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Antonio Bruni, CEO of Picup Technologies


Delivery-as-a-service to explode in South Africa

It’s called DaaS, and it will explode with the arrival of Amazon ecommerce in South Africa, writes ANTONIO BRUNI, CEO of Picup.

A brand’s delivery experience is among key reasons why consumers would shop from them again. Delivery value is critical to their repeat purchase and as important as the customer journey, the price, the quality of the item and the after-sales support.

The delivery landscape has changed dramatically, and courier companies are scrambling to improve their services that aim to meet the demands of the market and their customers. Standard delivery is a thing of the past; if companies are not offering cutting edge delivery services, through own- or third-party suppliers, they will get left behind.

Widely reported, the rise of a quick commerce service has changed the playing field, and many retailers are rushing to catch up by offering an on-demand delivery service that meets their customers’ needs, fast.

Amazon’s entrance into the local market in early 2023 is another reason why all brands – not just grocery retailers – need to up their delivery ante, as the retail behemoth is globally known for its super-fast delivery that is often free.

The local ecommerce delivery marketplace is set for a giant shake-up once Amazon opens its doors on our shores. Customers very quickly get used to one brand’s service, and immediately expect it from another. Same-day and instant delivery are now the norm. This puts local retailers in a tight spot if they are to retain their customer base, they need a solid fast go to market strategy and make delivery affordable to the customer.

Where they make their service available is also important as they need a provider with a national presence.

With so many customers now ordering online, brands need to find new and innovative ways to meet their last-mile needs. And they need it to be affordable, reliable and quick. Solutions like Picup are the answer, and the service has grown astronomically since it launched seven years ago: today it delivers over 500,000 parcels per month.

Offering delivery as a service (DaasS) has been the core focus for Picup since its inception. It pairs state of the art technology with a scalable driver fleet.

We knew this was the way forward, so we built our own DaaS platform that offers clients including Pick n Pay asap!, Dischem, Absolute Pets, Waltons and many others access to a branded delivery fleet of vans and motorbikes, without having to build their own from scratch – at a hefty cost. Instead, they tap into Picup’s network of over 50,00 riders (called legends), who are located around the country, and who within hours, can pick up a delivery and drop it off at the customer’s address.

With such a vast network of drivers located country wide Picup can service brands like Waltons, which recently launched the DaaS service in Klerksdorp and Nelspruit, and are looking to expand quicky into all major parts of the county. This as local customers also want their purchases bought from the well-established 75-year-old company, delivered to their door within a few hours of placing the order.

Logistics are part of many companies, but own fleets come at huge costs. Now, by using technology and DaaS, they can outsource their delivery needs, cut down on delivery costs and ensure that their products arrive on-time in a professional manner.

The ability to move fast is also key. Gone are the days of implementing a delivery strategy that takes months to get off the ground – by the time it launches the environment has changed and companies are on the back foot again.

When using a DaaS service, companies need to consider:

  • Delivery pricing 
  • API integration for fast implementation
  • Strong operations and focus on customer service
  • Ability to deal with issues and resolve them quickly

The above are what companies need to adopt to get started and iterate as they go. Conversely small companies must focus on their target areas, while bigger companies with a wider presence can look at national strategies.

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