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: 6/12/2017

Overview
In early 2014, a finance bill that includes new provisions on e-commerce passed both houses of parliament and was assented to by the president.  Despite this, the bill is not yet operational. It is intended to regulate e-commerce in TT.

 

Current Market Trends
While ecommerce is growing, it is still not widely used by local retailers in TT, many of whom may not have websites or rely on Facebook.  Even when ecommerce is available by local retailers, TT consumers generally prefer to shop online at U.S. stores for better quality, variety, and price. The government estimates that TT consumers spend approximately US$500 million annually on U.S. purchases via ecommerce
.

Domestic ecommerce (B2C)

There are approximately 10 Trinidad and Tobago retailers offering e-commerce to the local population. There were just 5 retailers a few years ago signaling slow growth in the sector.

Cross-Border eCommerce
Despite the fact that Amazon does not teliver to TT, and customers must have the products delivered to a U.S. address then forwarded, the preferred online retailer in Trinidad and Tobago is Amazon due to the quality, variety and return policy.

B2B eCommerce
Very little B2B e-commerce exists in Trinidad and Tobago.

eCommerce Services
Those that do exist revolve around website development. Even so, payment usually takes place physically.

eCommerce Intellectual property Rights
The authorities have difficulty ensuring compliance with physical products and this situation is more complicated with eCommerce. The segment is very small and insufficient resources are dedicated to ensuring compliance.  Nevertheless, the Intellectual Property Office registers intellectual property related to all products and services including eCommerce.

Popular eCommerce Sites
No local sites would be characterized in this manner.

Online Payment
Online payment is growing but still remains at a minimal level. The shortage of foreign exchange has forced banks to limit the amout of US each person can spend.

Mobile eCommerce
Very limited mobile eCommerce exists in Trinidad and Tobago

Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing in Trinidad and Tobago has become increasingly popular because of the prohibitive cost of other types of marketing, along with the possibility to do targeted marketing directly to the desired market segment. It takes place primarily on two social media platforms, Facebook and Youtube, or by mass emails.

Major Buying Holidays

  • Christmas
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day/Father’s Day Easter

Social Media
Social media is very popular in Trinidad and Tobago, which is known as a “facebook nation” with 97 percent of the poplation using facebook. Other types of social media like Youtube, Instagram and Twitter are also becoming more and more popular and are increasingly used for marketing purposes.

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.



Trinidad and Tobago eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce