstances that have not been solved has stagnate the development of the web as most people would like to think about it at least in countries like the US.
The conclusions where that advertising never took off because e-commerce never took off, and e-commerce never really took off because of two big parts of what e-commerce came to become. logistics and billing. The lack of flexibility on billing and the high cost of logistics will make e-commerce too dificult to become.
So even after 15 years of internet we still view e-commerce as:
- Step 1. Check out the products get the bank account.
- Sept 2. Go to the bank and direct deposit.
- Step 3. Scan the receipt and wait for a relatively big overprice over the shipping.
So the surcharge is quite steep, well between 15 to 20 dls. In the US is around 5 USD for a package between a book or a cellphone and will take 2 days across the country. This make it impossible to scale sales and marketing well enough. Which makes it hard to do a good sell.
The second issue is billing where there is a whole book of drama and stupidity when banks still seen as the one and only way to do commerrce in Mexico. From bad deals that these banks have sign with providers that sell them shit non-standard technology makes it way too hard for money to move around. The worst part is that banks have no accountability of these failures. People with debit cards can’t make purchases on regular internet billing tools. Merchant accounts are stagnated and finally commerce in itself is way too hard.
So I start talking with friend in other countries, the first one is Colombia where my friend told me about their ecosystem and how internet savvy is the people in that country. From paypal-like systems like PagosEnLinea, LineaPagos and PSE. The big issue is that is like Cuba where there is an e-commerce embargo where payments are just valid within the country and rarely goes out of it.
The next critical point is logistic, well it seems that Colombia has many choices on this regards, there is not only more companies dedicated to shipping and handling but also much cheaper. At 5-10 dls for regular packages across the country with a 1 to 2 day timelapse.
My next stop is Brazil, where I chat with a friend and gave me some info about most of the companies doing e-business. Big retail like Carrefour, Wall-Mart, Submarine, Ponto Frio, U.S. So big retails already take care of e-business, while billing gets payed with some paypal-like services like DineihroMail, PagSeguro UOL. Logistics are also in charge of quite a few alternatives like Cometa, 1001, Correios, FedEx, TNT Express.
The average cost of a book nationally is 10 dls shipping across Brazil. So we are seen that most of these costs are really high compared between each country.
My next stop I want to be either Chile or Argentina but would be looking around for people that can inform me about the way e-commerce status is available in those countries. I’ll be reporting back.