What are the actual challenges being experienced with e-commerce in the Caribbean?
Invitation to participate in our e-commerce survey, to help us better understand the challenges being experienced in individual countries and in the Caribbean region as a whole.
If you have been paying attention to the news and happenings across the region over the past several weeks – even months – it appears that electronic (e-) commerce in the Caribbean might be at an inflection point. Currently, the availability of e-commerce-related platforms across the region is still limited, and local businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises, experience considerable difficulty in securing e-commerce accounts in their home countries.
Further, Caribbean-based businesses that are supposed to exist almost exclusively online, tend to be crippled almost from the start, due to the hurdles that currently exist to secure online merchant accounts through their local banks. Having said this, there may be some early signs that e-commerce – more precisely, the lack thereof – may finally be getting the attention it deserves, as increasingly, its absence is being recognised as hindering innovation and entrepreneurship across the region.
However, we must all remind ourselves that each Caribbean country is different. Hence, whilst it might be okay to speak generally or collectively in some situations, we must be mindful that a broad brush – or a one-solution-fits-all – approach will be a recipe for disaster! Data is thus needed.
In light of recent attention and agitation for improved e-commerce across the region, it timely that we try to get a better idea of the actual experiences and challenges of Caribbean business owners in accessing e-commerce facilities and services in the region. To that end, we, at ICT Pulse, have created a survey on e-Commerce in the Caribbean, which we hope will provide some definitive answers!
The survey consists no more than 18 questions, most of which are multiple choice, and so should take no more that ten (10) minutes to complete. Further, we emphasise we have not asked any personally identifiable information; hence your responses will be anonymous. We therefore ask that you be as honest as possible in your responses.
Ultimately, we are hoping for wide participation, as the more responses we receive, the more representative it is likely to be of the experiences in not just the region, but individual countries. More importantly, it is an opportunity for you, entrepreneurs and business leaders, to have a voice in shaping how individuals and policymakers respond the the challenges and experiences you have been having: to ensure that the solutions proposed are actually relevant, and are likely to remedy the situation(s) at hand.
We thus look forward to your support in responding to the survey, in circulating this opportunity to your colleagues and associates, and encouraging them to also participate.
Image credit: Fosforix (flickr)