Step 3 | Conduct Market Research

Step 3

Conduct Market Research

Having a deep understanding of your export market will help you make sound export marketing decisions by giving you a clear picture of the economic, political and cultural factors that affect your ability to sell your product or service.  Ultimately it will help you to avoid costly mistakes by reducing your exposure to the unknowns.  Initial desk-based research will help you to prioritise the most attractive markets through reviewing published trade statistics, market and industry information, potential partners, trade leads and even identify technical barriers such as excessive duties or restrictive practices that may rule out export territories before you start investing serious time and money.

Caribbean Export has developed the Caribbean Export Market Intelligence Portal (CE-MIP) to assist you in your market research. There are a suite or resources out there also for you.  Here are a few recommendations; Visit the International Trade Centre (ITC)  seven part series of Business Briefings on Technical Barriers to Trade.   Additionally direct contact with key experts, customers or other sources of information through techniques such as interviews and consultations should also be done after you have familiarized yourself with the potential market through your desk based research.  A market visit will be crucial once you have some understanding of the market dynamics and the opportunity.  Your product or service may also be able to take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as well as other trade agreements. You may also choose to access a number of Caribbean Exports’ reports and studies.  Our comprehensive series of “Doing Business with” Country Reports provides practical advice and guidance on doing business in a number of countries around the world, exploring in detail the local regulatory standards, political influences and cultural challenges. These documents will give you a first-hand understanding of the export markets you are considering to enter.

The Opportunities for Doing Business in the FCORs provide you with valuable information on the market:

For those involved in the Services Industries please review:

For those in the craft sector please review the information in the Export Marketing manual . To help in your research consult the following websites;

  • CARICOM Secretariat Statistic department:  Provides regional trade statistics.
  • Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI)  : Provides downloadable market studies containing product information, databases and export tools, such as an export readiness checker, templates for developing an export marketing plan and a market research action plan.
  • EU Export Help Desk : The EU Export help desk is an online service, provided by the European Commission, to facilitate market access for firms from developing countries to access the European Union. This service provides an overview on the EU´s preferential trade regimes established for developing countries as well as lists all tariffs, taxes and other requirements for developing country exporters interested in supplying the EU market.
  • International Trade Centre (ITC): This site contains information on international trade and market profiles, trade statistics and prices.
  • TFO Canada: The products and services available to registered users include the handbook on Exporting to Canada as well as over 20 sector-specific market info papers, trade events and news, links to Canadian and international resources; advice on finding buyers, tariff rates, consumer preferences and trends, regulatory requirements and practical tips on preparing for the Canadian market; and free promotion of registered companies and their products.
  • HubSpot is all-in-one marketing software that helps companies to attract leads and convert them into customers. HubSpot is a pioneer in inbound marketing and aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love.
  • Market : is the most comprehensive collection of market intelligence products and services on the Web. They offer reports from over 720 top publishers and update their collection daily to provide firms with instant online access to the worlds most complete and current database of expert insights on global industries, companies, products, and trends.
  • Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards & Quality (CROSQ): The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is an Inter-Governmental Organisation among the fifteen Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  It supports the CARICOM mandate in the expansion of intra-regional and extra-regional trade in goods and services. CROSQ is the regional centre for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services, through the process of standardization and the verification of quality.  It is mandated to represent the interest of the region in international hemispheric standards work, to promote the harmonization of metrology systems and standards, and to increase the pace of development of regional standards for the sustainable production of goods and services in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the enhancement of social and economic development.
  •  Instituto Dominicano Para La Calidad (INDOCAL): is the government office in the Dominican Republic in charge of enforcement of regulations on marking, labeling as well as quality controls.


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