Photo Checkers.
Checkers has seen a spike in online orders. Photo Checkers.
  • Online food retailers are doing brisk business as homebound South Africans order in to avoid human contact in shops - and also to stock up on essentials.
  • One of the newest grocery apps Checkers' Sixty60 service saw a large increase in business, leaving some users unable to order by the end of Monday due to a lack of delivery capacity.
  • Other retailers are seeing an unprecedented and sustained customer demand.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Online food retailers are doing brisk business as homebound South Africans order in to avoid human contact in shops - and also to stock up on essentials.

One of the newest grocery apps Checkers' Sixty60 service saw a large increase in business, leaving some users unable to order by the end of Monday due to a lack of delivery capacity.

"There was a definite increase over the weekend, and following the announcement of a National state of Disaster by the President last night, order volumes have today spiked beyond all expectations," a Checkers spokesperson said.

The app promises to deliver groceries within 60 minutes. 

Sixty60 has now implemented the following changes to increase capacity and accommodate the increase in orders:

  • 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. 

Read: We ordered groceries on the new Checkers app - and 24 minutes later it was on our doorstep

Other retailers are seeing ramped up demand. 

Over the past 10 days, Pick n Pick say they have also seen an increase in online purchasing from new and existing customers, but they are more than able to cope with increased activity online.

 "Many online shoppers are purchasing their usual grocery basket and topping it up with personal hygiene products, household cleaning or pantry items. Where there is heavy demand for certain products, we will temporarily limit the number of some products per customer," said a spokesperson.  "We have also put measures in place that will allow us to increase our delivery slots should the need arise so that we can continue to maintain the best customer experience for online shoppers." 

Pharmaceutical retailer Clicks says that it has seen an unprecedented and sustained customer demand across many of our health and hygiene categories.  

Rachel Wrigglesworth, Clicks Chief Commercial Officer, told Business Insider the retailer has significantly increased its orders across all in-demand categories and are working closely with suppliers to ensure that stock gets to stores as quickly as possible. Deliveries to stores have also been increased to ensure we can meet customer demand in the shortest possible time.

"Clicks will continue to hold prices on all hygiene products as our way of supporting our customers during these extraordinary times," said Rachel Wrigglesworth, Clicks Chief Commercial Officer.

Woolworths has also seen an increase in sales of certain products online, and a spokesperson said that the retailer is working to meet the increase in demand and are putting in place additional measures to manage the demand.

See also | Covid-19 has been declared a national disaster in SA – here’s what that means