Still in its infancy, Jamaica-based online marketing company Caribshopper has taken the Trinidad and Tobago market by storm, already signing several small businesses onto its network.
With less than a year in operation and just recently expanding to Trinidad and Tobago from Jamaica, Caribshopper is already gaining the attention of small businesses, many of whom have already gained access to the North American market, thanks to its online marketing website, Caribshopper.com.
The cultural e-commerce site, which opened its virtual doors in Jamaica in October 2020, specialises in the distribution of Caribbean-made products, presenting manufactures and small businesses with the opportunity to benefit from a robust ecosystem that facilitates online payments and international shipping direct to consumers.
The site, which has been recently expanded to Trinidad and Tobago, features over 1,900 products from approximately 170 vendors in sectors ranging from food and health to beauty and home. Thus far, it has facilitated over 3,000 sales with shipments made to 26 states in America, and has tested shipments to Quebec and Ontario in Canada. The expectation is that these numbers will continue to rise as more Trinidad and Tobago products are added to Caribeshopper’s catalogue.
There is no cost to listing products on the site, making the platform an affordable business solution that significantly expands the capacity of local producers, while simultaneously satisfying the needs of a vast diaspora eager for a taste of home. Against the backdrop of the novel coronavirus pandemic, online operations have become necessary for survival and Caribshopper seeks to empower small businesses and entrepreneurs by enabling them to reach customers internationally.
ASSISTING SMALL BUSINESSES TO PIVOT ONLINE
As businesses seek out new opportunities in an uncertain economic climate, as a result of the pandemic, Caribeshopper is assisting local businesses to pivot online, to grow sales, while expanding their customer base.
Caribshopper’s Chief Marketing Officer Catherine Goodall is confident that Caribshopper is capable of helping businesses to not only operate but thrive remotely.
Describing Caribshopper as the premiere Caribbean marketplace committed to ensuring merchants have the best resources and sense of community needed to take their business to the rest of the world, Goodall acknowledges that not every small business is in a position to instantly migrate online. However, she made the point that, “Caribshopper is equipped with all the tools and resources required to fully onboard vendors selling quality, locally produced goods.”
“We meet the merchants at their point of need. If they aren’t ready for the platform, we help them to become ready,” Goodall remarked, explaining that the nascent Jamaica-based company has an entire team dedicated to their onboarding.
“We call it our Merchant Success Team, and they exist for the sole purpose of ensuring our merchants are successful on the platform, from onboarding to execution,” the Chief Marketing Officer reported.
EXPLAINING THE BUSINESS MODEL
According to Goodall: “Caribshopper’s model is different from everyone else’s. We looked at the needs of the merchants and view our relationship like a partnership. We help to tell their stories, market their products and enhance and grow their business – all at no cost to them.”
Once registered, merchants benefit from Caribshopper’s virtual and physical infrastructure. This includes various marketing initiatives to drive sales, as well as logistics management through strategic partnerships with international shipping companies, such as DHL and UPS, and payment platforms, such as MasterCard and WiPay.
Businesses interested in listing their products on Caribshopper can visit caribshopper.com to register as a merchant.