Can Online Grocery Shopping Save You Money? 

With our world becoming more and more digital it is definitely no surprise that shopping is going online as well. With the recent covid crisis in the world, a lot of consumers realized now even more just how fast, safe, and convenient it is to shop online. No more long queues or unfriendly staff or long commutes to the shop. But here is the question. Can online shopping and especially online grocery shopping actually save us money? Let’s have a look.  

Online Grocery Shopping in South-Africa

Shopping for groceries online and online shopping, in general, is still a relatively new concept to South Africans.  However, according to Stats SA, the market share of online retail in South Africa grew to 2.8% in 2020 during Covid 19, double the percentage in 2018. While COVID-19 definitely had a role to play, this surge is expected to grow. Much like how the pandemic changed research for the long term, more South Africans got acquainted with shopping online, experienced the convenience of shopping online, and now a huge percentage of South Africans are making the switch to online shopping. 

According to a Deloitte study, more than 70% of South Africans are shopping online at least once a month. Most cited convenience, COVID-19, and saving time in that order as their reasons for increased online shopping. Groceries are one of the top items that South-Africans are purchasing online.  

The petrol price dilemma

With the high alarming petrol prices in South Africa, driving is becoming a luxury. More and more South Africans are switching over to online shopping due to this reason. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and buy groceries without using your own vehicle. Online shopping is also a much better option for people who are working from home and do not want to use their car at the end of the day just for some groceries.   

In the past, the delivery fees were something that some people saw as expensive but with the rising fuel prizes consumers came to the realization that even with delivery fees and an extra tip for drivers this can still be a cheaper option than actually driving from store to store.   

South-African online grocery apps

There are quite a couple of online grocery shopping options available in South Africa with a lot of big retailers having their own online shops available. Woolworths, PicknPay and Checkers are three of the most popular online grocery shopping retailers at the moment in South-Africa.  

The Checkers 60Sixty app has over 15 000 products to choose from and you will get your ordered goods within sixty minutes. Their groceries are grouped together so it is easy to search and purchase their products.  PicknPay also has an online service where you can get same-day delivery and only pay an R35 delivery fee. With PicknPay you can also earn bonus points on your Smart shopper card. Woolies dash is quite new and delivers high-quality and fresh groceries to you if you are within a radius of 5 kilometers.  

Online vs in-store grocery shopping prices in South Africa

However, when looking at groceries online, the previous research done by Stats SA, found that online and in-store prices for these items do not differ much, if at all and when online shopping is slightly more expensive than in-store it is quite important to take other factors into account like petrol and convenience.  

With 24/7 availability, customers can shop at their convenience, allowing them to make purchases outside of normal business hours. In addition to convenience, free shipping and loyalty programs can also save you money. Lastly, online shopping vs in-store shopping allows those without transportation or time to make their purchases. It even encourages them to purchase more than they may otherwise get in the store.