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: 7/20/2019

In 2011, an electronic translations act was drafted but the bill is not yet in force.

While e-commerce is growing, it is still not widely used by local retailers in TT, many of whom may not have websites and instead rely on Facebook or other social media platforms. Even when e-commerce 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 $500 million annually on U.S. purchases via e-commerce. The United States is the top market where online purchases are made.  There are approximately 10 Trinidad and Tobago retailers offering e-commerce to the local population. There were just five retailers a few years ago, signaling increasing growth in the sector.

Despite the fact that Amazon does not deliver to TT (requiring customers to have the products delivered to a U.S. address and then forwarded), it is the preferred online retailer in Trinidad and Tobago due to the quality, variety and return policy. Very little B2B e-commerce exists in Trinidad and Tobago. Online payment is growing but still remains low. The shortage of foreign exchange has forced banks to limit the amount of U.S. currency each person can obtain. Mobile e-commerce exists in Trinidad and Tobago but is rare.

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 target marketing directly to the desired market segment. Digital marketing takes place primarily on two social media platforms, Facebook and YouTube. The online client tends to be younger, equally male and female and more internet savvy than non-users.

The government instituted a seven percent online tax two years ago, but banking contacts say this has made little impact on reducing online sales.
 

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