Massmart plans to invest heavily in its ecommerce platform, which has shown rapid growth over the lockdown.
This is according to a report in Business Times, which interviewed the new Massmart CEO, Mitchell Slape.
Slape told Business Times their ecommerce sales showed triple-digit year-on-year growth over the last few weeks.
This is true for Makro, Game, and Builders Warehouse, which have all experienced rapid growth in online sales during the lockdown.
He admitted that they can significantly improve on their customer experience and it is something which they are focussed on.
While he did not disclose how much the company would invest in its online shopping platforms, he said it is one of the top focus areas for Massmart.
New ecommerce platform for Makro and Game
Massmart launched a new ecommerce platform for Makro and Game on 4 February 2019 which is built using SAP’s Hybris solution.
Makro admitted that it has experienced challenges with its release as it did not anticipate the sheer scale of complexity and challenges the re-platforming would bring.
“These included challenges with the implementation of a new picking and packing solution and obstacles in administering refunds,” it said at the time.
Makro explained the website is what customers see and interact with, but many other systems are dependent on the new platform rollout with some of the impacts that customers experienced being caused by peripheral systems.
“As an example, we experienced configuration issues on more4less deals, which led to incorrect pricing being displayed for a period of time,” Makro said.
Makro said while the move to a new web platform was a necessary part of supporting its growing online business, it has negatively impacted shopping experiences on their site.
Online shopping delivery complaints
Over the last year, some of the problems have been resolved, but there are still many complaints about delivery and support problems from Makro.
The challenges with deliveries seem to have been exacerbated by the rapid increase in online sales over the last few weeks.
Hellopeter is littered with complaints from Makro online shopping clients who say they have not received their online shopping deliveries as promised.
“I ordered a fridge and was told it would be delivered in 14 working days max. It’s been over 20 days and no one is picking up from the call centre,” complained one client.
“Waited 17 working days for my delivery even though tracking said it was packed 5 days after ordering it. So why wasn’t it send out?” asked another.
For Makro and Game to compete against Takealot will require improved logistics and customer service – things which Takealot excel at.
Massmart CEO Slape seems to be well aware of these problems, and if they get it right Makro and Game are well-positioned to become very big ecommerce players in South Africa.