Online shopping showdown – Big surprise from Makro

Makro has performed surprisingly well in MyBroadband’s latest online shopping comparison.

South Africans have increasingly embraced online shopping in recent months and with Black Friday on the horizon, many will shopping for the best deals rather than risking the queues, crowds, and overall mayhem accompanying physical store visits on the day.

We previously compared the delivery services of South Africa’s biggest ecommerce retailer – Takealot – and one of the most popular brick-and-mortar stores in the country – Makro.

In that comparison, Takealot was the clear winner, managing to deliver a Western Digital 240GB SSD on same-day delivery at a cheaper price than Makro

We compared the delivery services of these two retail heavyweights again and added another popular ecommerce retailer – Loot – to the equation.

We ordered the same product – a SanDisk Cruzer Blade 32GB Flash Drive –  from Takealot, Loot, and Makro to see how their delivery times and service compared.

Order placement and pricing

For a fair comparison, we ensured that the item was in stock at all three retailers and placed orders within a span of 15 minutes at around 13:00 on Tuesday 6 October.

Locating the flash drive, placing our order, and making the payment was simple and easy on all three platforms.

The flash drive was the cheapest on Takealot at R75, followed by Loot at R82, and Makro at R99.

Although there were various options available for delivery, we chose the standard/economy option in all cases to ensure a like-for-like impression of the base delivery service.

This worked out to be the cheapest with Loot at R40, due to our office being located in a central area. Loot also offers collection at Pargo Pickup Points for R40.

Takealot’s standard delivery fee for all orders under R450 is R60, no matter the location. It also features a collection option at one of its Pickup Points for a R25 fee.

Makro was once again the most expensive option at R90, despite the package being ordered from a store located less than 10km away. Makro’s collection option is free, however.

The total cost for each order with delivery included was as follows:

  • Takealot – R135
  • Loot – R122
  • Makro – R189

Delivery

On Takealot’s site, our estimated delivery date was indicated as 12 October 2020, due to the fact that the drive was only in stock at Takealot’s Cape Town warehouse and the delivery location was in Gauteng.

Loot’s product page said that the item could be shipped within 24 hours from confirmation of payment, following which we were provided with an expected delivery window of 8-12 October 2020.

Makro’s site promised delivery in 2-7 working days from placement of the order.

Our order with Loot was the first to arrive at 11:00 on the morning of Wednesday 7 October, the day after we made the purchase, amounting to a total turnaround time of about 22 hours.

On the same day, we received a notification that our Takealot order had been shipped from Montague Gardens in Cape Town and was headed for a courier facility.

Meanwhile, Makro’s site still indicated our Order as “In Progress” at the conclusion of the day.

However, the next morning (8 October 2020) we received an SMS from Makro which indicated our package had been handed over to a courier partner and we were shortly provided with a link to track delivery progress.

At 15:30 we received our package from Makro, which meant it had taken just over two days to reach its destination.

Our Takealot order finally arrived at a courier facility on Friday 9 October and was scheduled for delivery on Monday 12 October 2020.

Sure enough, it arrived at our offices just before 10:00 that morning.

From both a price and delivery time perspective, Loot was the winner in this comparison.

All three retailers performed considering claimed delivery times, however, with none of the packages being delayed.

The test is summarised below, which compares delivery times in terms of working days:

SanDisk Cruzer Blade 32GB Flash Drive Delivery Comparison
Store Estimated Delivery Time Real Delivery Time Price
Takealot 4 days 4 days R135
Loot 1 day 1 day R122
Makro 2-7 days 2 days R189

A note on the packaging

Loot shipped the drive within bubble wrap tightly contained in a flat cardboard box, which appeared to be the best solution in this particular instance.

Takealot and Makro shipped the drives in slightly larger rectangular cardboard boxes.

Takealot’s box included a bit of ruffled brown paper that prevented the flash drive’s packaging from flying around inside the box, while Makro’s did not.

All three drives were tested and found to be in working condition, however.

Below are the tracking details and photos of each package after opening.


Takealot


Loot

Loot delivery progress


Makro

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Online shopping showdown – Big surprise from Makro