E-commerce platform OneDayOnly sees uptick in online orders

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As the country enters its first phase of stage four lockdown, more South African consumers have embraced the concept of online shopping, with e-commerce platform saying it has seen an uptick in online shopping for essential goods.

The e-tailer provides customers with 24-hour deals of between 20% and 80% off on items across various retailers.

During stage five lockdown, the platform allowed customers to order and pay for all items; however, delivery is only offered for essential goods.

Matthew Leighton, spokesperson of OneDayOnly, says the local e-commerce platform has observed some interesting buying trends, with30% of all orders placed in April consisting of essential items.

During stage five lockdown, e-commerce players were forced to turn their business models around to focus only on the delivery of essential items. However, trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel last week announced e-commerce will be expanded incrementally and deliveries of a larger list of products will be possible during level four.

According to OneDayOnly, in the past month, over-and-above the expected purchase of essential items, there has been an increased demand for some non-essential items on its platform.

“Since the start of the lockdown period, we’ve seen a 40% increase in page views per user, and a 15% increase in basket sizes,” explains Leighton.

“Based on this data, we can definitively say online shopping is a viable option during lockdown, and one that South Africans have embraced.”

Leighton adds that aside from COVID-19-related essential items like hand sanitiser, gloves and masks, many customers are investing in fitness gear, wine and homeware.

“Our bestselling shop was our wine shop – to be delivered after lockdown, of course. Many customers have also purchased clothing items, even though these are not allowed to be delivered during the lockdown period.

“We’ve also seen a spike in demand for activity trackers and watches, treadmills and other fitness equipment, as well as homeware products like beds and blogging lights. We’ve been surprised by the number of customers who are placing orders with ‘life after lockdown’ in mind.”

Derek Cikes, commercial director of online payment gateway Payflex, told ITWeb last month that in countries which experienced an earlier spread of the coronavirus, there was a marked increase in online shopping.

“We strongly believe the current health crisis will motivate people to overcome their inertia to learning and adopting online shopping. Once they experience the security, simplicity and convenience of shopping in the online environment, the virtual world will become more familiar to them and they will be more inclined to choose the ease of online shopping even after the pandemic has ended.”

South African retailers Game, Pick n Pay, Makro and Shoprite told ITWeb that lockdown regulations have led to a massive surge in online grocery orders, with new unique online customers hopping onto the e-commerce bandwagon.

To maximise its delivery capacity, Pick n Pay recently launched a four-hour delivery service in partnership with delivery app BOTTLES, while Woolworths partnered with alcohol delivery app Quench.

COVID-19 social responsibility

SA’s largest e-commerce platform Takealot did not respond to ITWeb’s questions regarding its customer shopping trends during lockdown.

However, Takealot says it has joined forces with its sister e-commerce platform Superbalist to locally produce and distribute over 500 000 fabric face masks, whichwill be provided free of charge to customers that qualify for free shipping.

The impact of COVID-19 has exposed the social realities of the extreme inequality in SA, with an added massive impact on vulnerable members of our society.

To respond to this, OneDayOnly says it has partnered with Boost Africa Foundation to set up a COVID-19 relief donation option on its site, which it says has been warmly received by locals.

“After going live on Wednesday, 15 April, the OneDayOnly Boost Africa Foundation initiative has already attracted over R450 000 in donations, which has resulted in the delivery of four truckloads of food – enough to feed 750 families that are struggling financially during this period,” Leighton points out.

“This is a great example of how South Africans are willing to support those in need during this challenging time, and how e-tailers like us are able to use our existing infrastructure in order to make a difference.”

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