South Africa has entered level three lockdown as of this week and that means that the nation is flocking to bottle stores.

But while many folks camped outside of liquor stores I decided to order alcohol online. Not only did this mean I wouldn’t have to go into a physical store and risk infection it also gave me a chance to compare the experience I had with Takealot early into lockdown.

You’ll recall that order was placed on 31st March and then delivered by 8th April.

Much has changed since April especially with ecommerce now being able to operate more freely than it was back at the start of lockdown.

With this in mind we set up two orders.

The first order contained a set of speakers and a PlayStation 4 controller. That order was placed on Saturday 30th May at 10:11.

The second order contained three bottles of wine, two bottles of tequila and two bottles of rum. That order was placed on Saturday 30th May at 16:26.

All items from both orders were listed as “In Stock” in Johannesburg.

The first order was expected to be delivered by 4th June which is in-line with the delivery times we’ve come to expect from Takealot.

However, shortly after placing the second order it was revealed the delivery would take place on 2nd June. Unfortunately it would only be half of the order as three items were not available.

With this renewed hope that Takealot had finally managed to nail deliveries I checked the first order and it was still earmarked for delivery on 4th June.

However, shortly after this we got in touch with Takealot who explained the order would be delivered before 17:00 on Tuesday.

While the platform never explained why our alcohol delivery happened earlier than the speakers and controller we suspect that strict regulations regarding alcohol deliveries may have played a role in one order being prioritised over the other.

We have since received both orders albeit with one order missing certain items – which we were duly notified of.

What has changed?

The most notable change is that updates regarding deliveries are much more frequent. Gone are the older, broad overlooks at deliveries and in their place is a more fine grain approach.

This is especially helpful with more folks working from an office during level three. The ability to reschedule the delivery is something we hadn’t seen before and it’s a nice touch.

But by far and away the best part of this experience is how much more seriously Takealot’s delivery team is taking social distancing.

In both deliveries the driver sanitised their hands before and after delivering the package. The delivery person observed social distancing protocols at all times and it was a far better experience than the one we had in April.

Something small is missing

While we appreciate the measures Takealot has taken as regards safe deliveries there appears to be something small missing from both of our deliveries.

Regulations regarding ecommerce sales published during level four of lockdown state that, “When packaging goods, retailers must provide written guidelines for customers on how to safely disinfect their goods before use”.

Now, we’re willing to concede that this was a regulation for level four of lockdown and this no longer applies but we haven’t seen a change to the regulations as of time of writing.

Regardless of whether it is or isn’t part of the regulations we think it would inspire a bit of good will if Takealot simply slipped a message into boxes to to let folks know how to properly sanitise their goods.

Overall however, the experience we’ve had with Takealot this week has been fantastic and even though one can head to a mall freely we highly encourage you to make use of ecommerce platforms were possible.