The future is very exciting for one company in particular as they lead the way in online shopping for Trinidad and Tobago. VET (Very Exciting Things) distributes customised promotional items throughout the Caribbean and boasts an extensive warehouse, production and showroom facility. With the most comprehensive range of promotional products in the country, VET provides an all-inclusive service that focuses on high-quality customer engagement.
Managing director Chris Ferreira, founded the company 11 years ago with his wife, Nicolle. From humble beginnings, VET has made an impressive impact on the economic development of Trinidad and Tobago, growing its team from five to 80 employees; becoming the leader in its industry. VET also attracts business to the country by offering its services within the Caribbean region to a variety of industries, including telecommunications, petroleum, schools, and small businesses.
One approach the company is taking to develop its customer engagement is through online platforms. The future for VET lies in its latest online retail division: The Up Shop. The Up Shop is a website that offers a range of gift products, from beach chairs to backpacks; many of which can be customized with the patron's name or personal design. This service is currently only accessible in Trinidad and Tobago and products are delivered to the customer’s door in five days or less.
In addition, VET has created a culture that embraces social integration and works directly with the local community. VET partners with local crafters and their unique products are sold on The Up Shop website. Artists can also upload their designs to feature on products and receive 10% royalties every time an order is placed.
“VET usually deals with large quantities and distributes in bulk,” says VET’s Marketing Coordinator, Sjaelan Evans. “So we wanted to open up a online retail version selling our individual stock items that we could print in-house,” she explains. The Up Shop website has a functional personalisation tool and customers can upload their own design to the desired product and place the order in minutes. However, this service has revealed a number of continuing challenges for VET.
When The Up Shop first launched in 2017, it was realised that a high amount of many potential customers did not own a credit card. In light of these findings, The Up Shop partnered with local payment service provider Paywise, which allowed customers to purchase make payment in-person at an NLCB outlet. Two years on and most of VET’s customers still use this service (rather than paying online).
In addition, the employees have to our team helps to individually process the majority of orders, until their customers become more familiar with customers are unfamiliar with purchasing goods online. With very few online shops in Trinidad and Tobago, Evans believes that “ our biggest future the biggest challenge for our future is building awareness of online shopping in Trinidad; but we are seeing a positive change and we hope to be an example to others as the online market develops.”