Food and drink e-commerce remained one of the fastest growing channels in 2021, supported by the persistent influx of new consumers since the beginning of the pandemic. The trend has also benefited from the emergence of new waves of infections, which resulted in South Africans remaining secluded at home, and subsequently, prioritising online grocery shopping.
As e-commerce gained further momentum in South Africa, chained liquor stores such as Liquor City have been developing an omnichannel approach in response to the increasing demand for convenience. The trend has also led to the emergence of pure online operators such as liquor.
The aggressive adoption of e-commerce has led to strategic partnerships between grocery retailers and Fintech players such as One Card, an on-demand grocery delivery service that gives access to multiple grocery outlets, with goods delivered on the same day in a single package. Spar also partnered with Naveo Commerce to improve its first-party logistical capability.
One of the biggest challenges faced by on-demand delivery businesses has been how to target lower-income groups due to the relatively poor penetration of a banked population as well as high data costs. The issue forced many players to rely on cash on delivery, and therefore exposed companies to safety issues regarding the carrying of money during operations.
The momentum gained by the demand for alcoholic drinks online is expected to persist over the forecast period, supported by an acceleration of omnichannel strategies by players. Leading alcohol specialist retailers focused on improving their digital capabilities towards the end of the review period to meet the increased demand.
Shoprite has been taking the lead in digital innovation, as the company develops strategies to improve its market penetration across mid- and high-income groups. In line with this trend, the company introduced in-store interactive screens that offer customers wine pairing suggestions.
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Internet retailing sales of food and drink (all packaged and fresh food and drink (hot drinks, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Food and Drink E-Commerce research and analysis database.
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