BMOBILE LAUNCHES ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR CARIBBEAN PRODUCTS
Customised Especially for Caribbean Artisans and Entrepreneurs
TSTT Corporate Communications
bmobile is ready to deliver the Caribbean to the world via its new online storefront dubbed Parlour. Through Parlour, bmobile intends to make transacting with and within the Caribbean simpler and more effective.
The Parlour e-commerce platform was launched at an elegant cocktail function held at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on Saturday August 27, 2022, and attended by a large cross-section of business leaders, members of the craft community, members of the diplomatic corps and several Government Ministers.
Speakers at the Launch included Minister of Trade and Industry, the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, who delivered the Feature Address; Minister of Sport and Community Development, the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe; Minister of Public Utilities, the Honourable Marvin Gonzales; Export Centres Company Ltd Interim CEO Kaisha Ince; CEO of the Export Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Navin Dookeran and TSTT Assistant General Manager Emerging Services & Innovation Keino Cox (Ag).
TSTT Chairman Sean Roach told the audience: “We are gathered here to celebrate the launch of a powerful, uniquely Caribbean, e-commerce marketplace - named Parlour - which we will grow into the Caribbean’s largest online platform for the buying and selling of local and regional products.”
He added: “Our long-term goal is to partner with 100,000 sellers and enable them to attract millions of consumers towards their products.”
TSTT CEO Lisa Agard noted: “Parlour is our Platform - designed and developed by our people, to present our products to the world…products created and produced by our people in T&T and the region. It has been named, tweaked and customised to reflect our Caribbean flair and culture and to cater to the particular needs of our Caribbean artisans and entrepreneurs. Our people. Our products. Our platform. That’s what differentiates it from competing products on the market.”
Agard acknowledged that while “craft-based businesses globally have a lot of catching up to do in terms of incorporating technology into their operations and capturing the benefits that it offers in terms of being more data-driven, more efficient, and more responsive to customers, bmobile has the products and services that can digitally transform and support our artisans and small entrepreneurs and provide them the same access to communications technology as would any large corporation.”
During his presentation, TSTT Assistant General Manager Emerging Services & Innovation Keino Cox (Ag) explained that through its partnership with the Export Centres Company Ltd (ECCL), Parlour will be home to the national digital craft store (CraftHubTT), showcasing a wide range of products offered by ECCL registered artisans - the largest network of artisans in the country. The platform will also host a number of other sellers from other categories as it seeks to provide an online market to businesses. In October, Parlour will extend its network to the regional and global marketplace allowing millions of customers, including those from the diaspora markets of the USA, Canada and the UK, access to the Caribbean’s diverse range of products.
Cox added that through partnerships with key logistics providers, vendors on the platform will be able to ship their products to any corner of the region, and ultimately the world. To facilitate this, the telecoms company expects to launch its digital payment (e-money) solution which will provide Parlour users a simple, safe and affordable way to complete transactions.
More than just an online store, Parlour will provide an entire digital ecosystem to support its vendors, particularly members of the creative community, in modernising how they promote and sell their products. It will help them build and transform their businesses and their lives.
The Parlour University (Parlour U) online learning portal will provide Sellers with immediate access to everything they need to learn about setting up, opening, and managing their online stores. These resources will include downloadable documents, PowerPoint presentations, demonstration videos, interactive quizzes, live training sessions and seminars.
Historically, the Parlour in the Caribbean is a quaint, distinctive neighbourhood shopping establishment, and an iconic part of Caribbean culture. Parlours have served Caribbean communities for generations and embodies three major elements of the Caribbean shopping experience – Community, Connection and Commerce – with all three forever entwined at this one place. The above formed the basis for the creation of our take on the modern, online, Caribbean marketplace – appropriately titled, Parlour.