Checkers to launch Amazon Prime-style subscriptions in South Africa

Shoprite Holdings-owned Checkers will later this month launch an Amazon Prime-style subscription service, which will offer “free” deliveries through its popular Sixty60 online grocery shopping platform.

The subscription plan, called Xtra Savings Plus, will bundle unlimited free delivery through Checkers Sixty60 into a R99/month subscription package. A minimum purchase of R350/order is required to qualify for free delivery – a standard delivery fee of R35 is levied otherwise.

Xtra Savings Plus has been in testing for several months. A spokeswoman for Shoprite said more details about the subscription plan will be announced later this month at the commercial launch.

However, it will offer 10% in savings for subscribers shopping in physical Checkers stores, limited to R200/month.

Subscribers will also get additional personalised offers, deals Checkers offers its Xtra Savings loyalty programme customers based on their individual shopping habits.

“Xtra Savings Plus is a monthly subscription plan that offers members a range of exclusive benefits to save you time and money — with unlimited free Sixty60 deliveries, double your deals and more,” Checkers said.

The Xtra Savings Plus subscription programme may be at least partially modelled on Amazon Prime, which has proved a stunning success with 148 million subscribers in the US alone, or about 44% of that country’s total population.

Prime subscribers in the US pay $14.99/month (R289) to get “free” deliveries on all orders; 5% back on purchases; “free” access to Prime Video (a competitor to Netflix and Disney+); and access to Amazon First Reads (which allows users to download a new book at no charge monthly).

Subscription shopping

Although sales through Sixty60 represent “less than 5% of the group’s consolidated sale merchandise”, the 81% year-on-year sales growth in the platform’s sales in the past year and Amazon Prime’s success in developed markets suggests there is room for significant growth in the local market. By offering Xtra Savings Plus, Shoprite is targeting consumers for whom convenience is a priority.

Read: Checkers opens its first ‘dark store’ as online shopping booms

Considering the trend towards subscription-based online shopping, cementing market share might help Shoprite strengthen its market position ahead of Amazon’s launch of an e-commerce marketplace in South Africa, which is now expected before the end of the year.  – © 2023 NewsCentral Media

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