Tag: delivery

Makro slashing online order delivery times

By Hanno Labuschagne for MyBroadband

Makro says it will radically cut its delivery lead times for online orders in the coming weeks, thanks to integration with last-mile delivery platform WumDrop.

Makro parent company Massmart secured a 100% shareholding of WumDrop in 2021, after initially buying a 53% stake in November 2017.

That forms part of a multi-year e-commerce strategy that has seen the group scoop up several innovative companies to strengthen its capabilities in last-mile delivery.

Massmart regards ecommerce as a key pillar for its growth in South Africa in the coming years.

The retailer has now stated that WumDrop will provide Makro customers with an improved experience using its digital channels.

“Makro will be able to clip its 3-5 day delivery lead time promise to just 2 days, for deliveries within 30km from any store, as soon as the end of June,” it stated.

“In some cases, the waiting time from checkout to parcel drop could be as little as 3 hours.”

Massmart explained the shorter turnaround was possible due to WumDrop’s unique store-to-customer model.

WumDrop’s user interface connects drivers with customers, allowing interaction in real-time and helping to ensure that deliveries are completed accurately.

Simon Hartley, WumDrop founder and Massmart delivery services executive, said WumDrop’s proprietary technology allowed its drivers to take products directly from the store to the customer, eliminating the need for a warehouse.

Hartley also said it enabled drivers to easily navigate South Africa’s unique spatial environment, which can be a challenge for traditional couriers.

“As an end customer, you may never know you’re interacting with WumDrop directly, given its seamless and effective representation of the client business.”

Massmart said it would continue to roll out WumDrop across the country to serve more of its stores and other businesses.

Despite being bought by Massmart, WumDrop still offers its services to other customers, including banks and fast food outlets.

MyBroadband recently had hands-on experience with WumDrop while testing out delivery from one of Massmart’s other stores — Game.

The retailer recently launched a new website which it promised would offer a better customer experience.

We ordered on 16 May 2022 and were initially given an ETA of 23 May for delivery.

However, we were pleased to have our order delivered just two days after placing it, a similar turnaround time as leading e-commerce store Takealot.

During the process, we were sent a link to a WumDrop page explaining details and progress on our order.

That showed us that our delivery address had somehow been incorrectly captured.

Unfortunately, the link was only provided in an SMS that arrived after our order had already been delivered, which meant the courier had to call us to explain where he should drop off the package before we could take action.

Nevertheless, the enhanced tracking was a welcome change from the notoriously slow Game deliveries experienced in the past.

By Darren Parker for Engineering News

Retail chain Pick n Pay and online store Takealot have signed a commercial services agreement which will enable customers across South Africa to buy Pick n Pay food, groceries and liquor on a new platform on the food delivery services application (app) Mr D.

In a statement issued on 17 May, the companies said the new service would bring together their respective strengths.

Pick n Pay would bring its expertise in running fresh food and grocery retail outlets, as well as its nationwide store network, as well as its Smart Shopper loyalty programme.

Meanwhile, Takealot will bring online retail and technical expertise, as well as its established delivery network.

Under the agreement, when customers open the Mr D app, they will be offered the choice to either buy groceries or order meals from restaurants. By clicking on the option to buy groceries, customers will enter a dedicated Pick n Pay food and grocery digital store in the Mr D app.

Customers will be able to browse and select the items they want to buy and then create their baskets. Once the order is submitted and paid, Pick n Pay will pick and pack the order from the nearest Pick n Pay store, which will then be collected by a member of the Takealot delivery fleet and delivered to the customer.

Pick n Pay’s Smart Shopper loyalty programme will be embedded into the Mr D app so that customers will still be able to earn points when buying Pick n Pay groceries through the app.

“By working with Takealot, customers will … benefit from a bigger, better, faster and more exciting offer … This is a new era for Pick n Pay and for its customers. There is huge potential for omnichannel retail in this country.

“Through this agreement with Takealot, we intend to regain market leadership in online grocery, and to do so in a sustainable and profitable way,” Pick n Pay CEO Pieter Boone said.

He added that the company planned to increase its online revenue eight-fold by the 2026 financial year.

Takealot executive chairperson Kim Reid believed Mr D’s 2.5-million customers would be “delighted” to see a Pick n Pay grocery offer appear on the platform.

“The combination of Pick n Pay’s reach, quality and pricing, together with Takealot’s … technology and scalable delivery network is a recipe for success. Scalability will be a huge advantage. Takealot … currently delivers over five-million packages per month, with the ability and ambition to serve many more customers as demand for this offer grows,” Reid said.

Pick n Pay and Takealot intend to launch the service on a trial basis in Cape Town in August, with plans to roll it out nationwide by the end of the 2023 financial year.

 

Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Checkers has calculated that the average Sixty60 customer saves 33% on fuel and vehicle running costs by shopping via the app and paying the R35 delivery fee.

In calculating this saving, Checkers considered that South Africa’s top-selling passenger vehicles cost R7.01 per kilometre to run. By comparison, the average return journey for a Sixty60 delivery is 7.5km.

“If a customer made this trip, it would cost them R52.57. Compared to Sixty60’s R35 delivery fee, this realises a saving of R17.57 per trip,” it said.

This calculation has been independently confirmed by the Automobile Association (AA) of South Africa, a non-profit organisation that tackles motoring issues of national and macro-economic importance on motorists’ behalf.

Checkers Sixty60 one-hour on-demand grocery delivery service launched in late 2019, just prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

In December 2021, the Shoprite Group said it had entered into a joint venture with its existing Checkers Sixty60 logistics partner, the RTT Group, in which both parties will own 50%.

“We anticipate this transaction will add to the more than 4,000 jobs already created by Sixty60 as we continue to grow in the communities in which we operate,” said Shoprite Group chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht.

“We consider the combined capability we have built with RTT to be a critical competitive advantage and key to Sixty60’s rapid growth. This RTT On-Demand joint venture will allow the group the opportunity to continue enhancing our order fulfilment and last-mile delivery capabilities whilst giving us the opportunity to grow our precision retailing efforts for our customers,” Engelbrecht said.

Checkers, inclusive of Checkers Hyper, operates from 268 stores in South Africa, while Checkers Sixty60 has rapidly expanded to over 261 stores and has created over 4 100 new jobs – up from 800 at the end of 2020.

Shoprite is the largest private employer in South Africa, employing over 142,600 people, 30,000 of which work within the Checkers brand.

Online stores suffer major delivery delays

Online retailers in South Africa are struggling to deal with the onslaught of orders during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

  • Takealot is suffering delays of between two weeks and a month. One MyBroadband user sent the publication a screenshot of an order that had been placed on 26 May but was due to be delivered by 30 June. Consumers have also complained of an inability to get hold of customer service agents in order to schedule returns and get refunds
  • Yuppiechef customers have complained of slow delivery and of changing stock. One reader complained of her order being changed to “out of stock” three times
  • Makro consumers have been complaining of delayed deliveries, incorrect orders and a lack of access to anyone in customer care to deal with returns or refunds
  • Online grocery app Zulzi has also been plagued with complaints of incorrect deliveries, lack of customer service and outstanding refunds

Langa teens run R9 delivery service

By Kirsten Jacobs for Cape Town Etc

Amid the nationwide lockdown, a group of entrepreneurial teenage boys from Langa are doing good for their community by offering a R9 delivery service for essential items and takeaways.

The service, called Cloudy Deliveries, is operated by nine boys from the Langa area who ride their bikes to bring deliveries to their community. Deliveries cost a flat fee of R9.

The drivers range from 16-19 years old. The youngest team member, 12-year-old Olwethu, looks after the bicycles to make sure they are working properly and ready for the road each day.

“Our vision for Cloudy Deliveries is that we want it to be a reliable alternative to the way we do shopping or the way the exchange of money and goods take place between vendors and customers in black communities. While also having an impact in the lives of young boys in our townships,” they explain on their Facebook page.

“We would like to invite you to be part of a vision that seeks to move the community forward and a vision that wants to improve young lives by requesting a delivery and making your R9 count.”

While R9 might not seem like much, every bit helps.

“Your R9 does count and it does make a difference. It brings us closer to our vision which is to impact the lives of young boys and of providing you with a reliable alternative to the way you buy goods,” they say.

Deliveries can happen through a number of means. Customers may contact the boys on the numbers listed below, place an order at a specific shop and can ask the owner to request the delivery or simply stop the boys on the street and ask for a delivery to be made.

By James de Villiers for Business Insider

Retailer Pick n Pay, in collaboration with the Bottles delivery application, is now offering consumers same-day deliveries of essentials at over 70 locations for a cost of R60.

The partnership between Pick n Pay and Bottles previously allowed for the delivery of liquor, but this has been changed to grocery essentials in light of the national lockdown.

It differs from other delivery applications such as Zulzi in that Bottles directly integrates with Pick n Pay’s database to ensure that whatever a consumer orders is available in stock.

This service is in addition to Pick n Pay’s online delivery offering where consumers can have food delivered by selecting available delivery slots at a cost of R60 per delivery.

Most of these slots have however been taken due to increased demand during the national lockdown, despite significantly increasing the amount of slots.

Pick n Pay said the re-engineered offering from Bottles allows consumers to have access to products at in-store prices faster during the lockdown.

Consumers now have the choice of over 1 500 products, and can order over 30 different products in one order (limits may apply per product).

Areas covered by bottles deliveries include suburbs in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. More stores are expected to be introduced across the country.

“We will continue to review products offered on the Grocery Essentials app based on customer feedback, and add the most popular items. We want to make this as convenient for customers as possible,” Pick n Pay’s online head Jessica Knight said.

Orders can be placed Monday to Saturday between 08:00 and 15:00, and on Sunday between 08:00 and 13:00. Items will be delivered until 19:00, except for Sunday when they will be delivered until 17:00.

The delivery cost includes a R45 delivery fee and a R15 service fee.

Checkers trails one-hour grocery delivery service

By Dhivana Rajgopaul for IOL

Checkers has launched its exclusive on-demand one-hour grocery delivery service named Sixty60.

It is South Africa’s first 60-minute grocery delivery service from a supermarket chain.

With Sixty60 consumers can shop for their food and grocery needs from the comfort of their home or office, saving them time by having it delivered to their preferred address.

The mobile app delivers groceries and drinks at the touch of a button and offers the same value for money for which Checkers is renowned. Users can track the status of their order and delivery in real time.

“Sixty60 will offer unrivalled convenience because it does all the hard work for you,” said Neil Schreuder, Chief of Innovation and Strategy at Shoprite Checkers.

“In our time-pressed society, providing consumers with a swift, on-demand grocery delivery service is like giving them back time: today’s most precious commodity,” added Schreuder.

Following months of testing the Sixty60 app with its own employees, it is now being piloted to the public in select locations in Cape Town and Sandton.

Schreuder said, “The name Sixty60 captures the service’s main ambition: for customers to order groceries in sixty seconds and have them delivered in as little as sixty minutes”.

Products on the Sixty60 app retail at the same low prices found in Checkers stores. Delivery is absolutely free for the time being during the pilot period.

Sixty60 is currently available to the public in Checkers supermarkets in the Western Cape (including Durbanville, Willowbridge, Okavango Crossing, Rondebosch, Kloof Street, Sea Point) and Gauteng (Melrose and Bryanston). According to the retailer, there are plans to roll out the delivery service nationally from early next year.

Sixty60’s beta app is now available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Uber Eats unveils food delivery drone

By Milly Vincent for Mail Online

Uber Eats has unveiled its newest drones which will be used to deliver food in San Diego, California, next year.

The new drones feature ‘innovative rotating wings with six rotors’ – a design that has previously only been featured in flying car prototypes.

Uber Eats said it believes the rotating wings will help to avoid food spillages, as the design enables a smoother transition between vertical takeoff and forward flight.

The rotors will be positioned vertically for takeoff and landing, but move into a forward position ‘for increased speed and efficiency during cruise flight’, reports The Verge.

NASA veteran Mark Moore designed similar rotors for the company’s flying-taxi prototype which is also part of the companies Uber Elevate project – to take its services to the sky.

Test flights will be carried out next year in time for a commercial launch in 2023, reports The verge.

The Federal Aviation Administration gave Uber permission to test drone delivery in San Diego, with a cruising altitude of below 400 feet – to comply with drone regulations.

According to Uber the drone will be able to load and deliver a meal for two in just eight minutes – and will only be able to fly 12 miles to make a delivery.

It is also expected to be able to hover in up to 30 mph wind speeds, reports The Verge.

Other delivery companies have also tried their hands at the niche market with Alphabet Wing, partnering with FedEx and owned by Google’s parent company, deploying its first drones in Virginia last week, reports The Verge.

Amazon looks to access consumers’ houses

Amazon has announced Amazon Key, a lock and camera system that users control remotely to let delivery associates slip goods into their houses.

Customers can create temporary passcodes for friends and other services professionals to enter as well.

The move may help Amazon capture sales from shoppers who can’t make it home to receive an order in person, and don’t want the package stolen from their doorstep.

Amazon has announced Amazon Key, a lock and camera system that users control remotely to let delivery associates slip goods into their houses.

Amazon Prime members can pay $249.99 (£190) and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install.

Delivery associates are told to ring a doorbell or knock when they arrive at someone’s house.

If no one greets them, they press ‘unlock’ in a mobile app, and Amazon checks its systems in an instant to make sure the right associate and package are present.

The camera then streams video to the customer who remotely can watch the in-home delivery take place.

The associate cannot proceed with other trips until the home is again locked.

It is unclear if such protections will persuade customers that the service is safe to use.

‘This is not an experiment for us,’ said Peter Larsen, Amazon vice president of delivery technology, in an interview.

‘This is a core part of the Amazon shopping experience from this point forward.’

Members of Amazon’s Prime shopping club can pay $249.99 (£190) and up for a cloud-controlled camera and lock that the company offers to install.

Delivery associates are told to ring a doorbell or knock when they arrive at someone’s house.

If no one greets them, they press ‘unlock’ in a mobile app, and Amazon checks its systems in an instant to make sure the right associate and package are present.

The camera then streams video to the customer who remotely can watch the in-home delivery take place.

The associate cannot proceed with other trips until the home is again locked.

It is unclear if such protections will persuade customers that the service is safe to use.

My friend runs a Locksmith North Las Vegas | Top Master Locksmith | 89110 business – and he had skepticism about the idea, being an expert in the field. When I asked him about this, he said he had looked over their troubleshooting procedures and couldn’t see issues from the technical side, only the moral/ethical delivery-guy-not-stealing-anything-inside side. He added that if a problem arises, ‘You can call customer service, file a claim and Amazon will work with you to make sure it’s right,’ reimbursing customers in some cases.

Amazon’s new service goes live on 8 November in 37 US locations, and it is unclear if it will be introduced in other countries in the future. Wal-Mart Stores, Amazon’s biggest retail rival, has similar plans.

It said last month it would test delivering grocery items ‘straight into your fridge’ with August Home, a smart lock business that Assa Abloy AB said it will acquire.

By Shivali Best for Daily Mail 

Staples is overhauling its marketing as part of a high-stakes pivot away from what it was built on — selling low-priced office supplies at big stores.

The rebranding campaign kicks off next week with nationwide television commercials in which stores are nonexistent and products are only shown in passing. There’s no mention of discounts either.

Instead, the spots star and extol office and building managers as they fix copy machines, clean up spills and restock the breakroom — all with the help of Staples’ delivery business. These are precisely the workers the company sees as crucial to its revival from years of falling sales because they make the purchasing decisions for more than a million U.S. small businesses.

“We wanted to tell a new Staples story,” said Frank Bifulco, the company’s chief marketing officer. “It’s going to convey to all audiences that Staples is much more than a retail office-supply company.”

After U.S. regulators blocked the company last year from buying smaller rival Office Depot Inc., Staples shifted from consolidation mode. Instead, it began to aggressively pursue customers in the $80-billion-a-year U.S. midmarket — or businesses with fewer than 200 employees. Staples currently has less than 5 percent of that market. The plan includes adding 1,000 people to its sales staff, acquiring regional distributors, and offering memberships and services to make office and facilities management easier.

This is all part of the company’s push to expand its delivery business, which offers customers a sales representative and online ordering. This division was already generating more revenue than the brick-and-mortar stores, which have struggled as more consumers shop online. Staples, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, still has about 1,500 locations, but continues to pare down that the number.

While delivery has been a key part of the company’s history since 1993 — just seven years after Staples was founded — it’s barely been mentioned in advertising. The focus has always been the physical store, but that’s not where the company sees its future. By 2020, it expects only 20 percent of revenue to come from retail locations — down from about 40 percent now. The rest will be generated by delivery and online sales.

Having the delivery unit already in place gives Staples a concrete way to veer off the dubious path that many of its retail peers are headed down. The company wants to be seen as a business-to-business “solutions partner” that “makes the workplace work,” Chief Executive Officer Shira Goodman said in an interview earlier this year.

That’s reinforced in the commercials, with the new corporate slogan “It’s Pro Time” replacing “Make More Happen.” One 30-second spot portrays office and facilities managers taking pride in their work as the voice-over says, “It’s not always easy to summon your pro, but once you’ve found it, you’ll find you can do anything.”

That theme will be woven into the company’s back-to-school shopping campaign — with moms being treated as the pros, Bifulco said.

The campaign, crafted by ad agency MRM/McCann, also marks a tonal shift from the silliness that permeated Staples marketing for years. That history has included ads featuring ink fairies, robot love triangles, riffs on “The Sopranos” and a guy walking around the store absurdly yelling, “Wow, that’s a low price!”

“Levity has been part of how we communicated and we’ve done that extremely well on occasion, and other times we kind of did not,” Bifulco said. “We have moved away from that. We’re honoring and celebrating work.”

By Matt Townsend for www.providencejournal.com

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