On-demand grocery delivery is no longer a new concept. But the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged people to stay at their homes and shop for groceries and food items online instead of going out in the open. The story in South Africa is no different. 

OneCart is one of the fastest-growing on-demand grocery delivery businesses in South Africa. It offers same-day delivery services across various regions in the country. The app has enabled consumers and merchants across the world to survive the coronavirus crisis. 

Let’s take a look at how OneCart has turned out to be a relief for both consumers and retailers in South Africa. 

What is OneCart?

OneCart is South Africa’s leading grocery delivery service app. It’s an on-demand grocery delivery platform that allows you to shop for groceries, pharmacy, pet, baby, liquor, and wellness items from your favorite supermarkets online. 

Video Credit: OneCart

It works like most other on-demand grocery delivery apps, like Instacart and Shipt, but with a slight twist. The consumers choose their favorite store, select the products, place the order where a dedicated personal shopper is assigned who will then shopping on their behalf. The shopper then stays in contact with the consumer and does the shopping for them and once done, hand over the parcel to the delivery boy and receive the order at their doorstep in as little as 2 hours. 

Locations & Delivery

OneCart is the premier grocery delivery app in South Africa that covers almost all regions and cities in the country. The areas in which OneCart offers its services are:

  • North West
  • Free State
  • Northwest
  • Gauteng
  • Eastern Cape
  • Western Cape
  • Mpumalanga
  • KwaZulu-Natal

When OneCart was initially launched, it covered four regions and operated in 40 locations across the country. Within four years, the platform has expanded to almost all cities and areas in South Africa.

In addition, OneCart offers same-day delivery in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape. The consumers can have their order delivered at their doorstep within 2 hours. 

Founders and funding

Onecart Founders
OneCart Founders

The founder and CEO of OneCart is Lynton Peters, a Durban-born electronic engineer. Peter believes he always had a passion for entrepreneurship and creating a service that solves a problem of society. “The advancement of the on-demand economy has encouraged me to believe that consumers want a better, more convenient way of doing things, and that’s what we aim for,” Peter said. 

The co-founder and chief operating officer (COO) of OneCart is Ariel Navarro, a 29-year-old entrepreneur who started his career in the health and fitness industry. Ariel has always been passionate about business and has worn several hats in different business environments over the years. 

Funding

OneCart gained its first funding in 2019 when Grindstone Accelerator, a business accelerator, invested in it. Grindstone Accelerator is a Kine Capital-owned, Milnerton-based business incubator/accelerator that funds promising startups. 

The first and second financing rounds of OneCart were conducted in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In 2019, OneCart was one of 12 companies that took part in the fourth cohort of Knife Capital’s Grindstone Accelerator. The platform received an investment of under R10-million. 

How Does OneCart Work?

As discussed, OneCart is not like any other on-demand grocery platform in the world. It has three account versions – user, shopper and delivery boy – along with one admin panel for the app owners. Here’s how OneCart works:

Place Order: Users choose their favorite stores and products and place an order on the OneCart app. Additionally, they can also make a list of their favorite products that they buy frequently. This will help them in saving the product list and directly order all the products next time. They can either make the payment online or opt for cash on delivery and pay the delivery agent. 

Shopper assigned: OneCart provides personal shoppers to fulfill the consumers’ orders. Once an order is placed, a personal shopper is assigned, who then shops on the behalf of the consumer. During the shopping process, the shopper stays in touch with the consumer to ensure he or she picks the best items. 

Order Delivered: Once the shopper completes the shopping, he sends the order to the delivery partner, who then delivers it to the consumer.  If the consumers live in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, or Cape, you’ll get your order delivered the same day. In the meantime, users get a real-time tracking feature to track their orders. 

Rating and Review: Once the consumers receive their order, they can rate and review the quality of the product as well as the service of OneCart. 

Delivery Fees

OneCart has a two-level system to charge for the delivery cost. The app charges an R45 flat delivery fee per location. In addition, the app also charges a 5-7% personal shopper/service fee, with the percent amount being deducted from the total billed amount. 

OneCart charges R45 delivery fee per mall, and R45 per specialty stores. The stores located inside a mall fall under the “Mall” category and all the other outlets are considered as “Specialty Stores.”

OneCart Business Model Explained

OneCart does not own any grocery stores, so all of its business relies heavily on the participants who’re going to use the app. Apart from providing effortless shopping options to customers, OneCart also has two parties that are as important as customers. 

It provides a platform for local grocery manufacturers and retailers to advertise and sell their products. Besides, the company has in-house shoppers who act as the backbone of the OneCart business model.  

Let’s take a look at the three customer segments of OneCart. 

Consumers

  • Consumers are the users of the app who make a purchase.
  • They have an app from which they can choose the stores of their choice and order their favorite items. 
  • They can pay online from various payment methods. If they want, they can also tip the shopper in advance. 
  • They can also place an order by combining items from different stores. 
  • Users can schedule their orders for the same day, next day, or seven days in advance. 

Stores

  • Stores or merchants are the retailers with which the users place their orders. 
  • OneCart ties up with various stores across the regions.
  • OneCart allows stores to gain more visibility and increase sales. 

Shoppers

  • Shoppers are the experts who shop the items on behalf of the customer. 
  • They have a separate app, and they receive orders on their smartphone. 
  • They are often stationed near the stores to save travel time. 
  • They pick up the ordered items manually from the stores and send them to the delivery partners on time. 
  • Apart from the hourly pay, they also receive tips from customers. 

OneCart revenue model

Now, let’s take a look at how OneCart earns money. The app relies on three main sources of income, including:

Delivery fees: As discussed, the app charges a flat delivery fee of R45 per order. In some apps like Instacart, these charges are not free and vary depending upon quantity and delivery time. OneCart, on the other hand, prefers a simpler model and sticks to a flat fee for all orders. 

Personal shopper fee: OneCart charges a service charge or personal shopper fee on every order. This amount ranges between 5% and 7% of the total billed amount, and it is billed along with the total amount of the bill. 

Merchant fee: OneCart also charges a percentage fee on a per-order basis from the merchants or retailers. 

In addition, OneCart also gets advertising revenue by running ads of local restaurants and retailers in the region. But unlike other similar apps, OneCart doesn’t have a subscription model. For example, Instacart has a $99 per year subscription model in which the users don’t get charged any default delivery or service fee. 

Order Process

OneCart offers a seamless, user-friendly order process. The consumers can simply select their favorite items, place an order, select the time slot, and get their order delivered. Let’s take a look at the step-by-step OneCart order process. 

  • Visit the OneCart website. If you haven’t already registered, create a free account, and provide your address to view the stores available in your area. 
  • Select a store of your choice. Then, start adding the products you want. If you wish to cancel a selection or switch store, you can do so similarly as if you were shopping at a mall. 
  • Once you’ve selected all the products, proceed with the checkout process. 
  • At the checkout, you’ll need to select a delivery time slot. You can place orders for up to seven days in advance, though most users prefer same-day or next-day delivery. 
  • Complete your payment process. And you’re done. Now, sit back and wait for a personal shopper to pick up your items. 

What is Grocery Concierge Fee in OneCart?

As discussed before, OneCart charges a personal shopper/service charge from the consumers on a per-order basis. This charge is referred to as the grocery concierge fee, and it allows OneCart to offer you a personal shopper, so you don’t have to step out of your home. 

As soon as you place an order, a personal shopper starts working towards fulfilling your order. He works closely with your selected supermarkets and specialty stores to choose the best quality, hand-picked, and fresh produce and other items.

OneCart makes sure a professional shopper is assigned to fulfill your order, so you get the best products delivered without stepping in the store by yourself. 

This personal shopper team also provides you support between 9 am to 7 pm, seven days a week. The personal shopper fee is a small charge that helps OneCart to provide you with expert-quality shopping services. 

Unlike the delivery fee, the concierge fee is not fixed and can vary from order to order. It usually varies between five to seven percent of the total billed amount. If you want to know the concierge fee on your order, you can easily find out by clicking on the “i” icon in the billing details.

OneCart features

OneCart is a feature-rich on-demand grocery delivery app. Let’s take a look at some of its key features. 

Easy registration: OneCart offers a simple and easy registration process. You can create an account directly with any social media account, then enter your address, and start shopping. 

Product listing: OneCart sticks to the basics of grocery app development. It has a massive list of stores and products that re well-segregated into various categories and subcategories. 

Quick list: After searching, the consumers can select a list of items and save it for the future. This feature comes in handy when the user has products in mind but isn’t ready to buy right now. 

Search: OneCart offers a simple search option. Users can search for their favorite stores or products with ease. 

Tracking: The app offers real-time GPS tracking functionality. Once the order is placed, the users can keep an eye on where exactly their order has reached and how much time it could arrive at their doorstep. 

Delivery scheduler: The consumers can schedule their deliveries for the same day, next day, or seven days ahead with an easy-to-use delivery scheduler feature. 

Discount coupons: OneCart offers exciting offers, deals, and discounts to its consumers, including season and festive offers. 

Push notifications: The app sends a push notification to users, merchants, and shoppers with every detail about the product. 

Payment options: OneCart allows its customers to pay from a plethora of secure payment options, including card payment, COD, mobile and mobile wallets. The app accepts all major credit cards, instant EDT with I-Pay, and OneCart Wallet credit. 

Why People of South Africa Enjoy Grocery Shopping from OneCart?

The retail landscape has changed, and people don’t want to go out and shop anymore. They want a system that fulfills their grocery shopping needs in a cost-effective and convenient manner. This is where OneCart comes to play. 

The people of South Africa use OneCart for getting same-day delivery of fresh, high-quality groceries and food items without taking out time to go out and shop. It is a safe, user-friendly, and convenient shopping experience for both the consumers and well as retailers. 

Conclusion

OneCart, like Instacart and Shipt, is a platform that makes the grocery shopping experience seamless and convenient for both customers and sellers. While OneCart is still in its early years, its growth over the past couple of years, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak has been promising.