Orquídea García lives on her own in the neighborhood of La Vigía, Camagüey. She suffers from various health problems and her daughter Teresa María Cordero doesn’t like her going out alone; so from Italy, her family ensures that she receives monthly deliveries of essential goods. And so her son-in-law Giusseppe Cerroni puts the chicken, mince, detergent and anything else his mother-in-law might need into the online “shopping basket.”
This way, it’s becoming even easier to support friends and family in Cuba from abroad. In just a few clicks, services like enviocuba.ca allow customers to make purchases for loved ones. Thanks to effective coordination between some of the island’s largest establishments, the idea of “online shopping” is becoming more of a reality within the greatly disconnected daily life of many Cubans, providing an alternative for those who only used to be able to send remittances or parcels.
Canadian electronics company NACTWS INC and Cuban entities Cimex and TRD have teamed up to create an online version of 23 stores across the entire country, designed specifically for those with relations living abroad. These stores have a system which periodically updates the website with product availability and offers, making online purchases quick and easy.
According to the enviocuba.ca site, the company not only makes sending food easy but also offers a safe way to send other gifts to relatives – based on availability in stores – ranging from electronics, homwares, beauty and personal hygiene products, kids toys, hardware tools, furniture and more.
Branches in all provinces (and several in Havana, Santiago, Matanzas, Holguín and Camagüey), ensure fast delivery, and lower transportation costs than other competitors.
The purchaser has the choice of two delivery options: collect in store or home delivery. Havana has four establishments which form part of enviocuba.ca, including the Carlos III mall and 3rd and 70 street supermarket.
Since the Encanto de Camagüey store joined the online initiative, Orquídea receives monthly calls from the e-commerce department to inform her that her daughter and son-in-law have placed an order for her.
“I have no complaints about the service. The girl from El Encanto gives me fantastic customer service: she tells me what has been ordered for me and sometimes gives me the option of choosing, for example, between chicken leg or thigh.”
Ronny Vázquez, from Pinar del Río also receives goods from the Guamá store, purchased by his mother Niurka Conde in the United States. Once a month Arturo the delivery man, arrives at Ronny’s building with boxes of well-frozen chicken. “The orders have always been fine. I’ve never had a problem with them. If they can keep supporting me from there (the U.S.), I see no reason to stop using this service.”
The majority of orders made on enviocuba.ca come from the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Germany as well as several South American countries. The company is planning to launch customer advice and FAQ services on its site, as well as a 24 hour free helpline in three languages: Spanish, English and French.
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. However, the average Cuban doesn’t have access to the Internet or a bank account allowing them to carry out this kind of transaction, and so is deprived of the opportunity to make purchases from the comfort of their own home, or buy book on Amazon and wait for it to arrive in a couple of days.
However, enviocuba.ca now makes it possible for Cubans to receive fast and assured deliveries from relations aboard; a trustworthy service which turns online purchases in to real results and genuine joy.