Retailer Massmart has on Monday (11 October 2021) launched a series of mini-apps for its Makro and Builders brands, on the VodaPay super app.
These apps offer VodaPay users a way to shop online from the two stores’ catalogues using their mobile devices and marks the first time Massmart has made it possible to buy from its stores using a mobile app.
This launch follows Massmart’s announcement earlier this year regarding e-commerce as a Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) strategic growth vector.
Sylvester John, the group’s vice-president for e-commerce, said: “This is an important step in our e-commerce strategy which is underpinned by a mobile-first approach which in this case will provide access to 43 million customers, 21 million mobile devices and 12.9 million 4G devices, with the additional benefit of data free access for all Vodacom users.”
The mini-programs are fully integrated with Makro and Builders’ existing online systems that also power the websites, enabling an integrated single user profile and shopper data between the apps and web channels.
The mini-programs can be accessed through the Vodapay Super App, and the first two weeks of the launch will feature almost 450 app-exclusive Makro and Builders deals, including surprise daily and R1 deals, the group said.
“The surprise deals will be released to customers daily and will be advertised on the Super App landing page with instant click through to the Builders and Makro Mini Programs. These exclusive deals will range in price points catering to all customers and cover products such as TV sets, power tools and electronics.”
In August, John divulged the company’s plans to develop a market-leading online shopping experience in South Africa.
He previously served as vice president for last-mile delivery in North America at Massmart’s majority shareholder, Walmart. He played a key role in launching and positioning Walmart’s online grocery pickup service in the US and drove the establishment of the company’s last-mile delivery organisation.
This now delivers from over 3,000 stores to more than 500 US domestic markets, covering 65% of the country’s population.
“It’s clear that we have the brand portfolio, geographical presence, merchandise assortment, procurement scale and primary logistics capability to be a successful e-commerce player,” he said.
John said there were four key areas of focus for Massmart’s e-commerce strategy in the next few years, namely:
- Revamping the makro.co.za, game.co.za and builders.co.za online user interfaces, including key functionalities like search, to provide a much more seamless and intuitive customer experience.
- Developing transactional and value-adding mobile-first digital solutions that cater to different customer occasions, journeys and segments.
- Increasing Massmart’s competitiveness in the on-demand and same-day customer proposition.
- Deploying a wider range and strengthening fulfilment capabilities, including new integrated and proven Walmart store technology, improving the click-and-collect experience in stores, and launching “ship to home” capability from distribution centres to complement its store fulfilment capacity.
John said Massmart was actively working on improving its same-day delivery offering. “Around 7% of Makro orders are delivered same day, and about 41% are delivered within one day,” he said.