By Lindsey Turnbull
Business owner Ken Moore, in conjunction with colleague Brandon Segroves, has just launched a new shopping portal shopcaymanislands.com that has the potential to become Cayman’s very own Amazon.
From fascinator hats at Hesha to comfy chairs at Markson’s Furniture to party supplies from It’s Your Party, residents on island now have the ability to purchase a whole host of items online that can all be purchased together, much like an Amazon order, and then either delivered to the door or grouped together for collection.
Ken was well placed to establish such an online business, having already built the Fine Dine-In platform in 1999 that has allowed diners to order food from different restaurants on the same order to be delivered. He said he could see the potential for an online shopping delivery service using a similar platform. Launching the new online shopping service on 6th July, Ken gave some background as to the launch.
“We made a bunch of modifications so it fits the business model and put a business plan together and decided to execute it just now,” he advised. “We wanted to wait until a decent number of companies came on board before launching it. We look at it as an Amazon for the Cayman Islands, only with local businesses. You have an option of placing your order online with multiple stores in a single order and then you can choose to either pick up the delivery yourself or have it delivered within 24-48 hours, and we’re serving Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.”
Ken believed that the value of Amazon is that shoppers can go there and “pretty much buy everything”, so they are hoping to have a very broad range of businesses that have a good reputation on island and have a wide range of products. In this way he believed their growth over time – like Amazon- becomes wider and wider.
The real value for the client is they don’t have to drive around for hours looking for an item, not knowing if it’s at the store, he said. Instead, they can simply go online, check it out and then not have to go and waste time in traffic for hours.
There is a delivery charge of CI$6 to a location that is within 10 km of the store and CI$10 outside that range.
“We deliver island-wide, so it’s great for people in East End, Bodden Town, etc. and for Cayman Brac we contact them and give them the choice of whether they would like it shipped through Thompson Shipping or through Cayman Airways, and then we will add the delivery charges at that point,” he advised.
The upside for businesses is that it’s another avenue for them to sell products and get them out into the marketplace, as a lot of businesses are defined in the market as selling a particular product only, thereby giving greater exposure to a wider range of items, he said.
“It’s an easy way for people to understand what businesses have available on island,” Ken confirmed.
If businesses want to be part of shopcaymanislands.com, Ken said it does take quite a commitment as it takes a bit of work to put products online, in particular to upload images of products.
“As with anything, it is going to be as valuable and useful and profitable for businesses the more effort they put into it,” he confirmed. “When you’re dealing with online sales, it’s all about what people see, the visual display and the description that goes with it, and so to do that you have to spend a bit of time and present your products well.”
Ken is upbeat about the uptake by the general public.
“If you provide a good service and there’s a need in the market and you execute your business properly, then you have a pretty good recipe for success,” he stated. “The Cayman Islands market is pretty sophisticated and they are very comfortable with going online and shopping online.”
The downside of shopping overseas was the process involved to actually get goods on island, including the shipping, clearing and Customs and all of the hoops that you have to go through to get your product in your hands, he said.
“People tend to gravitate to whatever is easiest and simplest, so that’s why we set up the company. We want to make it simple for people, we want it to be convenient for people, and as long as we can execute properly, it will be.”
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