Interviews by Anil Ramnanan, Director, Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society
Published in CONTACT Magazine
Excellent Stores Limited has six retail branches and a wholesale department. It celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, expanding its stores and opening a new one in St Lucia. It would be easy for a department store, using the traditional brick-and-mortar retail model, to rail against the rise of online shopping. But Excellent Stores took a different approach. In July 2014, it launched its own online shopping service.
The Excellent Stores website adopted many of the features that were familiar to shoppers from large online retailers such as Amazon. A search feature allows users to easily find the products they want. Convenient shipping options deliver products directly to the customer’s door. Online credit card payment is backed by well-known financial institutions such as Scotiabank and First Atlantic Commerce.
Excellent Stores found ways to compete with international sites. It offered internationally known brands with local backup. It encouraged customers overseas to buy online for family and friends at home and to have the items delivered directly to them. In this way, the store sought to reinvent itself for the online age.
D’ Market Movers
Small businesses too face the challenge of reinventing themselves. D’ Market Movers took a traditionally offline experience and put it online. The traditional Sunday market experience of buying fresh produce, meat and dairy was brought into the online world.
The goal was to have people go online, order, and have their produce delivered directly to their homes. D’Market Movers developed a workable business model and the processes to make it successful.
One of the key selling points is convenience. Busy consumers can replicate the experience of buying products in the market, but from the convenience of home. Another selling point is product quality. A network of farmers – all engaged in pesticide-free and organic farming – supplies the freshest products.
D’ Market Movers was awarded the EY Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2016 Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Champions of Business programme.