Phillip King is creating a local e-commerce platform, inspired by Amazon for Barbados.
The website developer and owner of BimShops as well as BimVibes told Barbados TODAY he created the websites last year with a goal to develop high quality web-stores for small businesses, provide a space for all local businesses to advertise, enhance small businesses’ ability to market their products to tourists and provide a local directory for persons to easily buy and sell online throughout the region.
While other 17 year old boys were spending their time glued to their electronic devices browsing websites owned by other people, King was more interested in creating his own and in 2013, the Combermere student at the time who was studying computer science began developing his own website.
“It all started from a fascination with video games from an early age, which later evolved into me developing my own online multiplayer game,” he recounted. “In 2013, during the summer, I developed Epicpks which was a multiplayer online game inspired by another popular online game I enjoyed called Runescape.”
King went on: “As Epicpks grew, it attracted players from around the world but mainly from America and Canada. Eventually, the game became profitable from selling in-game items, membership and ranks.”
Explaining that his primary role was to create entertaining activities for players to do and provide incentives for continuity, King added: “Whoever won would be awarded a higher rank or player of the day, any small incentive.”
It would be the creation of that game that would allow King’s creative mind to practice his web development skills and also teach him about business.
“Because of the game, I became very interested in business as each month I was dealing with advertisements, to the point where I would spend over $1 000 US in advertisements. Added to that, persons were buying items in the game so I had to ensure the payment methods for that were running and it just intrigued me to the point where I was less obsessed with the game and more business oriented,” said the economics and finance major at the University of West Indies Cave Hill campus.
“When I became more business focused, I started thinking of ways to develop businesses in Barbados and so in 2016 I started Bimshops which is a network of Barbadian websites focused on the sale and marketing of local clothing, food, businesses, and services.
Three months later, I created BimVibes, a Caribbean lifestyle brand focused around promoting Barbadian culture, streaming music, showcasing local talent, and marketing the Crop Over Festival and events, with the island’s best streaming service.”
With almost 15,000 followers, the innovation in King’s idea is in its inclusiveness.
“When I took BimVibes to BIDC [Barbados Investment and Development Corporation], they said they were accustomed to persons coming with one or two aspects of the site but no one had brought it all together to create a platform for all local businesses, selling clothes, food, you name it,” he said.
With a clear understanding that lack of information is one of the main problems that the business sector faces throughout the region, King explained the concept develops the business sector. “The main issue in Barbados that businesses face is exposure to potential clients which is why BimVibes offers free advertising to anyone with a business or service,” he said.
Barbadian-born King created the product that brings all tourist products together. He has all intentions of expanding the concept with an app that encapsules Barbados in one place, a product he also wants to offer to other Caribbean territories.
As Barbados celebrates its 51st year of Independence, King said he would like to be a part of Barbados’ new leadership efforts as the island tries to overcome current fiscal issues by providing a means of generating revenue for every Barbadian, allowing locals to start businesses from home and reach their target audiences.