Prepare for ‘contactless deliveries’ in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic

contactless deliveries markus spiske unsplash

Couriers will now also practice the art of “social distancing” from this week as online retailers do their bit to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

A number of South African retailers have this week announced changes to the delivery hand-off process. Deliveries will now be “contactless” as firms guard against unnecessary contact between the shopper and courier.

Food delivery service Uber Eats noted that it’s attempting to provide its “couriers with sanitisation materials”.

“To help you feel confident about safe delivery, you can leave a note to ask your courier to leave your food at your doorstep,” it added in an email to users.

Woolworths is taking similar steps.

“When our drivers arrive at your delivery address, they have been instructed to ring the bell, and stand back at a safe distance,” it said in a similar email.

“As a precaution, during this time we will package your order in bags so that you don’t need to handle any delivery containers.”

Takealot’s “drivers have been instructed not to make physical contact with any customers and to maintain a safe distance.”

“Packages will be placed on a surface indicated by the customer, the driver will then back away and allow the customer to pick up their package themselves,” it told customers in an email.

Customers will no longer need to sign for packages either.

“Where operationally possible we have started rolling out rotational schedules to allow staff to work from home to help mitigate the risk of spreading the virus and ensure a safer working environment for all,” it concluded.

Finally, Pick n Pay is also embracing the “no contact delivery” life.

“When our drivers arrive at your address, they will ring the bell, and stand back. Once you answer the door, your order will be conveniently placed at a safe distance,” it said in an email to users on Wednesday.

A number of other firms — online and brick and mortar — are taking steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, including providing hand sanitiser in store, or allowing pensioners to shop before the morning rush.

Feature image: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

Andy Walker, former editor


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