Tag: shopping

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.

By Given Majola for IOL

Research released by Visa this week shows that consumers were optimistic about economic recovery, increasingly comfortable spending on non-essentials, luxury items, dining and travel.

The study that tracks the impact of the pandemic on consumer attitudes and spending across Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) revealed that in South Africa, 42% of consumers said they now shopped for groceries online.

Overall, Visa’s survey found that the Covid-19 pandemic had created significant opportunities for the e-commerce channel, especially those retailers entering the digital economy for the first time, and those consumers who made their very first online purchases.

Visa South Africa Country Manager Aldo Laubscher said their research showed how the Covid-19 pandemic had transformed the way the region’s consumers spend their money, with many of these significant behavioural changes likely to continue after the pandemic.

“As online shopping and contact less payments become the ‘new normal’, it is more important than ever that businesses adapt to the changing consumer demand for a digital experience, which is increasingly seen as a safer and more seamless alternative to cash,” Laubscher said.

By Martin Hesse for IOL

Among the many topics covered in the recent three-day annual summit of the South African branch of Singularity University (or SingularityU), which hosted a terrific international line-up of speakers, was the new world of retail, which merges traditional and online shopping in exciting, innovative ways.

In her presentation “The Retail Revolution”, Kayleigh Fazan, founder and owner of the International Retail Academy, said this revolution was happening under our noses.

“In 2020, $4 trillion was spent online, a staggering third more than 2019. Of course, 2020 was a far-from-normal year, but nonetheless … Oxford Street department stores have closed. Global brands have vanished. Businesses are disappearing overnight. It’s shocking to see.”

She said three key trends were happening in retail:

1. Retail is un-retail. Shops are springing up that don’t actually sell products. “An example is Samsung 837, the Samsung concept store and repair service in New York. Nothing inside that space can be physically bought except the coffee. Imagine thousands of square feet with no sales budgets and no inventory. The space is filled purely with experiences. Another example is the demonstration store in which, again, nothing is actually sold. Instead, everything is shipped,” Fazan said.

2. Omni-channel is yesterday’s news. “It is no longer enough to simply have an omni-channel marketing strategy (using both physical and online channels through which to sell a product). Global consumers now demand a unified experience, allowing them to move freely and smoothly across channels with live visibility of inventory and pricing.”

3. The store as a stage. “If you’ve heard of retail theatre, you’ll know that stores have activation days, seasonal offers, promotions and campaign launches, but these don’t last. They are moments in time. The stage goes back to normal and consumers dial out.

“Millennials scroll through an estimated mile of content every day. This suggests that the mobile phone offers things that the store environment is currently lacking and consumer expectations are changing rapidly. Retailers need to build a star cast of employees, consider their products as the props on the stage, while their customers are the audience.”

Shoppers unite

In another talk, “The Future of Shopping”, Elizma Nolte, regional marketing manager at Facebook Africa, also identified key trends among consumers and retailers, mirroring Fazan.

“The future of shopping is an exciting space where online and offline will be merged. It’s going to bring new digital experiences to our lives, be immersive and allow for experiential shopping,” Nolte said. She said social media has really become the way for people to discover products. “Online consumers are embracing digital tools and they want brands to meet them in that space.”

Another trend is “shopper-tainment”. Said Nolte: “People don’t just go shopping because they need to get something; they go shopping because it’s fun, it’s an experience, a way to hang out with friends. This has led to the rise of live shopping. There’s been an incredible 200% increase in live shopping over the past year, and research done in emerging markets, including Africa, showed an increase of 68% in live shopping over the last year.

“This trend is very fashion-focused at the moment, but what about sports equipment and auto accessories? It’s all about adding experiences, across many different products, again and again. People want brand interaction, for brands to respond to their comments or queries and to assist when something they want is not available.”

The third trend Nolte identified was augmented reality. “Augmented reality is really helping bridge the gap between offline and online, as it works through the entire shopping funnel. For example, if there’s a sofa you’re thinking of buying, augmented reality lets you see what it would look like in your own living room. There is much excitement about augmented reality with 75% of businesses globally stating that they are looking at using augmented reality in one way or another, a figure that is up from 40% in 2020,” Nolte said.

She said a big problem is that there is growing demand for products and growing demand for experiences, but we don’t have additional time. “This is where we rely on recommendations, and usually a machine is making the recommendations. Netflix has been doing it for a very long time – 80% of content that you watch on Netflix is because Netflix recommended it to you. Spotify is very similar: over the last five years, they’ve driven 2.3 billion hours of music discovery.”

Nolte said artificial intelligence would be used more and more across retail and social platforms to refine the recommendation process. “The machine will learn what you’re interested in and present this to you in fun and interactive ways.”


How supply chain woes may affect holiday retail

By Alicia Doniger for CNBC

Supply chain bottlenecks and rising prices aren’t keeping consumers from buying. The latest retail sales numbers show U.S. consumers are spending at a much faster pace than expected, excluding autos, up over 15% in September. Back-to-school and back-to-work trends drove a higher level of transactions despite the headwinds of inventory shortages and inflation, but what about early holiday shopping?

With widespread supply chain warnings, retailers including Amazon and Target started to offer holiday promotions even earlier than normal to get ahead of the lack of inventory and to ease consumer anxiety. That may yet lead to an accelerated timeline for holiday gift buying.

NPD Group said in its annual holiday shopping outlook that 51% of respondents to a survey said they plan to start holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, but that is only up slightly from last year. The early shopping trend is not new in retail. Major retailers had Thanksgiving Day store openings as far back as 2014 and Amazon’s Prime Day moved to October last year amid the pandemic.

This holiday season “continues the early shopping trend, with the added layer of inventory concerns motivating many shoppers to grab what they want when they see it, instead of waiting for better deals later in the season,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD, in its annual outlook.

A selfish shopper is leading sales
But if economic anxiety related to the supply chain and inflation is motivating consumers right now, it may be less about the holidays than their own needs and daily lives. Data collected by Kearney Consumer Institute last year found that holiday shoppers largely held back, with 81% of respondents to a survey it conducted about Amazon Prime Day saying they waited on major holiday shopping, and the purchases they did make were for themselves.

“We’ve seen consumer awareness around supply issues and things they need to buy now,” said Katie Thomas, lead of the Kearney Consumer Institute, on the current consumer environment. And supply chain issues are “playing more to the emotion of the consumer” who doesn’t want to miss out on something big, but that may not extend out beyond the immediate family for many shoppers. “A toy your kid really wants, or the specific new appliance you want,” Thomas said. “Some of those are playing into the sense of scarcity.”

The messaging about scarcity ahead of the holidays started during the summer, and remains an issue at the highest levels of the government, where the Biden administration is focused on fixing supply chain problems at ports amid fears of a political backlash.

“There’s no political intervention that’s going to get this done, and there may not be a human intervention that gets this done because this issue is now going to last well into next year,” Steve Pasierb, the president and chief executive of the Toy Association, told Politico this week.

Retailers took to calling “September the new December” this year as they started promoting holiday sales early. Amazon rolled out its “Black Friday-worthy” deals the first week of October, the earliest holiday start in the online retailer’s history, and Target promised the “lowest prices on gifts” starting October 10.

Concerns from experts over supply shortages seem to increase daily, although Black Friday (the unofficial start to holiday spending) is over a month away. Shelves are emptying fast, and experts worry they will be completely empty by the time the typical holiday shopping season begins, which runs November through December, according to the National Retail Federation.

Still, Thomas says the early promotions won’t change the fact that consumers are used to doing actual holiday shopping starting around Black Friday, “or at least November.” Even with widespread holiday-placed promotions leading to more consumer incentive to buy now, “a lot of the shopping [consumers] are doing with these deals is buying things for themselves,” Thomas said. “That is why people love Prime Day, because it’s in the summer and they don’t actually feel like they have to be buying for people.”

A consumer hyper-aware of empty shelves
Consumers are dealing with a unique form of pandemic PTSD. “When we were in the throes of a pandemic, consumers expressed availability issues as one of their biggest frustrations,” Thomas said. “We’re all way more hyper-aware of out-of-stock and availability, and noticing shelves that are empty.”

Last year’s shortage of supplies on basics like toilet paper and cleaning products that were stockpiled at the start of the pandemic have made consumers more anxious with low inventory, said Vincent Quan, associate professor at FIT and global supply chain expert, and there are obvious benefits to partaking in a retailer’s early holiday promotions. “The consumer thinks ‘Oh wow, well there is a deal going on and I don’t even know if I can get this again, so I might as well just take the chance now and buy it,’” he said.

“Buy now and return later, because it won’t be there tomorrow,” Quan added. “If you don’t like it, you can always return it, so why take the chance?”

It might be wise for consumers treating themselves to these early holiday deals to think a little bit more about purchasing holiday gifts for others, as some experts have warned. Thomas said even though there is a high level of “fanfare” about the extra early promotions, consumers should start their holiday shopping now given the meaningful supply issues retailers could run into later in the year. But ultimately, that doesn’t mean holiday shopping will end any earlier.

Retailers are trying to accommodate consumer needs, get them what they need sooner rather than later, and offer up a good deal, but “I’m just not sure people have Christmas and holiday shopping on the brain yet,” Thomas said.

For the big retailers, there are benefits in the holiday promotions even if consumers aren’t in the holiday frame of mind yet. Amazon and Target can use these deals as consumer experiments, testing different types of sales and timing, according to Thomas, as retailers try to spread out consumer spending. “And that will make them all that much more successful as the season goes on,” she said.

When consumers do start their holiday shopping, they won’t face a situation in which there is nothing to buy, but Quan said they should be prepared for shortages of items that top consumers’ lists. And shipping delays will inevitably result in some tension. “As long as [their orders] arrive before Christmas consumers say they are fine with the delays,” according to Thomas’s research. But she added that people are defensive, and tensions are high. “We all just want to get back out there, we want to feel like things are normal again, but our fuses are shorter.”

So while consumers are not as concerned over holiday inventory now, Thomas warns, “they’re going to be mad come December.”


What South Africans bought this Black Friday

Black Friday 2020 sales volumes in South Africa were higher than last year, but the growth was far lower than expected.

The follow are highlights of the day:

  • 2020 was very different from previous years, as purchasing activity did not start at midnight
  • Sales volumes after midnight were down 33% while there was 63% less spending during this period. Volumes started to pick up at around 08:00
  • There were surges between 08:00 and 09:00, and 19:00 and 20:00. These were more impulse buying, with high volumes but far lower basket values
  • Black Friday as a whole saw an increase of 14% in sales volumes, much lower than the expected 35% growth
  • There was a 400% increase in sales when compared to a typical weekday
  • The most popular item was the air fryer, with disposable face masks coming in second
  • Dishwashers were among the most popular appliances
  • Takealot’s more traditional top sellers were Samsung and Hisense TVs, the PlayStation 4 console and 3 Game bundle, laptops, wearable tech such as the Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Sports Watch and Apple AirPods Pro
  • In Massmart stores Makro and Game, top sellers were 25-litre cooler boxes, Smart HD TVs, Raleigh bicycles, rechargeable lanterns, fridge/freezer combos and kettles
  • Makro shoppers who opted for the Click and Collect option did so not to avoid a trip to the store, but to reserve highly desirable products. When they collected the product in store, they shopped more.
  • BankServ Africa’s preliminary tally of Black Friday transactions shows total in-store card purchases numbered 4 967 022 (30% down from 2019)
  • Online sales reached 868 903, which was 62% up on 2019’s figures
  • 95% of payments were done through credit and debit cards, dwarfing EFT

Karen Nadasen, PayU South Africa CEO, puts the lower-than-expected growth and low midnight sales down to a few factors:

  • The big Black Friday deals expected at midnight did not materialise
  • There were many retailers which only put their deals up in the morning
  • There was a big decline in airline ticket sales, which typically account for large Black Friday volumes

Image credit: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

Tips to survive Black Friday

By Chad Williams for IOL

With South African shoppers eagerly awaiting the release of arguably the best shopping deals on Black Friday, with all that has happened this year, the burning question is: how will retailers manage the influx of shoppers, bearing in mind that physical distancing needs to maintained?

Last year, I penned a few tips on how to survive Black Friday.

Since things are slightly different this year, I’ve decided to share these great tips with you again, with a few amendments here and there, of course.

Firstly, you must dress accordingly. Don’t wear flip-flops and thick clothes, or you won’t make it past the front door. Wear comfortable yet grippy shoes as well as loose clothes so that it’s easy to move around. It gets very hot in shops on days like this, and chances are the air conditioner will be broken.

Don’t forget your mask and sanitiser. People are going to shout and breathe heavily around you. Safety always comes first. And we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.

Make a list of the items you need or want, and take your flyers with you. It’s important to have a game plan. People tend to overspend when they don’t know where to go in the store and end up running up unnecessary aisles.

Take a shopping buddy with you. The other person is not only there to help you carry the unnecessary appliances you purchased, but also keep you in check when you go overboard.

Draw only the amount of money that you’re prepared to spend, and don’t forget to keep your taxi fare in your socks.

Do some exercises before Black Friday weekend. You’re gonna have to be focused both physically and mentally. Chances are you will be involved in a scrum for that blender.

Eat a good breakfast before you leave home. Eating food in the mall is not a priority on Black Friday. Have a good breakfast and take that energy supplement if you must.

Leave the kids at home. I know you love your bundles of joy, but they will drive you crazy while you hunt for those specials. Especially if they see Elsa or Peppa Pig.

Check online deals first. Most retailers will send a Black Friday teaser a few hours before the time.

Lastly, stay at home. Avoid the shops, and all the madness that goes with Black Friday and the hassle of going to a mall during a pandemic. I guarantee you will have more money left in January. And you will definitely have a good laugh at all the videos you’ll see on social media of grown adults fighting over coffee and chicken.


Online sales boom expected on Black Friday

By Estelle Sinkins for The Witness

Online retailers are expecting a boom on Black Friday after health experts appealed to shoppers to avoid crowds at shopping centres.

Nicolet Pienaar, the head of market insights at trends analysts GfK South Africa, said retail chains with established online shopping facilities and logistics were likely to be the biggest winners.

“Loyal buyers are putting their trust in the online presence of their preferred offline retailers,” she added. “They feel that the physical presence of these stores means they can follow up with a human if they encounter any problems.”

The battle for consumers’ hard-earned cash is already fierce with many of the large retail chains — including Game, Makro, Clicks, Dischem, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Spar — offering big discounts to shoppers in the lead-up to Black Friday.

John Bradshaw, retail executive for marketing at Pick n Pay, said the company had worked closely with suppliers for months to secure stock.

“We have taken several proactive steps to minimise any overcrowding, which includes extending our Black Friday deals to run over two weeks,” he added.

Shoppers who do want to head to brick and mortar stores can expect retailers to implement strict lockdown guidelines. Bradshaw said Pick n Pay stores would be limiting the number of people in its stores, wiping down trolleys before use, sanitising hands upon arrival, sanitising till points, and providing floor markers for physical distancing.

It’s a similar story at Game and Makro. Brian Leroni, senior vice president group corporate affairs for Massmart, said staff would be marshalling social distancing measures in queues. They will also be managing the number of customers in stores throughout the day.

Desmond Heunis, general manager for the Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg, said the shopping centre had worked closely with retailers to manage Black Friday.

The planning covers security, crowd control and traffic management in conjunction with SAPS, traffic authorities, parking management operators and the on-site management team.


Woolies to launch same-day delivery service

By Lucinda Dordley for Cape Town Etc

Lovers of Woolies’ quality and service will be delighted to hear that the retailer has decided to launch its own same-day delivery service. It made this announcement via social media on Monday, 23 November 2020.

Called “Woolies Dash”, the retailer promises the service will deliver groceries within the hour. It did not, however, provide details on when the service will launch or which areas it will service.

Recently, competitors Pick n Pay and Checkers also launched similar delivery services.

Pick n Pay partnered with online grocery service Bottles to bring customers what they need. However, as Bottles was not permitted to sell alcohol during the strict lockdown earlier this year, the app had to be re-purposed for on-demand groceries instead of liquor.

Checkers has its Sixty60 app, which was launched in 2019. The service allows customers to accept a delivery within 60 minutes, or alternatively at a time that best suits them. Users can pay using a credit or chip-enabled debit card and shoppers can track their order throughout delivery with real-time GPS tracking.


Source: Supermarket & Retailer

Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will offer early Black Friday deals and discounts of up to 50% on everyday essentials as customers are increasingly looking for value given the pressure many households are under.

In response to Covid-19, both Shoprite and Checkers supermarkets will for the first time offer early Black Friday deals and keep the deals valid for longer, to allow customers more time to plan and shop, and to prevent overcrowding.

Deals will be offered on selected groceries, electronics, small appliances and much more. Some of the early Black Friday deals available to Xtra Savings members at Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper include:

● Shoprite (early Black Friday deals: valid from 20 – 22 November 2020):

○ 2 x value packs of Pampers pants for R220 (R200 saving)

○ 2 x 500g bricks of Rama Original 70% fat spread for R30 (save 40%)

○ 850g Parmalat cheese for R75 (R45 saving)


● Checkers (early Black Friday deals: valid from 23 – 24 November 2020):

○ 18 pack Twinsaver 2 ply toilet rolls for R75 (save 35%)

○ 2 x 3kg packs of Ariel washing powder for R99 (R98 saving)

○ 800g Clover cheese for R75 (R84 saving)


● Checkers Hyper (valid from 23 – 27 November 2020):

○ Xbox One S 1TB Console for R5 699 (R1 300 saving)

○ 40″ JVC TV for R2 949.00 (R600 saving)

○ 4.5 litre Platinum air fryer for R999 (R500 saving)

Stringent hygiene and sanitising protocols will be in place to help protect customers and employees as far as possible including the use of face masks, hand sanitiser, social distancing and limited entry where necessary to avoid overcrowding.

Additional security measures will also be employed.

Shoprite and Checkers will release more Black Friday deals in due course, and Xtra Savings members will be notified first. Some deals will be exclusive to members.


What Black Friday shoppers want this year

Source: Finder.com

‘Tis the season to spend and save, with festive sale events like Black Friday and Boxing Day fast approaching. So how many people in South Africa are planning to hit the sales this year? And how much of a discount will entice them to shop?

Financial comparison site  Finder.com polled 1 524 South African adults to find out, and according to the research:

  • Men are more interested in shopping the sales than women
  • Millennials are more likely to be enticed by a discounted item
  • South Africans have a favourite retailer
  • People are looking to save on family-oriented products

70% of South Africans will be shopping this year’s festive sales if the price is right. That’s the equivalent of around 27-million people. On average, it’ll take a discount of 52% to make South African customers purchase an item.

Men are more interested in shopping the sales than women
Men are slightly more likely to be enticed by the sales than women, with 73% of South African men saying they’ll shop for an item for the right price compared to 68% of women who said the same.

It looks like men are more tempted by smaller discounts too. About 22% of men say that a discount of 5-25% off would be enough to motivate them to make a purchase, compared to just 14% of women.

Millennials more likely to be enticed by a discounted item
Those aged 25-34 are most likely to purchase a discounted item in the sales compared to all other age brackets. 76% of people in this age range say they’ll purchase an item on sale at the right price, while just 61% of 55-64-year-olds and those aged 65 and above say the same.

Those aged 18-24 need the deepest discounts of at least 55% to entice them to shop. Other age brackets say they’ll purchase an item if it’s discounted by anywhere from 47% to 53%.

Who are the most popular retailers in South Africa?
Search volume data from Ahrefs suggests that one of the most popular places for South Africans to go for Black Friday deals is online platform Takealot. Other popular online shopping destinations include Makro, Game, Checkers and Hi Fi Corp.

South Africa’s most searched retailers are:

  • Game
  • Makro
  • Takealot
  • Checkers
  • Pick n Pay
  • Evetech
  • Incredible Connection
  • HiFi Corp
  • Edgars

What are people looking to buy on Black Friday?

In terms of specific products, search volume data from Ahrefs suggests that South Africans have historically looked for deals on flights, though 2020 will probably dampen people’s interest in travel. Other popular items include gadgets, specifically laptops, the PlayStation 4, phones and the Xbox.

In terms of branded searches, telecommunications company Vodacom is one of the most common brands specifically searched for on Black Friday, along with Telkom and Kulula.

How does South Africa compare?

Of the 12 countries included in this study, South Africa ranks first for the highest percentage of people who will be enticed by the sales (70%). This is followed by France (66%). Meanwhile, Italy has the smallest number of festive sales shoppers (50%), followed by New Zealand (53%) and the UK (56%).

However, in terms of the discount required to entice shoppers, Spanish adults actually require the highest discount of 60% off to motivate a purchase. People from France and Mexico also require steep discounts to entice them to shop, at 59% off and 58% off respectively. Meanwhile, Canadians say they’ll need the smallest average discount at just 42% off, followed by people in Hong Kong (44% off) and Ireland (45% off).

Which country has the most Black Friday shoppers?
Black Friday is synonymous with hoards of Americans breaking through the front doors of stores all across the country. But as far as the Internet is concerned, the US no longer has the top spot for Black Friday shoppers.

Brazil is the country with the highest search interest in Black Friday, according to an analysis of historical search data from SEMrush. Interest in the shopping holiday peaked and hit new highs in November 2020, jumping up 22.36% from the previous year. Brazil also accounts for 13.20% of all global searches for the term “Black Friday”.

The US doesn’t place silver either: that post is taken by France. Like Brazil, France also saw a jump in search interest year-on-year, jumping 22.22% between November 2019 and November 2020. France makes up 10.78% of all searches for the term “Black Friday”, which is quite impressive, considering that France only accounts for 0.84% of the population.

The US doesn’t even get the bronze on its own, sharing the podium with Germany for the second year in a row, with search interest in both nations increasing by the same amount over the last 12 months (22.28%). Both nations made up 8.82% of the search volume for the term “Black Friday”, but Germany is far outperforming in terms of its population size, with Germany accounting for 1.07% of the world’s population, compared to the 4.25% that the US represents.

South Africa ranked equal 27th overall for Black Friday search volume. Search volume has increased by 22% from November last year to November 2020.

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