From Shoprite and Checkers to Pick n Pay, Woolworths and Makro, everyone has their favourite local store when it comes to filling their cupboards and refrigerators.
But with social distancing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak gaining momentum, and physical shopping coupled with panic buying resulting in empty shelves and stock shortages, online shopping is increasingly becoming an alternative for those who can.
However, unlike most developed countries where online shopping has been around for a while, the trend is relatively new in SA and also depends on whether the buyer has access to data or Wi-Fi.
With cellular service provider MTN recently announcing a data rates reduction of up to 50% from April and other providers expected to follow suit, online shopping may soon become the new normal as more people avoid malls.
Scores of South Africans already use takeaway delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Mr D Food, Oishi and Order In – but not everyone can afford to eat junk food on a daily basis and most people’s pockets only allow for home-cooked meals.
The Citizen looks at some of the grocery apps and sites that cater to this market, what they cost, how reliable they are and what measures have been put in place to meet the demands of the viral pandemic.
Pick n Pay
With delivery to designated points (a cost of R60 and more, depending on the delivery time slot and point) or the option to collect at stores, Pick n Pay asks shoppers to select their region to ensure there’s stock and then to proceed with filling their virtual trolley.
The supermarket chain said it has seen an increase in online and in-store buying and, to meet demand during these uncertain times, there are now more online delivery slots available. However, they will be limiting the number of units per customer of certain products.
The popular chain store was all over social media after the President’s Covid-19 address, with people posting images of empty shelves.
Speaking to EWN shortly after the panic-buying rush, the chain store said in order to ensure enough products for everyone, they have set a limit of five units of product per customer.
Meanwhile, the Woolworths shopping app appears to be busy as its physical stores but still manages to deliver some food items within 24 hours of ordering. Like its competitor, Pick n Pay, it has time slots that can cost between R50 and R90, but only deliver to major metropolitan areas.
Shoprite & Checkers
In the wake of the latest panic shopping and stockpiling, the Shoprite/Checkers Group said while it is doing everything in its power to restock shelves as quickly as possible, customers are urged to buy only what they need.
Sixty60, which is Checkers’ online shopping service, is quite new and does not charge for delivery. However, this could change as the app moves out of its test stage and gains popularity.
Although Sixty60 promises to deliver within 60 minutes, the recent spike in shopping has already seen a slight delay.
What’s really great about this app is that it allows you to shop from various stores at the same time. Depending on your location, stores you may choose to shop at could include Pick n Pay and Pick n Pay Liquor, Woolworths, DisChem, Clicks and Food Lover’s Market.
Having used the apps a few times already, I can assure our readers, it’s very reliable and your personal shopper will call or text you to discuss other options and prices should your desired item be out of stock.
One Cart also offers hourly delivery slots and charges a R55 flat delivery fee plus a 5% to 7% personal shopper fee.