Electronic commerce adds a new facility for Cubans living abroad or interested in buying gift items within the country. TRD Caribe and Panamericanas chain stores offered from late 2013 the “virtual store” in various locations around the country.
The association of the Cuban state stores with a Canadian company allowed the launching of the www.envioscuba.ca site, from which anyone interested can buy food, appliances and other items and pay with credit cards.
“All that is there, is in existence,” the head of a TRD Caribe commercial department of the province of Cienfuegos , Yanileysi López Sarria , told OnCuba and added that after every working day they update the available supply and offer information on the page.
“In addition, the online store offers the option of home delivery or store pickup, although in both cases the act of sale proceeds equal: a clerk explains product features and complete warranty forms, in case is needed, ” she adds .
“We have already made transactions in our province, both home delivery sales and at the store and even offered discounts year-end,” Yanileysi says.
The site claims to have representation in nine provinces, although showing hyperlinks to markets in all territories. Maybe they have a distribution system that complements a region with supplies from another, according to the source, the store’s Eureka, in Cienfuegos, also caters to the neighboring Villa Clara province.
On the page you can see the items with prices expressed in U.S. dollars, Euros and Canadian dollars. Costs are higher by a wide margin in many cases converting USD to CUC in the physical store. For example, a Frigidaire refrigerator, costs 2300 CUC in Cienfuegos and just over 2900 USD in the virtual market.
According to her, electronic sales in these rebates do not apply to Cubans international collaborators, who receive bonuses of up to 30% on the price of some items to purchase using magnetic cards that are handed to them when they return to the country.
The Canadian company that makes this new initiative attracting fresh foreign currency for Cuba (similar to those deployed by ETECSA with frequent recharges promotions and extended payment facilities from outside of telephone services in the archipelago) claims to have been ten years doing e-commerce and also offers personalized customer service numbers for North America and Spain.