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Advice for Entrepreneurs Looking At Ecommerce in the Caribbean

Philip Colthrust, Managing Director of Sightfactory, advises that entrepreneurs and small businesses take advantage of the shift in consumer dynamics that are taking place due to COVID-19.

This can be an excellent opportunity for any brick-and-mortar business to shift online and increase its revenue.

Here are some of his tips taken from a Live show on the FAC LinkedIn Page:

  • Align yourself with a web development company that knows what they’re doing. Many banks have a shortlist of website developers they can suggest.

  • Be sure to have a proper business plan detailing your transformation to an online business. Your project has to be more than just “I want to sell stuff online”.

  • Try a hybrid model – both an online and brick and mortar business, but be sure to allocate products accordingly to each segment of your business.

  • Don’t go online to sell to the same clients you already have. Ecommerce is about expanding your reach to more clients.

  • If you can access a more extensive base – regional or international – think about how you can deliver your product to them at a cost that’s good for you. Shipping out of the Caribbean is difficult, but Sightfactory is working on Shop Caribe – an online marketplace to facilitate regional shipping at a better rate.

  • Ensure that e-commerce transaction fees are built into your pricing structure.

  • Consider the costs and benefits of going online – what does it cost you to sell products in your store versus online? Which is more viable for you?

  • You can save money in running your small business if you go straight online.

  • Treat eCommerce as an investment to boost your business.

Hopefully, this series of blogs gave you a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of setting up an eCommerce business in the Caribbean.

All the best to any small and medium-sized business owners who are about to start the online journey!


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