The on-going lockdown in South Africa has brought the necessity of e-commerce to the fore. Buying online has now become more important than ever especially for groceries and other essential items. Before now, only a few of the major retailers offered a proper online shopping experience. In this write-up, I list some of the retail stores that offer groceries sales over the internet.
In compliance with social distancing requirements, most deliveries offer a contactless option and have disabled the option of cash payment.
Sixty60 by Checkers
Launched in November 2019, Sixty60 set the bar rather higher for same-day groceries delivery by promising and delivering groceries within 1 hour. The delivery is free-of-charge.
- Pro: super-fast delivery. The delivery is free of charge though it is very likely this will change in future.
- Con: their delivery coverage is very limited. As of April 2020, it is limited to some suburbs in Cape Town and Johannesburg: Cape Town CBD, Sea Point, Rondebosch, Constantia, Bellville, Durbanville, Brackenfell, Bryanston, Melrose and Sunninghill.
Pick n Pay
Pick n Pay had always offered online groceries shopping and delivery via their website pnp.co.za but it always took a few days to delivery as one had to book a specific delivery slot.
- Pro: a wide range of products are available
- Con: they do not offer a same-day delivery under this scheme. Finding a free slot can take up to 12 days. Delivery cost is R60.
On account of the recent lockdown, PicknPay that hitherto didn’t offer a same-day delivery partnered with bottles to offer this. This option is available from Monday to Friday: 9 am to 3 pm as well as Saturday and Sunday: 9 am to 1 pm.
- Pro: one-hour same-day delivery to most areas in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.
- Con: delivery fee is R45 in addition to a service fee of R15. You thus pay R60 on top of the in-store pricing. Refunds for any out-of-stock items will take between 3 and 7 working days to reflect in your bank account.
All restaurants and alcohol shops are closed on account of the nationwide lockdown. However, Uber Eats has partnered with a few grocery outlets and pharmacies to deliver essential items during the lockdown.
Uber Eats now delivers the essentials items you need. Order, pay and track your delivery with the Uber Eats app.
It is available only for “essential goods” as determined by the Government of South Africa from 6 April 2020, subject to availability of participating stores and availability of the essential goods being sold. Their operating hours are from 9 am until 5 pm.
- Con: Delivery Fee for all orders of essential goods will be R25.00. For all orders less than R50, a Small Order Fee of R5.00 will be applied. Only payment by card will be available and no cash will be accepted.
Mr D Food
Mr D Food has begun trialling the delivery of essential goods from certified sellers of essential goods during the lockdown.
In selected areas, you can now get essential goods delivered from nearby convenience stores without leaving the house. You can buy food, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks delivered weekdays, from 8 am to 5 pm.
The South African e-commerce giant is pulling its weight during this crisis. It has always had extensive infrastructure to serve South Africa. It has since made adjustments to its operations in other to continue catering to the urgent needs of its customers by making only essential items available for sale as stipulated by the national government.
However, their phone lines are down as their support staff are working remotely. They have also disabled the collection option making only courier delivery possible.
- Pro: a wide range of essential items are available.
- Con: no same-day delivery; groceries has not always been their strongest point
They have always offered the option of ordering online and this only becomes more important during these difficult times.
- Con: ordered items are delivered from the nearest Woolworths Food outlet and so stock availability relative to those displayed in their mobile app is very wobbly.