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Missing Out! – Online Participation in the Caribbean Market

Most of us, if not all of us have had the experience or know someone who makes purchases online. Many of us have seen the stories of bloggers who make 6 figures for their families through their online work. Or what about those famous you tubers with millions of subscribers buying their latest house? The list of examples can go own but the conclusion is firm, there is money to be made in the online market.

As a millennial, this state of affairs has become a norm and there are signs of it in the Caribbean. What is your favorite Instagram store? For many small retailers in Barbados, Instagram and other online social media are ways used to display their products and sales are made through deliveries. For many established companies, Facebook advertising is something that is invested in regularly and we all have reached a point where when we want to find out information about a business we do a quick google search.

A Key To Wealth

So why haven’t we in the Caribbean tapped into this abundance of wealth. Recently it was announced that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, overtook Bill Gates to become the worlds richest man temporarily. Even if we consider Bill Gates who became the worlds richest man through the co founding of the Microsoft Corporation. The digital age has made it’s mark on economies globally. One of the major problems that’s prohibits Caribbean businesses from growing to the size of large mega corporations is the size of the Caribbean market. Through the internet companies can reach millions of potential customers.

Online Shopping

Beyond reaching millions of people let’s focus on our own regional peoples. We deserve the convenience of online shopping. We deserve same day deliveries and it’s time we expect and push for more from entities within our region. For this to function efficiently many other entities have to play a part. For example the cost ans length of time to local couriers is one huge barrier. Cyber safety is another concern for online shoppers and this may require an extension of the duties of organizations such as the Fair Trading Commission.

Influencers

Many of us probably follow that one person who isn’t necessarily a celebrity they just have alot of social media followers. Possibly because of their content or their skills in make up, fashion or photography. IN this present day celebrities don’t only come from movies and television shows, they’re youtubers, bloggers and anyone with a large enough “following.” These persons are sometimes named influencers, in the Barbados Seth Bovell may be regarded as an “influencer.” His popularity has allowed him to be in advertisements for major companies. However, as a Caribbean region we have not tapped into the power of social media influence. In the US influencers may receive free products to share with their group, they receive opportunities similar to Seth Bovell but it doesn’t appear in the Caribbean that we use influence to it’s full potential unless we’re marketing a fete.

They’re many ways in which the Caribbean can capitalize on online media, it doesn’t take rocket science. We have young millennial graduates from our Universities who have ideas and who want to innovate. In the Caribbean those with the money and power need to see it as a valuable sector and be more willing to invest. In the Caribbean we’re always late to the development party, but it’s better late than never. We can choose to change or be forced to when in the future older methods of business are obsolete.

Until Next Time

Dina Wilkinson

(caribbeanbloomblog.com)

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