Delivery apps saving time and money

We’re already a few weeks into 2023 and it’s not been a good start. Stage 6 load shedding is killing small businesses, failing infrastructure is affecting water supply, and there are always the fuel price fluctuations (but at least January saw a chunky cut).

The term ‘load shedding’ is no longer apt, ‘rolling blackouts’ is more accurate for the up to 12-hour power cuts every day. The havoc it causes is widespread and presents itself in different shapes and sizes, like food spoilage in our fridges. Luckily, buying groceries is now less of a mission (and cheaper on petrol) with on-demand delivery apps.

Convenience in a click

In 2022, Shoprite famously declared its Sixty60 grocery delivery service fee of R35 is 30% cheaper than driving to a store. The math was based on the fuel consumption of South Africa’s top-selling passenger car at R7.01 p/km and an average 7.5km return trip, totalling R52.57.

Fuel costs aside, for me it’s more about the convenience it offers knowing the value of my time (especially avoiding queues – more so if they’re at a pharmacy).

Whether you’re working full-time or self-employed, you may want to consider on-demand delivery services as part of your grocery run. A good way to start is with one physical run on weekends, supplemented with a midweek top-up to avoid overloading your fridge.

More on-demand delivery services

There’s been a range of services cropping up, in addition to Sixty60 and Woolies Dash. In October last year, Pick n Pay launched its on-demand pilot delivery service, ASAP, through Mr D. It’s now available at more than 300 stores nationwide, with access to over 10,000 products. Pricing appears to be the same on the Mr D app and Pick n Pay’s website.

Last year Spar also launched a delivery service called Spar 2U for deliveries within a 5km radius using electric scooters. Delivery costs R35 and delivery slots for the same day are listed on the app. It’s available in seven provinces – a full list of stores can be found on their website here.

Available more recently is Dis-Chem’s 60-minute app delivery service called DeliverD. Delivery is also R35 and the service offers over 7,000 items available to shop. This should appeal to anyone who has ever gotten sick at a pharmacy. It’s currently available in Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape, and you can find supported stores here.

Most recently, Absolute Pets came out with an on-demand delivery service called Go Fetch! that promises delivery within an hour. You can search for supported locations on their site here, which services a 5km radius. Delivery up to 21kg is R35 and from 21-100kgs is R65.

Multiple store delivery services

If you’re looking for something beyond stand-alone stores, OneCart has been around for a while now. It lets you shop 85,000 products from multiple stores under one order, but chances are you won’t get it within 60 minutes. It covers Makro, Woolworths, Exclusive Books, Dis-Chem, Pick n Pay, Clicks and Absolute Pets.

And for something almost ridiculously insane, Zulzi, who has been around for years, offers a 15-minute express delivery service in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria from 6h00 – 22h00. Delivery ranges between R35-R50, depending on your location to the nearest mall.

On-demand delivery services can free up some valuable time, but it should also keep your budget in mind. It’s worth looking into when you factor car traffic vs. a scooter delivery – and our new approach to buying groceries due to rolling blackouts.

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