Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and, reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/26/2017

Overview
eCommerce is a slow-growing sector in Haiti, constrained by limited internet infrastructure and regulation.  Hainet and U.S. owned company Access Haiti have been successful with wireless Internet service providers (ISP) and have helped expand interest in further development.  Natcom, a joint venture between the Vietnamese telecoms company Viettel and the GOH, provides both cellular and Internet service, and is working to expand its services nationwide.  Cellular provider Digicel also offers Internet service.  eCommerce is available in the hospitality and transportation sectors as consumers are able to make hotel and bus reservations online.  More companies are investing in local eCommerce infrastructure to expand their marketing efforts.  The government is also working to modernize the law that governs credit banking practices, security instruments, and laws on collateral.  In early 2017, the Parliament enacted legislation making electronic signatures and electronic transactions legally binding.  However, Haiti’s court system is not legally able to allow the development of eCommerce.  To take advantage of the new law, the Haitian goverment will need to do more to provide a legal framework necessary to adapt its system to international standards, and to modernize the economy.

Online Payment
Cash payment, checks and bank transfer are the preferred methods of payment used in Haiti.  Phone and online payment are only offered by a few companies.  As of November 2015, the government lauched a new e-governance initiative, allowing individuals to pay for taxes and to renew their car insurance online. 

eCommerce Intellectual Property Rights
There are currently no laws in place to regulate electronic IPR.

Mobile eCommerce
Mobile money is a slow growing market in Haiti.  The sector is composed of the country’s two cell-phone providers, Digicel and Natcom.  Under a mandate from the Haitian Central Bank (BRH), both providers are using a bank-led partnership to deliver their mobile money services to their customers.  The standard services inlcuding cash in / cash out, airtime purchases, formal bill payment, international remittances, and repayment loans.  The providers are actively looking to expand coverage beyong the metropolitan area.

Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is slowly growing.  A few companies are taking advantage of social media platforms to maximize their online presence and boost their brand visibility.

Social Media
Social media has experienced an interesting expansion in Haiti.  Haitians from all walks of life turn to social media for breaking political news, critiquing the government and/or for connecting with loved ones.  Social media was particularly helpful in humanitarian and relief efforts during the 2010 earthquake and the 2016 huricane.  In November 2016, Natcom joined forces with Kirusa, a global provider in telecom and social media, to launch InstaVoice Celeb, and InstaVoice Sports.  The initiative aims to bring celebrities and sport fans together using voice blogging feature, while providing daily soccer updates, and pre and post-match analysis.
 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Haiti eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce