As demand for e-commerce spiked during the pandemic, last-mile delivery became a key battleground for retailers. Among grocery retailers, Pick n Pay acquired online grocery delivery app Bottles, relaunching it in December 2020 in 22 cities with over 38,000 SKUs from its store shelves.
Restrictions on movement that were imposed in March and April led food delivery platforms to revise their business models, with UberEATS joining Mr D Food by adding the delivery of essentials to its portfolio. Rival Bolt has launched a food-delivery app in association with the Restaurant Association of South Africa, while smaller regional players have emerged in response to increased demand for on-demand delivery.
In late 2020, We Are Egg launched what it described as “an integrated omnichannel outlet” in Cape Town. It stocks more than 200 brands from SMEs, which can track their stock and sales in real time via an online integrated system.
Transportation remains one of the most important areas of digital commerce in South Africa. This is expected to remain the case throughout the forecast period, as e-hailing services continue to expand into smaller urban centres.
The Rapid Payments Programme (RPP) is set to be launched during the forecast period. This will make it easier for consumers to send instant payments with the ability for the recipient to receive and use the funds immediately, regardless of which bank they are with; to easily request a payment from someone through its Request to Pay feature; and to access payments in a simpler manner through the use of such identifiers an email address or phone number.
South Africa’s incipient 5G network is expected to expand rapidly and cover all of the country’s main cities by the end of the forecast period. This will facilitate the growth of streaming services for TV, films, music and games.
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