‘Mobile’ ad deals see on-demand delivery couriers benefit

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 14 May 2024
Bike advertising has seen MotionAds grow over 70% year-on-year.
Bike advertising has seen MotionAds grow over 70% year-on-year.

As the South African on-demand delivery industry flourishes, fuelled by booming e-commerce, MotionAds says it has paid over R10 million to online delivery couriers who have embraced the concept of advertising on their delivery motorbikes since 2019.

The digital advertising firm was founded five years ago by entrepreneurs Jon Berkowitz and Elan Band, who identified an opportunity to brand the thousands of delivery bikes on the road.

The business model centres on an app that tracks motorbike advertisingand the average “eyeballs” (impressions) per bike, per month.

The company says it uses tech-enabled systems to set up branded delivery bikes in targeted suburbs, and tracks how far drivers travel and how many hours they spend on the road.

This information is summarised in a digital dashboard for clients, giving them real data and tangible results for their marketing spend, it notes.

MotionAds has run campaigns for Vodacom, PepsiCo, Openserve and Pick n Pay’s ASAP app. Start-ups, such as GoSolr, Sloom and Supabets, are also embracing the platform, it says.

The couriers earn a monthly incentive for the advertising.

In 2022, MotionAds partnered with Uber Eats to access more delivery drivers on the food delivery app.

Charles Mhango, head of operations for Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber Eats, says this helped create a new source of revenue for delivery drivers amid the backdrop of inflationary pressures that come with the cost of running their businesses.

“Our commitment is to continuously find ways of helping delivery people maximise their earning potential by helping them get the most out of their time on the road, and this partnership achieves that.”

The surge in motorbike advertising coincides with the growth of online and on-demand shopping since the pandemic. There has been a rapid increase in the number of delivery bikes on the road and the serviceable suburbs they cover.

Local online retail has witnessed remarkable growth, exceeding 6% of total retail sales, and reaching R71 billion turnover in 2023, according to the Online Retail in SA 2023 study, conducted by World Wide Worx, in partnership with Mastercard, Peach Payments and Ask Afrika.

“South African grocery deliveries are already world-class, with a number of retailers providing 60-minute order fulfilment. However, the broader online retail environment has only slowly caught up to this efficiency, with the biggest providers typically ordering delivery the next day or later,” states the study report.

“The arrival of in SA is expected to transform the logistics industry, as courier and warehousing services ramp up to meet the additional demand created.”

Berkowitz says MotionAds has reported more than 70% year-on-year growth over the past two years, mainly from new industries using the advertising platform.

“In a marketing landscape characterised by rapid technological advancements and evolving consumer behaviours, we are excited to champion the cause of micro-enterprises on two wheels, while redefining modern marketing, one delivery at a time,” comments Berkowitz.

“Bike advertising is increasingly a compelling marketing solution due to its ability to reach doors in gated communities and its widespread exposure as bikes drive an average of 70km daily.

“Over 90% of clients renew their advertising campaigns − which benefits drivers and future drivers. Clients usually start small with 50-odd bike campaigns with an initial three-month contract, then increase to 150 bikes for 12 months.”