Ebates comes to Canada
The Canadian retail space isn’t very competitive. We can’t stack coupons, the sales aren’t as deep as the United States, there isn’t the variety and the only money-back option is to fill out a rebate form, mail it and hope to get a cheque within the next eight weeks, if you’re lucky.
Ebates Canada hopes to change all of that by addressing most, if not, all of these roadblocks to shopping online and adding a few incentives such as coupons and cash back – no rebates.
General Manager, Adrienne Down Coulson thinks it’s the right time for Ebates to stake a claim in the Canadian ecommerce retail space. “Now we have more of a a critical mass of merchants who ship here,” she says. “Canadians are so underprivileged from a retail perspective on things like price parity, selection, variety and all those things.”
So what is Ebates Canada? According to the press release, it’s a cash back shopping site with more than 500 online retailers, all offering cash back, special deals, opportunities for free shipping and coupons. It’s a division of Performance Marketing Brands, also the owner of Ebates US.
The actual working of Ebates Canada is simple. You sign up and start shopping. If you purchase an item at a retailer through Ebates, you can get a percentage cash back. Nordstorm is a participating retailer and not only ships to Canada, accepts Canadian dollars and offers three per cent cash back. The best part? You know the exchange rate before you even purchase your item. Once you’ve purchased your item, you get your money back in one of three ways: you get your “Big Fat Cheque,” deposited to your PayPal account or even donated to a charity of your choice.
Most cash back purchases are credited to your account within 24 hours but you receive your cheques on a quarterly basis once there’s more than five dollars in your account. Ebates Canada also has a selection of coupons that offer further discounts or free shipping.
Yet despite this, there’s still a roadblock when it comes to Canadians and online shopping. Coulson says she’s a big cross border shopper online and offline and says, “If you’ve done that once and you like shopping at all, then you never go back. So I think this is kind of the moment. We have more Canadian stores but even the Canadian merchants are just now getting the idea and getting on board.” She puts it to a more conservative approach by Canadians, “Canadians are afraid of duty,” Coulson explains but she does think that the tide is now turning when it comes to online shopping as more and more brick and mortar stores open doors.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Coulson thinks that there’s still some work to be done. “We still have holes in terms of the department store space but now with Macy’s and Saks all shipping to Canada and shipping via Fiftyone so you know how much you’re paying and decide if it’s worth it to you.”
The bottom line for Coulson and Ebates Canada is giving Canadians as much information as possible on price, exchange rates, cash back and coupons, so that Canadian shoppers will trust the company and their shopping experience.
Of course, four to six per cent cash in hand certainly doesn’t hurt.