By: Sandy Nene

Not only can grocery shopping in the city be a hassle, it can also be expensive. For this reason, many people are switching to shopping online. There are many benefits to an online shopping mall, including a greater variety of goods, more competitive pricing, the convenience of shopping from home or work, and the fact that it’s delivered right to your door!

Online shopping in South Africa has increased in popularity because there are now more online retailers shipping all over the country. There are dozens of sites catering to online grocery shopping in South Africa, including Woolworths, Saffatrading, Pick N Pay, and SouthAfricanFoodShop. Even Amazon, the largest online store in the United States, will ship to South Africa.

What can you expect when buying goods online? More competitive pricing to start off with. Saffatrading has Beacon Slim Slab discounted by R 1.00 and Crosse and Blackwell Sandwich Spread discounted by R 15.00. Saving more on items that you buy every day can give you extra money to allocate to holidays and entertainment. Not only that, but discounts change daily, or even several times a day. So one item you want may not be on sale today, but it could be discounted tomorrow.

Another benefit to online shopping is the selection of goods. For people living in small towns and rural areas, more niche items can be difficult to come by. With online retailers providing so many different items, it is likely that people will find exactly what they want, without having to travel long distances.

Many may ask how is it possible that online stores can offer such great discounts? The reason is bulk. By purchasing in larger quantities, online shopping malls are able to pay less for each single item. The average grocery store purchases items in a much smaller quantity and pays more for each item as a result. Online stores purchasing more goods will pass on the discount to their customers to entice them to purchase online, rather than their local store.

Another reason online grocery stores have grown is because of the use of smartphones. Advertisers online target users and promote their products on nearly every website. Online users see advertisements that are more indicative of their own interests and needs.

With smartphones, people are more tuned in everywhere they go. If people need an item, it is likely that they will go to their phones before searching a brick and mortar shop. As a result, customers become more aware of promotions. They are also likely to read product reviews and purchase goods based on feedback, a concept completely alien to shopping experiences prior to the internet.

Online shopping has become more popular in South Africa for a number of reasons. The rising middle class has put confidence in businesses to start developing electronic commerce departments. eCommerce can be a big risk for businesses because of the cost of start up, including web site design, increased number of employees, bulk purchasing goods, and warehouse space. People are buying more, and the economy is growing, allowing for more eCommerce businesses to exist. According to many analysts, the number of online shops in South Africa is expected to grow exponentially.

A money saving tip is to use coupon and voucher codes. There are online couponing sites dedicated to the use of coupon codes for online orders. Customers can earn free shipping or a certain percentage off an order. Some websites also offer free items with the purchase of certain goods. Another piece of money saving advice is to sign up for the mailing list. Even though online companies send a lot of emails, they also notify customers of sales or promotions that could result in saving money on online orders. A good rule is to only subscribe to mailing lists of companies that you purchase items from often.

Coupons in their traditional sense are almost obsolete. However, people still enjoy a great sale. They still want to save money. It only makes sense that coupons today would be shared by online users, transmitted by email, and easily applied to a box at checkout. It’s just a short string of characters, but that code can save hundreds of rands in just a year.

Customer should expect a certain level of service. If a package is due to arrive in a certain window and it does not, or if goods are damaged in shipping, it is important to notify the company. Oftentimes, they will be apologetic and offer a voucher code, which is a one time use discount. More often than not, if an item is damaged, the company will spend a replacement using a fast courier service.

Buying online saves you time, and time is money. Without the need to travel to the grocery store, you can free up time to spend with friends and family. Gas and other transportation costs are decreased because the goods are delivered right to your door. Many websites require a shipping fee; however, some sites offer promotions where shipping is waived with the purchase of a certain amount of goods. In any case, saving time and not having to drive to the store can be reward enough for many people.

So don’t forget to start your online shop with IntheCity and make even greater saving with the brands you all love. Online shopping in South Africa has been easier.


  1. Cool stuff. I like the IntheCity offers.

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