Marketing Up North (905 words)
"Quebec is as different from the rest of Canada as Canada is from the United States," points out Grant. If you are mailing to Quebec, consult a local expert versed in the province's legislation and culture. Local language laws require all advertising material to be printed in French, unless the recipient has requested English-language materials.
One of the biggest deterrents Canadians have to ordering from U.S. direct marketers is having to pay duty and tax at the door. Take a hard look at how you are shipping to Canada. Are the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and duty figured into the purchase at the time of order or are they being collected at the time of delivery? "Ask yourself, 'How customer-friendly is my system?'" suggests Sally Down, business development consultant for Russell A. Farrow Ltd., a Canadian customs broker.
Says Down: "Canadians know they have to pay applicable duties and taxes; U.S. direct marketers are able and should load these charges in the front end for customer-friendly delivery." One way to offer Canadian customers hassle-free delivery is to use a customs broker which enables a mailer to access the duty rate at the time of purchase. Pre-collecting duty and GST eliminates the need for customers to pay these fees at the door.
Another benefit of using a customs broker is that customers are able to return merchandise to a Canadian address, eliminating the burden of export declaration and international postage. A broker will apply for a refund of duties and taxes paid on returned merchandise on behalf of the customer. If you ship COD, the customer has to locate the appropriate government agency, obtain the proper forms, supply documentation and wait for a refund.
"If treated properly, Canada can be the icing on the cake. It doesn't have to be a costly expedition," Down says.