In just a year, over 250 000 South African users and thousands of businesses have come to rely on Avo, the super app by Nedbank, to stay home and safe during lockdown, with access to grocery delivery, essential services, and household services on one powerful platform.
Launched in June 2020, Avo was created to bring customers and businesses together, accurately matching customers’ lifestyle needs to product and service offerings through diverse service and product offerings, safe and secure payments, and bank-grade security. However, as the nation was already in hard lockdown, the platform had to adapt for the times, with over 80% of products and services deemed non-essential and the bulk of its functionality being switched off.
“When it was time for schools and businesses to reopen, the virtual environment allowed consumers to manage every aspect of their lives, from back-to-school preparation to general shopping and home services, while slowing the pandemic,” says Ciko Thomas, Managing Executive, Retail and Business Banking, Nedbank. “Over time, even consumers who were averse to shopping online came to rely on the powerful tools, convenience and savings that our powerful ecosystem provides.”
The term “super app” refers to a multitude of apps, services and functionality aggregated into one. This means that customers and businesses can manage their daily lives through one app, breaking through the digital clutter on mobile devices.
In its first month, 10 000 customers joined Avo and during level 5 Lockdown, groceries and essential services were delivered to more than 1 000 households on a regular basis. By the end of 2020, the app had 100 000 active users.
“As restrictions began to lift, we introduced key categories such as liquor, fast food delivery and appliances, offering great deals to cash-conscious consumers,” Thomas says. “As demand for e-commerce increased, delays became a serious issue. We managed to bolster our enhanced logistics network by working with national rental vehicle partners during lockdown, ensuring same-day delivery while offering South Africans unprecedented convenience and reliable access to their favourite retail stores and pharmacy brands.”
Through the app, users gain access to consistent savings, with many enjoying great deals over Black Friday, the Festive Season, and other holidays. For instance, to date, 85 customers upgraded their kitchens with SMEG thanks to the savings on Avo.
Over 3 million Avo Points were issued over the past year, each worth R1, allowing users the ability to spend their points with a growing list of partners on the app. Furthermore, users of the Greenbacks Rewards Programme were able to exchange their Greenbacks for Avo Points to take advantage of combined savings.
“The rewards and cashback not only benefit users, but small businesses as well,” says Thomas. “Every time a user buys from that merchant, they receive Avo Points, which incentivises them to support the same merchant again. This, along with the very active marketing Avo does on behalf of merchants, at no cost to them, has helped many businesses in a way that was otherwise unavailable in the market.”
To date, over 20 000 merchants, mostly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have gone digital with Avo Business. This was further amplified in a partnership with Sandton City Mall earlier this year, creating Africa’s first digital mall where consumers can shop from a multitude of stores, pay for their goods and either have them delivered or collect them from the Avo Lounge lockers at Sandton City Mall.
“We have achieved in just one year what other e-commerce businesses achieved in five years,” says Thomas. “As Avo continues to evolve its environment and user experience, it will offer consumers even more, from health solutions to virtual vehicle shopping and big business solutions. As our user base grows, so does the range of products, service providers and functionality to deliver an all-encompassing journey powered by intelligent data.”