Photo Estrelita Moses.
Pick n Pay, Soneike Kuilsriver. Photo Estrelita Moses.
  • Getting stuff delivered to your door seems a pretty good idea during a time of social distancing – and occasional stock-outs at physical stores caused by panic buying.
  • Delivery can be pretty cheap, depending on your online retailer, and how much you're buying.
  • This is how much you'll pay for delivery, and when your order becomes free, at major online retailers in South Africa.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Online retailers too are rationing some items that have been in hot demand during coronavirus panic buying – but at least it is easy to keep your social distance when shopping online.

Online stores stand a good chance to profit from coronavirus-linked social distancing as most South Africans will attempt to avoid malls, says Derek Cikes, director of fintech payment gateway Payflex. That includes grocery and ingredient delivery services such as  Onecart, Zulzi, and Ucook as well as retailers that have established online divisions such as Dis-Chem, Clicks, Pick n Pay, Checkers, and Woolworths.  

But delivery fees can be much higher than the cost of driving to a nearby store and paying for parking.

Typical fees are in the range of R60 to R90, not counting first-time-user promotions and other specials. But delivery fees can range widely, and buying just enough can see them waived.

Here’s what you need to know about ordering online from some of SA's biggest retailers.

Clicks charges R60 for delivery, but you can also collect.

For door-to-door delivery, country wide, you'll pay R60. But delivery is free for orders over R450.

You can also order online via a click-and-collect option – which skips browsing the aisles with other people, and queuing to pay, at least. If you order online and collect your parcel at your nearest Clicks store, that's R15, or for free orders over R150. 

The turnaround time for both is one to three working days, but expect longer turnaround times for stock to arrive in stores.

Checkers has been piloting an online delivery app called Sixty60 – and it’s free in the big cities, for now.

The Sixty60 pilot project has been running since 2019 and offers one-hour delivery, when the world isn't going coronavirus crazy. At the moment it is only available to certain locations in Cape Town and Johannesburg. It does not work on a desktop or laptop computer.  

Sixty60 does not charge a delivery fee, at least for now, during its pilot phase

The app has seen a massive spike in orders over the last few weeks, leaving some users unable to order due to a lack of delivery capacity. 

The app promises to deliver groceries within 60 minutes, but since the influx of traffic it has adjusted its deliverables:

  • Deliveries could be delayed by up to an hour over the original ETA. 
  • Orders are now limited to a maximum of 30 items. 
  • App users limited to 3 individual products to per customer.  

Also note the service reserves an amount 15% higher than your order value, which is then replaced with the actual amount after delivery, to provide for stuff calculated by weight and other issues that could change the exact price of an order.

Game charges a minimum of R70, we are told, depending on weight.

Game offer online purchases, subject to being in the right area of coverage. You won't find  a standard delivery fee on the website. The Game call centre tells us the fee is anywhere from R70 upwards, depending on the weight of the order and the distance from the warehouse. 

The standard delivery period is three to five working days.  

Makro charges a minimum of R55.

Game's sibling Makro also has an online store, with two to five day delivery period. 

Delivery costs vary and are charged according to weight, dimensions, and the area delivered to. 

When concluding your online transaction, a delivery charge will be automatically calculated and included to your total. The minimum cost for delivery will be R55

Pick n Pay charges R60 and up, depending on the delivery slot.  

Pick n Pay offer delivery to designated collection points, or you can collect at stores. 

For delivery the minimum charge is R60 for a delivery slot; each available slot is marked with its relevant delivery fee.  

(You will need to select your region first before adding items to your trolley to ensure there is stock.)

Pick n Pay also has a fire-and-forget grocery delivery service called Grocery Genius. That removes the hassle of placing the same order for essential items again and again, instead letting you you schedule monthly or weekly orders of the same list.

It has seen an increase in online purchasing from new and existing customers, Pick n Pay says, and to meet demand there are now more delivery slots available.

Takealot charges R60, with orders over R450 delivered free.

Standard delivery with the online-only giant is R60, but free for orders totalling R450 or more. 

There is no standard delivery time. Some items can take three days or more, depending on item and vendor.

In some cases, shipping toilet paper can take an estimated five to seven workdays.

If it can not honour an order, Takelot will refund you in store credit. But anything that is not in stock should show as such on the website before you can order.

The first time is free with Woolworths, then R50 to R90 depending on the time slot and distance.

Woolworths delivers food in timeslots, which can cost anywhere between R50 and R90, but your first order is delivered free

The cost of delivery is determined by your delivery address and the items that you have ordered. Some food orders can arrive within 24 hours. 

Food items are delivered only in major metropolitan areas.

With the added coronavirus-linked demand certain stock is now limited per online order. 

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa: