Paula Luckhoff3 July 2024 | 19:36

Shoprite launches online shopping and delivery service for smaller retail shops

The Shoprite Group's Mark Cotton explains the e-commerce venture for its Cash & Carry stores.

Shoprite launches online shopping and delivery service for smaller retail shops

Shoprite, Cash & Carry stores. Image supplied

Smaller retail businesses like spaza shops often face significant obstacles when it comes to factors like high transportation and fuel costs, and difficulties meeting demand within the informal sector.

Now the Shoprite Group has ventured into the business to business (B2B) e-commerce space with the launch of an online shopping and bulk delivery service.

This is specifically geared towards spaza owners and smaller businesses.

Shoprite highlights that this 'innovative digital solution' for its Cash & Carry stores, marks the wholesale brand’s first venture into e-commerce. 

Ray White gets more detail from Mark Cotton, the Group's Head of B2B e-commerce.

The bottom line is trying to make it easy for spaza owners and small businesses to gain access to a wide range of products at discounted prices, conveniently delivered to them, Cotton says.

"Ultimately, the goal is for that to enable them to spend more time with their customers and to ensure that they generate more profitable businesses in their own right."
"The new Cash & Carry digital platform provides customers with reliable and visible stock access and delivery services that eliminate the need to store excess inventory, frees up much needed cash flow, and gives business owners more time on the shop floor to focus on their customers and business growth.”
Mark Cotton, Head: B2B e-commerce - Shoprite Group

Why bring in the e-commerce side only now, is White's question.

Cotton says the B2B market has been somewhat under-invested within this space, and presents a lot of complexities that need to be streamlined.

"The B2B customer differs quite significantly from the business to consumer (B2C) customer... and one of the elements of it is empowering your sales associates in store to also take orders on behalf of customers.
"It's a very personal relationship that often occurs between the sales associates, the stores and the customer."
Mark Cotton, Head: B2B e-commerce - Shoprite Group

For more from Cotton, listen to the interview audio at the top of the article