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November Sunday

Mercazona, the technological success of "some sane crazy people"

LAS TUNAS, Cuba, Nov 17 (ACN) The launching of version 2.0 of the application, the possibility of engaging in wholesale courier services and being fully active in nine Cuban provinces rank among Mercazone’s most pressing challenges as an officially established medium-sized private e-commerce company.

So it was reported by Mercazona Marketing and Communication manager Carlos Zayas Riverón, one of director Alejandro Pérez Perera’s "crazy friends" who joined forces in February 2020 to embark on this technological adventure that revolutionized trade in the province of Las Tunas and set a milestone during the most complex days of the fight against COVID-19.

“We are working on 2.0, the final version of the application. It will be more refreshing, intuitive and functional, as it includes a reservation system for restaurants, discount coupons for the benefit of customers, and payment procedures through the platforms EnZona and Transfermóvil,” Zayas Riverón said. “Besides, business owners who wish to join the platform will be able to do so by themselves through direct and virtual communication with the Mercazona team, and we will also provide parcel delivery services.”

On top of these challenges come the most urgent actions undertaken by the group of young entrepreneurs, one of whom is Yaidier Leyva, also founder of the application and, like Perez Perera, a doctor by profession, another reason that many people thought that launching Mercazona "was sheer madness".

Already approved as a MSME and turned into a new actor in the Cuban economy, the application is really beginning to meet the original expectations, as it already boasts 20 business partners and a delivery network supported by more than 30 vehicles.

Mercazona is a fierce advocate of customer’s rights to receive the printed invoice to make sure everything is in order, return any product with quality problems, and lodge complaints through the channels provided for that purpose.

"That's insane, it won't work," were the words of some skeptics, even after ACN made the announcement on February 12 last year that a mobile application for online purchases of agricultural products entered into service.

Someone who did believe in the proposal was Argel Frank Fundora Acosta, usufructuary leader of the project Mercasa, who immediately embraced e-commerce. Together, Mercazona and Mercasa—also approved as a MSME—have turned this market into people’s preferred service, given the facilities of home delivery in the midst of the situation caused by COVID-19.

Mercazona has already surpassed 115,000 downloads in the Cuban platform Apklis and is markedly gaining ground in platforms such as Google Play, Facebook, Telegram, Whatsapp and Twitter.

Its clientele, mostly in the 25 to 34 age group, makes it plain that Mercazona was designed for the Cuban family and to improve access to agricultural products, household goods or food services, a real experience when it comes to the informatization of society.

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