With Black Friday and the festive season approaching, online shoppers want to know that their orders will arrive on time and in perfect condition.
In the build-up to the shopping weeks ahead, MyBroadband tested the online order and delivery process of two of South Africa’s big retail players: Takealot and Makro.
On the morning of Tuesday 5 November, we ordered a WD 240GB SSD from both Takealot and Makro to see which platform offered the best overall experience – with a focus on getting our items delivered quickly and in good order.
The SSDs were ordered between 07:00 and 07:30 on both sites, and the results of the test are detailed below.
The Takealot website is familiar to many readers, and finding the SSD was quick and simple.
The WD Green 240GB SSD was priced at R549 on Takealot, and after putting it in the basket, we proceeded to checkout.
Takealot offers shoppers the option of collecting their order from one of its many collection points, or having their order delivered.
As our SSD was over R450 in price, we qualified for free delivery. Takealot also provided us with a list of delivery days to choose from – including same-day delivery, next business day, free delivery, and Saturday or Sunday delivery.
Certain delivery days attract a delivery fee, and for the purposes of the article, we selected same-day delivery at R120.
We then paid for the order using a credit card, and the order was confirmed on the Takealot order page.
We were also sent an email by Takealot confirming the order and letting us know we could track the order online.
The total price, including delivery, was R669.
At 16:10 on the same day – 5 November – a Takealot delivery team employee arrived at the office with our SSD.
After signing for the delivery on the employee’s smartphone, we opened the cardboard box and found the SSD inside in perfect condition.
Ordering the SSD on Makro’s website was equally quick and simple.
We selected the same WD Green 240GB SSD and proceed to our online basket. The SSD was more expensive at Makro, though, priced at R679.
Makro provides users with the option of having their order delivered, collected from a Makro store, or sent to a Makro Locker.
We selected delivery, and the only option which was provided was “2-5 business days”.
There was no option to select a specific date, as was the case with Takealot, and the delivery fee was set at R52.
After paying for the order using a credit card, the delivery details were again listed as an “estimated 2-5 working days”
We were then sent an email and SMS from Makro confirming the order.
The total price, including delivery, was R731.
The Makro delivery did not go as well.
On the morning of 6 November, we received an SMS from Makro that the delivery was on its way.
On 7 November, we received an email from a third-party supplier who turned out to be handling the SSD order for Makro.
The email, which had no subject line or reference to our Makro order, stated that “the delivery has failed due to delivery address”.
This was despite our Makro online profile only having one address, which previously had Makro orders delivered to it.
We then mailed the third-party supplier with our address – which was the same address listed on our Makro profile as our default delivery address.
Friday – Still waiting
Friday afternoon, 8 November.
There was no reply from the third-party supplier via email and we had not received any calls or SMSs with an update.
As it was a Friday, we were treated to an early afternoon close and left the office at 16:00. Unfortunately, at the time of leaving the office the SSD had not arrived.
Further bad news is that at the time of finalising this article – Sunday afternoon, 10 November – there had not been any update from Makro on the status of the delivery.
In this case, the winner was clear: Takealot.
The SSD was cheaper on Takealot, and the delivery options provided were far superior and well defined.
The total order price on Takealot, including the same-day delivery fee, was also cheaper than Makro.
In terms of the Takealot delivery process, the SSD was delivered in perfect order and accepting the delivery was quick.
Overall, it was an excellent experience and sets the standard for ecommerce deliveries in South Africa.
Additionally, with Black Friday approaching, these are concerning signs from Makro.
This is an opinion piece, based on testing.