As if we needed any more proof that COVID-19 has fuelled an eCommerce boom in South Africa, newly released data from FNB shows that average eCommerce spend recorded on FNB merchant devices during the first half of 2020 grew 30%, year on year, compared to 2019. Further evidence of this boom is in the growth stats of local e-tailer, OneDayOnly.co.za, which have already exceeded 100% within the 2020 year.
Even as restrictions for physical retailers eased further with the country’s move to Level One, local e-tailers believe that continued growth in the eCommerce sector remains inevitable. With this growth, however, Matthew Leighton, spokesperson from OneDayOnly.co.za, believes that delivery logistics will come under pressure, raising a need to differentiate between different eCommerce models.
According to recent OneDayOnly.co.za research on South African e-commerce consumers, shoppers identify delivery as an important point of consideration for local eCommerce. What customers want from eCommerce delivery, however, appears to be somewhat polarised, with both cost and speed of delivery being identified as key factors.
“Essentially, South Africans want free delivery, fast – something that just isn’t always possible, considering the logistical capabilities required,” says Leighton. “As a daily deals site, we work differently to many traditional eCommerce sites. Our delivery time is typically 5 – 10 working days, because we don’t keep stock on hand; we place orders with suppliers the day after the sale to ensure we keep our limited warehouse space in check as deals change every day.”
While this business model, of course, means that same- or next-day delivery is not an option, Leighton explains why it is important. “This model allows OneDayOnly to keep our overhead costs down to a minimum, which, in turn, ultimately enables us to offer the extremely discounted deals that we’ve become known for.”
To put this model into perspective, Leighton says that the businesses selling through OneDayOnly.co.za, as well as those delivering the physical goods to consumers, should be viewed as partners. “While we offer the deals, it’s important to remember that the products come from an ever-growing list of business suppliers – which currently exceeds 2000 – and six couriers, including Pargo, a click-and-collect service that in turn partner with Clicks and Caltex outlets nationwide.
“In this sense, OneDayOnly effectively supports three industries: small and medium (and sometimes large) businesses that do not sell directly to the end user or supply any one retailer; a subsection of the transport industry in the inherent business offered to courier companies; and the eCommerce industry itself.”
When asked why OneDayOnly.co.za does not offer free shipping when a certain price point is met, Leighton says this also comes down to ensuring the best deal is offered. “Unlike many other eCommerce companies – some of which house stock internally and have in-house courier capabilities – OneDayOnly specialises in short-term deals, which means we need to be able to show very accurate pricing on our deals by leaving delivery costs out of the equation.
“This way, we are able to ensure the savings offered on our deals are as accurate as possible,” he adds
Leighton highlights, however: “If free shipping is what you’re after, any first purchase through the OneDayOnly app will get you exactly that!”
Considering the current economic pressure that everyone is under, he says that OneDayOnly.co.za will continue doing all they can to give South Africans what they want. “We know that times are tough, and every penny counts, but it is for this exact reason that we need to focus on what we do best: offering South Africans quality brands at the lowest possible prices,” Leighton concludes.