Compaq's Online Sales Grow in LatAm

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (04/17/2000) - Compaq Computer Corp., which leads Latin America's PC market, continues to grow its online sales in the region.

Compaq products shipped in Latin America as a result of online sales grew 117 percent in the fourth quarter of 1999, compared with the previous quarter, the company announced last week.

The percentage of Compaq's Latin America shipments made over the Internet remains low -- between 2 percent and 3 percent -- but the company believes the Internet is becoming an important sales channel in the region, and is investing in it, a company spokeswoman said today.

Compaq began opening online stores for its products in Latin America in April 1999 and now has "eStores" -- as the company calls them -- up and running in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Perú.

To bolster its online sales strategy, the company also recently announced the Compaq Affiliates Program for Latin America, which pays a commission to individuals and companies that drive buyers from their Internet sites to Compaq's eStores.

The affiliates program is working now in Colombia and will be implemented for the other six online stores between April 25 and May 5, said María Silvina Moschini, Compaq's public relations manager for Latin America, based in Houston. Compaq has signed up about 100 participants for the Colombia affiliates program, which was launched about a month ago, she added.

Compaq also is adding chat features to its online stores so that buyers can communicate in real time with customer service representatives, Moschini said.

This feature is available now for Venezuela's online store and will be added to the other stores soon.

Each Compaq store has been designed individually in terms of product offerings and payment methods because markets vary from country to country, according to Compaq. Thus, the product lineup in Argentina's online store isn't identical to Mexico's, for example.

However, all the products sold online are stocked in-country, so that Compaq can deliver the products without having to wait for them to be imported.

Products sold online by Compaq in Latin America include desktop, handheld and notebook PCs, servers and printers. Product offerings vary from country to country, depending on the markets' needs.

Compaq plans to open an online store for Central America and the Caribbean this year, Moschini said.

Compaq holds the largest share of shipments in Latin America's PC market, according to market research firms International Data Corp. and Dataquest Inc.

Compaq, in Houston, can be reached at +1-281-370-0670 or http://www.compaq.com/.

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