Online shopping is pushing boundaries in South Africa


In an unprecedented partnership, leading grocery retailer Pick n Pay has teamed up with Mr D, a subsidiary of online retail giant Takealot. Almost in the same breath, Woolworths announced the integration of its various e-commerce services.

These moves represent an acceleration in the development of online retail strategy in South Africa, which has become a global leader in on-demand delivery.

“This new dedicated grocery shopping experience with Pick n Pay via the Mr D app allows customers to shop over 10,000 groceries and grocery products at the same price as in store and have them delivered within the hour,” says Alexander Wörz, CEO of Mr D. “We have made the shopping process delightfully easy for customers to browse and purchase, with each product listed by aisle or occasion.”

Wörz says the shopping experience is aligned with the in-store shopping experience and prices, with the ability to earn Smart Shopper points for all orders, as well as eBucks when shopping for groceries in the app.

The new PnP foods on Mr Dservice is currently being piloted in select areas in Cape Town and Johannesburg but is set to roll out to 300 stores nationwide by December 2022. Customers place an order via the Mr D app, Pick n Pay takes care of the picking in the branches and Mr D’s delivery partners pick up the order and deliver it to the customer.

Vincent Viviers, Executive Co-Head of Omnichannel at Pick n Pay, says: “The demand for online grocery shopping has been growing rapidly and there is tremendous potential for further growth. By working with Takealot Group and Mr D. we will offer our customers the best and most reliable on-demand offering in South Africa.”

This new consumer offering is the result of the Commercial Services Agreement signed by Takealot Group and Pick n Pay earlier this year.

Mamongae Mahlare, CEO of Takealot Group, says: “We must continue to innovate and work together to ensure we can deliver on our promises and serve our customers more efficiently. Partnerships like these unlock significant value and opportunity, leading to new business models and employment opportunities that can keep more of our people working and help grow our economy.”

Woolworths rushes into the Ominichannel

Meanwhile, Woolworths says it will be the first retailer in South Africa to offer an integrated omnichannel shopping experience through its app. The upgrade will see the integration of the retailer’s two digital apps, Woolies Dash, its on-demand service and the main Woolies app, which schedules delayed deliveries, into one shopping platform.

Woolworths offers three main online delivery modes based on customer preferences: – scheduled delivery (which has a broad regional footprint and allows for unlimited basket size); Click and Collect (free for customers) ; and on-demand Woolies Dash (same-day shopping).

Woolies Dash operated as a standalone app as a start-up business process. Due to its exponential growth, Woolwoths will now include this service in its main app service offering and offer more of the enhanced features of regular online shopping.

Liz Hillock, Head of Online at Woolworth, says: “A seamless omnichannel experience is at the heart of the strategy. Our customers have expressed their preference to have an app to do all their Woolies shopping and manage their services. With over 1.8 million users of the Woolworths app, the world of Woolies is at your fingertips.”

The Woolies Aap offers in-app shopping, barcode scanning, find-in-store functionality, Wrewards and Woolworths Financial Services. Over 50% of the retailer’s e-commerce sales are generated by the app.

“Woolies Dash has grown incredibly quickly,” says Hillock. “We deliver ahead and on time 95% of the time and are focused on getting to the next level. By integrating our apps, we’re also making some key backstage and operational improvements that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. We are also expanding our service to 100 branches across South Africa.”

The app transition will take place through October 6, with Woolies Dash no longer taking orders from October 7, 2022.


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