We are now on day 12 of South Africa’s national lockdown due to COVID-19. During the first week of the lockdown, only a handful of ecommerce sites were in operation in order to deliver essential goods like groceries.

The scope for essential goods and services has widened since then, however, and now the likes of iStore are making plans for their customers during this time.

To that end iStore South Africa sent out a new update to its consumers via email this week, detailing what services and offerings would be made available during the lockdown. More specifically, it expanded upon some of the protocols iStores were adhering to last week, and has since rolled out a few services for those stuck at home.

Perhaps key among these services is that the online portal remains open for shopping, allowing consumers to continue to purchase Apple hardware and accessories, as well as smartphone contracts.

iStore South Africa is careful to stress that essential items, found here, will be delivered between two and five working days depending on where the customer is located and when the online order is placed. All other non-essential items will only be delivered after the lockdown, which is currently 16th April, but that could change.

The retailer is also making its repair service available to customers, with home collections now on offer for specific products – iPhone, iPad, MacBook and iMac. Bookings for repairs can be made on the iStore website, but repair times will vary depending on the issue with the hardware.

As mentioned last week, iStore will continue to offer online technical support, with hours of availability extended to 8:00 to 20:00 every day during the lockdown.

Sticking with online, the company is making its Meets sessions virtual and free during the lockdown too, with free personal training sessions added to the mix as well.

Lastly, iStore South Africa has reiterated the hygiene processes that its couriers will adhere to during lockdown, listing the following:

  • “Drivers will wash their hands thoroughly and sanitise them before and after each delivery
  • No physical contact will be made between the driver and yourself
  • The driver will ensure they keep a safe distance when delivering your goods
  • The driver will place the Proof of Delivery note at a safe distance for you to sign. Please ensure you have your own pen.”

“We have also implemented stringent hygiene practices in our distribution centre in accordance with the WHO guidelines. This has been put in place to ensure the safety of our staff as well as give you additional peace of mind during this time,” iStore South Africa’s email update concludes.

Much like Uber Eats and Wootware, it looks like more retailers are pivoting to offer local consumers access to services, provided they can prove it’s essential.