With deliveries from restaurants and cafes being allowed in Level 4 of SA's lockdown, these business owners are scrambling to be listed on delivery platforms. The truth of the matter is that the platforms are expensive for business owners, necessary for sure, but also it is really difficult to make any margins. So people are getting creative and delivering their own and creating an employment position/pivot for their staff. In the tech space too, there has been a surge of creation and one such platform is Place Order from a local SA company.
This gives businesses an opportunity to take control of the Delivery situation and may prove more cost effective than the other options currently available.
We chatted to Tim Strang, V & S Innovation Co-Founder, about the benefits of the application and how much it will actually cost business owners*.
In layman's terms Place Order will build a portal for you to sell your goods, it lives within your website/under your branding. It is integrated into your Point of Sale system (at this point only GAAP and Pilot) and you can set the parameters for delivery radius, charges, use your own delivery method or use their third party partner (PicUp, another local start up that fulfills Bottles orders for example and has a National footprint).
An example of successful integration of this system can be seen here.
So what will this cost a business?
There is a R7250 set up cost, and then a fixed monthly cost, that will vary depending on which options you choose, but according to Tim usually comes to around R700. Bank charges on transactions are for the business owners cost, but there is no per order commission built in. This is a very significant factor because while the start up costs may seem high on first glance, see below the breakdown on becoming a vendor on Mr D (as at March 20 2020, so this may have changed in the interim):
The signup fee to onboard your store is R2000.00+vat which you need not pay upfront. We will let you trade for a few weeks and then utilize the sign-up fee this towards marketing your store by bumping the store to the top slots that rotate for a week to give you exposure. The amount will be added to an invoice and deducted from sales.
So that per order commission can rack up pretty darn quick. There is also a cap on how much mark up you can put on your items (as the business owner). So it is a tricky space indeed. Everyone is just trying to survive so we can understand that the platforms come at a premium, but it's also good to know that there are other options. Maybe Place Order could work for your business? Worth the investigation and getting in touch with them!
*Please note these figures will vary from business to business and you should contact V&S directly for accurate info tailored to your needs.
Place Order Ordering Platform Gives Restaurants and Retailers New Delivery Capability
Under Level Four of the phased reopening of the economy, restaurants around the country will be able to operate once more, albeit only via the delivery of takeaways. Additionally, with the lockdown still essentially in place, although to a lesser extent, more brick and mortar retailers will require online ordering and delivery capabilities too. For many small businesses and those lacking the amenities to make deliveries, mainstream delivery solutions are often too expensive or simply out of geographical reach. To this end, V & S Innovation, a local business incubator, has developed the Place Order platform, a new and affordable online ordering and delivery solution for businesses wanting to get their operations back up and running.
Place Order is an all-in-one ordering, payment, delivery and loyalty solution (and the only one of its kind) which allows businesses to upload their products to a personalised platform from which customers are able to browse, select, pay for and arrange delivery of their purchases, all from the comfort of their own homes.
The platform is compatible with a range of leading point-of-sale solutions, such as GAAP and Pilot POS. Plus, it can be fully operational within three to four working days, enabling outlets to become fully functioning faster and at a fraction of the cost of developing a solution for each enterprise. Establishments are given the option of managing deliveries themselves or using the platform’s tried and tested third party delivery solutions to deliver on a mass scale. Over and above the in-built loyalty solution offered, Place Order also allows outlets to integrate existing customer loyalty programmes - further incentivising patrons to order more often via the platform and ensuring the consistency in service they have come to expect.
Understandably, restaurants in small towns and underserviced areas do not have the urban marketplace apps and scale to warrant their own applications. The V&S Innovation team has therefore developed the MiTown app which equips outlets in these regions with all the features of the Place Order platform. All of the eateries within these regions are listed in one app and by enabling combined online ordering and delivery, they are afforded an economical solution. What’s more, customers only need to download one app to gain access to all these restaurants.
According to V & S Innovation Co-Founder, Tim Strang, solutions such as Place Order are a pressing necessity: “The reality is that COVID-19 is going to have a prolonged impact on the food and hospitality sectors. While certain restrictions may be lifted, it will most likely be a while before we see any sign of a return to normal operations for businesses in these areas. At the same time, these establishments are vital providers of food and act as a catalyst for job creation and economic development. The problem is that existing food delivery services charge restauranteurs rates that are not feasible in the current economic climate if they are to operate at all. For businesses in the food industry to operate and continue to contribute, they need a solution that works with their budget and they need to be able to work within the restrictions placed upon them by Government. In this case, that means ensuring they are able to service customers via a delivery service that is affordable.”
For Dror Zur, owner of Stars Restaurant in Mossel Bay, Place Order, has been a lifesaver: “We looked at creating a delivery app for a long time but found it very costly and complicated, that is until we got in contact with Place Order. It is very cost effective, fast and simple. Now, we can finally grow our food delivery side!"
In addition to restaurants, Place Order is the ideal delivery solution for any business: “Our software is capable of handling vast amounts of data and a plethora of products, making it a viable solution for food outlets, retailers, offices, factories, and school canteens too. The benefit of using Place Order in these spaces is that it eliminates the need for queues which helps maintain physical distancing. To date, we have already successfully launched the platform in two Spar outlets in KwaZulu-Natal,” adds Strang.
Kyle Buckley of Winklespruit SuperSpar says: “With the huge demand of WhatsApp ordering, we decided to take it one step forward - online ordering. We believe online ordering is here to stay, and the Place Order system was able to get up and running quickly to enable click and collect as well as delivery for our store. It has been a huge help during the difficult times we are all facing."
To create a Place Order application for your business or for more information, go to https://www.vands.co.za/