Checkers online shopping bonanza

Shoprite’s e-commerce platforms have been immensely successful, so much so that the company has expanded on-demand deliveries to its wholesale Cash & Carry business.

This follows the success of its Checkers Sixty60 platform, which dominates on-demand grocery deliveries in the country.

The company’s latest interim results revealed that the on-demand grocery delivery service recorded 63.1% sales growth during the first half of the 2023/24 financial year.

Checkers Sixty60 helped drive Shoprite’s half-year sales, which saw growth of about R121 billion, representing a 13.9% year-on-year increase.

Shoprite recently launched an online on-demand delivery service designed to support spaza shops and small retailers through its Cash & Carry wholesale business.

The fully automated online shopping system lets these customers browse and purchase a wide range of goods in bulk.

It says the service offers competitive pricing and complimentary delivery within a radius of 50km.

Shoprite Group head of B2B business e-commerce, Mark Cotton, said the service will help support small businesses and spaza shops facing high transport costs and challenges meeting demand.

“We are committed to supporting small businesses by providing innovative solutions to the specific problems these enterprises face,” he said.

Cotton added that the new service eliminates the need for businesses to hold excess inventory, freeing up cash flow and time for business owners.

Shoprite said the new system also streamlined the purchase and fulfilment store for Cash & Carry in-store traders.

Traders can access customer and product information, build and fulfil orders, and save orders for repeated use in future.

Customers using the platform can pay via credit and debit card, electronic funds transfer, store credit, cash on collection, and Shoprite Money Market Accounts.

They can also benefit further with savings and promotional offers through the Xtra savings loyalty programme.

Shoprite and Checkers launched Sixty60 in November 2019 during the height of the Covid–19 pandemic.

Initially only available in select Sandton, Johannesburg, and Cape Town locations, it had accumulated more than 3.1 million downloads by March 2023 and expanded to 466 by September that same year.

Checkers online shopping bonanza

While many believed its popularity was due to the lockdowns implemented during the pandemic, the service continued to grow at an immense pace when they were lifted.

The company behind Zulzi — one of the country’s first successful fast-moving consumer goods apps — developed the customer-facing app for Checkers Sixty60.

Checkers Sixty60 launched a loyalty programme, Xtra Savings Plus, in September 2023.

The R99 monthly subscription offers customers unlimited Sixty60 grocery deliveries, additional in-store deals, and personalised promotions.

Checkers Xtra Savings Plus subscribers get the following benefits:

  • Unlimited free Sixty60 deliveries, provided they spend a minimum of R350 (non-subscribers pay R35 for delivery)
  • A 10% discount on in-store purchases up to a maximum of R200 in savings
  • Double personalised offers in-app and in-store
  • No long-term commitments, with subscribers able to pause or cancel their subscription at any time with a money-back guarantee

Around the same time, the company partnered with Discovery Vitality to offer Discovery’s HealthyFood benefit.

“The addition of Checkers as a partner promises an even greater health impact,” said Dinesh Govender, CEO of Discovery Vitality.

Shoprite chief strategy and innovation officer Neil Schreuder said the move would help Checkers and Sixty60 customers make healthier food choices.

Shoprite credits much of its success over the past five years to its rollout of SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

“When you walk into a Shoprite or Checkers supermarket and see a full range of products stocked, displayed, priced and with promotions clearly marked, that is what the ERP system does for us,” it told MyBroadbad.

It added that SAP also helped make Sixty60 successful.

“SAP Retail is the source of the stock ledger and real-time sales, which are essential for accurate fulfilment of customer orders,” Shoprite stated.

“The ERP also provides promotional information, prices and article data to Sixty60, which ensures that the prices on Sixty60 are the same as the prices in-store.”

Implementing the software wasn’t all smooth sailing, with Shoprite partly blaming delays in the rollout for a shocking earnings report in 2019.

However, in January 2019, it assured stakeholders that the upgrades were complete and had already observed improvements.

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