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La nouvelle économie
Interview avec Christoph Janz, créateur du comparison shopper Acses

Could you describe the staff that is in charge of this web and explain the organization you have set up to cope with commercial as well as technical issues ?
The company behind Acses is Muenchhoff & Janz GmbH, a two-man company located in Germany.
In general, Mr. Muenchhoff takes care mainly of the technical issues and I myself mainly of commercial issues. However, in a small company the tasks are not that highly separated and both of us are involved in both technical and commercial issues.

How old is your company ?
Muenchhoff & Janz GmbH was founded in July 1997, although the company originates from Muenchhoff & Janz GbR which was founded in 1993. The Acses service has been launched in November 1997.

Did you get any agreement with the online store your agent scans?
Yes, we do have agreements with the stores which Acses scans.

If yes, how have you succeeded in convincing them to let your agent in ?
This was not difficult, because there are a lot of advantages for the bookstores when they join Acses. The main reason to join our service is  that we create a lot of sales for the bookstores. Additionally, they get the chance to present their stores, their offers and their prices to a big audience, which is very attractive especially for smaller bookstores. Actually more and more bookstores are contacting us and ask us to include their stores in our system.

As fas as users are concerned, what are the first comments ?
The feedback of the users is very, very good and very pleasant for us. We receive a multitude of enthusiastic e-mails, and it seems that the Internet community has actually been waiting for a service like Acses.

Do you intend in a near future to integrate additionnal comparison criteria other than price to your system ?
With regard to the book offer comparison, we think we have already integrated all relevant criteria. As a book is exactly standardized, only availability, prices, shipping times and shipping costs are relevant. When we extend our service to other product categories which are not as standardized as books are, of course we will take care to take into account all criteria which the user might be interested in.

What is your business model based on ?
Our main source of revenues are charges which we get from the bookstores.  From most bookstores we get sales commissions, but some also pay a fee per click through. Additionally, we can create advertising revenues.

Do you plan to reach a european audience ?
Definitely yes.
Until now, our service mainly reaches North American users, because our book catalogue contains only American books. However, we will soon add further book catalogues, especially for English, French and German books. Once this is done, our service will be much more attractive for European users and we expect that this will significantly increase the number of European users in a short period of time.

Are you looking for partners overseas ? In Europe ?
Yes, we are presently looking for a powerful partner to market our service. The partner could be both from Europe or from North America.

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