Covid-19 fast tracks online shopping for South Africans

In the midst of the COVID-19 storm, many of us are saddled with worried thoughts, racing hearts and clenched jaws as we make our infrequent trips to the grocery store.

But for others, shopping habits have changed dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, with many opting for online shopping. Sparked by the national lockdown and temporary ban of non-essential products, it has literally taken off as consumers have switched to digital shopping alternatives.

‘Online shopping has been a lifeline for many South African shoppers who have desperately sought out safe and secure shopping alternatives amidst this strange new world of COVID-19,’ says Louis Buys, CEO of The Delta.

Where previously fashion, travel and entertainment categories have been the front runners for consumers to enter the online retail sphere, with the grocery, pharmaceutical and alcohol categories being slower to gain traction, the spread of the coronavirus has now accelerated the adoption of online shopping for them.

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

According to a recent Nielsen syndicated study on the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour in South Africa, 37% of South Africans say they are shopping more online

With the number of COVID-19 cases still to peak, shoppers are still feeling unsafe and stressed running retail errands for the family, increasingly opting for reduced touchpoint alternatives like online shopping as more grocery delivery services come to the fore.

Introducing a virtual mall where all the shops share the same checkout till

Like NoMango, designed during lockdown regulations, curfews and long queues – it delivers groceries, everyday essentials, alcohol and prescription medication from multiple stores all in one go. With NoMango, there’s no need to leave the house and risk infection.

Think of this site as a virtual mall where all the shops share the same checkout till. You can literally shop from the likes of Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths to medical and hygiene supplies from Clicks and Wellness Warehouse.

The creators of the site, The Delta, said the pandemic gave them the chance to help people who had lost their jobs during COVID19 to quickly get back to earning an income.

Finally… gourmet chocolate without the guilt!

According to a new study of 2 012 shoppers by C+R Research, 60% of American shoppers are afraid to go to grocery stores during the coronavirus pandemic. The results showed that:

  • 88 percent are unable to find certain items they would normally buy
  • 73 percent are making fewer physical trips to the grocery store
  • 50 percent have witnessed price gouging
  • 47 percent have changed their diet or eating habits
  • 46 percent are now buying in bulk

Back home, South Africa’s online grocery shopping usage has been quite niche and of the 58% of South Africans with internet access, only 1-2% had regularly purchased food and groceries online and only 8 -10% have purchased in the past year.

3 Things you can do to make eating out safer

But we are seeing a surge in online shopping usage as consumers prefer not to venture into stores and malls, as retailers have had to boost their online capacity to match the increasing online shopper traffic and maintain their ability to fulfill the demand from consumers.

Jump onto to take a look.