Business Essentials for Professionals


Medicines Delivery Service Launched By Uber Eats In South Africa

Medicines Delivery Service Launched By Uber Eats In South Africa
The service offerings by the ride hailing company Uber’s food delivery business, Uber Eats, have been expanded in the South African market with the launch of an app-based over the counter medicines service. Analysts said that the company aims to gain market share quickly in the fast-growing online shopping sector in the most industrialised economy of Africa through this new service.
The total worth of the food dispatching market of South Africa is about $600 million and a lion’s share is commanded by Uber Eats, the food delivery business of the United States based ride-hailing service Uber Technologies.
Pharmacy chains Clicks and Dis-Chem on the other hand has major control of the equally lucrative medicines delivery market ion the country. These two companies were already offering medicine delivery services in the market long before Covid-19 pandemic emerged in the region and created a shift towards the industry of online shopping.
There is a natural advantage over newcomers for such "first movers" including Naspers owned Takealot, say analysts, primarily because more users of smartphone apps are seeking to use less number of smartphone applications to engaging more online purchasing.
But a "marketplace" strategy – one that combines ride-hailing and grocery deliveries and other services on a single mobile phone app, is the elements that Uber Eats is banking on in the market. Uber said in a statement that it already has more than 2 million users in the country.
Now the users of the Uber app will be able to purchase and get delivered over the counter medications which Uber Eats will deliver in partnership with local health group Medicare, which operates more than 50 clinics and pharmacies around the country. This is the latest expansion of Uber in the delivery sector.
"The nationwide lockdown and restriction in movement created an immediate need to accelerate our business in increasing the accessibility to daily essentials," general manager of Uber Eats South Africa Shane Austin told Reuters. "Which is part of the reason our focus has been towards on-boarding various other merchants onto the app, aside from just restaurants."
An annual compound growth of 11 per cent up to 2024 will be achieved by South Africa's e-commerce market according to estimates made by information portal Statista in its latest Digital Market Outlook. The prediction also estimated the growth in the number of online shoppers to almost 37 million from the current number of about 25 million in the country.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc