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Why is Q-Commerce the fastest growing e-commerce model?

The Indian Q-Commerce market was a meagre $0.3 billion in 2021 and is now projected to be worth $5.5 billion by 2025.

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Mr Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of StoreHippo, explains why is Q-Commerce the fastest growing e-commerce model.

The rapid growth of the quick commerce model has garnered lots of attention in the past few months. The Indian Q-Commerce market was a meagre $0.3 billion in 2021 and is now projected to be worth $5.5 billion by 2025 (Source: RedSeer Consulting). With 15X growth in less than five years, the Q-Commerce model is showing a growth trajectory that makes it a force to reckon with.

Why Q-Commerce?

Conditioned by the disruptions during the pandemic, online buyers adopted a new normal way of life.  The pandemic also changed their buying patterns considerably. While buyers choose safety over visiting local stores, they still craved the joy of instant gratification. Ordering their desired products online and waiting for days at a stretch to get them delivered was frustrating. Customers were looking for ways to get their orders delivered within 15-30 minutes.

That’s when retail brands in the grocery and FMCG vertical decided to go for the quick commerce model.  Pivoting to quick commerce and fast hyperlocal deliveries not only helped the players in the grocery and FMCG sector tap the huge demand for everyday essentials but also helped them gain a competitive edge by winning over loyal customers. Quick commerce brands have not looked back ever since!

 

Mr Rajiv Kumar Aggarwal, CEO and Founder of StoreHippo

 

Q-Commerce: Why enterprise brands are eager to adopt the model?

From Blinkit and Zepto to Flipkart Quick and Apollo, the quick commerce battleground is witnessing fierce competition to win over the customers. The model has proven to be a formula for quick success and enterprise brands are eager to adopt it for the following reasons:

The shift in consumers’ preferences

Customers no longer want to wait in lengthy queues for buying the products they need. They prefer the brands to come to their doorsteps.

During Covid, buyers were concerned about safety and ease of shopping. Now, they demand only two things while shopping online- the convenience of placing orders in a few clicks and delivery within a few minutes. And the Q-Commerce concept ensures they get both these wishes fulfilled. By offering customers the luxury and joy of ordering their favourite products from 6 am to 11 pm (when even the local grocery stores don’t operate) quick commerce brands are winning new markets and customers at a pace like never before.

Internet penetration and smartphone usage

In the past few years, internet penetration and smartphone usage have exploded. In a few years, India is going to cross the 1 billion smartphone user mark. With smartphones and mobile internet at their disposal more and more buyers have shifted towards online shopping. With smartphones at their disposal, customers from the hinterland are also accustomed to online shopping and brands can easily leverage this behaviour shift to solidify their presence in new markets.

The large untapped market which has huge growth potential

Q-commerce brands are currently focused on tier 1 cities. A vast market with millions of customers across the country. However, it’s just a matter of time when the q commerce brands can quickly gain a strong foothold in tier 2, 3 and beyond cities that have a huge population conditioned to the ease of online shopping.  Consumers are looking for seamless buying experiences and are eager to explore new online brands that make everyday essentials shopping easier and faster.

Easy to expand by adding a new dealer/supplier network

The Q-Commerce model is primarily based on the micro warehouses set up, which includes setting up small warehouses in different locations to enable quick delivery. However, this set-up is labour and resource-intensive, especially when planning expansion quickly. Alternatively, brands can leverage the hyperlocal marketplace solution and onboard local Kirana and other stores as vendors. The hyperlocal marketplace set up for quick commerce does away with the need of setting up micro warehouses as each store-owner has his own warehouse.  Q-Commerce brands can easily tie-up with new store-owners in new geographies and route the customer orders from the nearest seller from clients’ locations. . Expanding the quick commerce brand to new markets is easy and thus accelerates the growth of q-commerce.

The low entry barrier for brands that already have a local presence

Enterprise brands that already enjoy a presence and business setup in the local market can easily enter the q-commerce space. They can quickly pivot to the q-commerce model thanks to cutting-edge turnkey hyperlocal marketplace solutions offered by advanced e-commerce platforms. Some e-commerce platforms also have the complete ecosystem for hyperlocal marketplace wherein they offer fully integrated payment and shipping solutions along with inbuilt delivery boy solutions to manage the fleet of delivery agents. Such readymade solutions have made it easy for enterprise brands to go to market in record time and grow to new markets easily.

Data-driven insights and understanding of local customer preferences

Data is the new-age gold. Advanced digital solutions that come with inbuilt analytics and customer tracking tools help q commerce brands strategise their business and marketing for exponential growth. These partnerships with local vendors also help them gain insider inputs about local customs, seasonal peaks and slumps, prospective markets and other social nuances for given geolocation. Putting together all these insights help enterprise brands to grow quickly and manage their inventory, modify their strategies and pro-actively expand the product line based on data-driven insights.

Brands adopting the Quick commerce pathway

The Quick Commerce addressable market size in India will grow from $49 billion in 2020 to $77 billion in 2025, as highlighted in the RedSeer Consulting’s report. Also, the number of addressable households is expected to grow from 20 million to 26 million households. With this hockey stick growth trajectory, brands have every reason to adopt the quick commerce model. Armed with the right tech partner and strategic marketing techniques, quick commerce brands can enjoy long-term success in the emerging market.

 

To get started on a strong footing, enterprise quick commerce brands need to be backed by technologically advanced and flexible e-commerce platforms. The e-commerce solutions for q-commerce should offer a complete ecosystem that has the following features:

 

  • The solution to leverage dealer-powered hyperlocal marketplace in a cost-efficient manner
  • Comprehensive marketplace solution to onboard local grocery/Kirana stores and manage them in an efficient and automated way
  • M-commerce solutions to build marketplace apps, vendor apps and delivery boy apps so the entire business can go completely mobile
  • Extensive order management (OMS) and inventory management solutions with centralized control
  • Omnichannel solutions to create new customer touchpoints and sales channels like mobile apps, online marketplace, mobile store, social commerce etc.
  • Multi-store e-commerce set up with centralized control to build and manage location-specific sub stores
  • Multilingual solutions to engage and convert the customers to their native language
  • Comprehensive delivery management and fleet management solution to track and manage own fleet of  delivery boys
  • Next-gen tech stack, agile and flexible e-commerce solutions to power the brand and accommodate its rapid growth

 

With such a feature-rich e-commerce solution at their disposal, enterprise quick commerce brands can easily switch from the cost-intensive inventory/warehouse-based model to the cost-efficient dealer-vendor network.

Summing up!

Quick Commerce has paved the way for a new era in the e-commerce domain. The segment is growing rapidly and offers unlimited opportunities for growth. The enterprise brands however need solutions that help them launch to new markets, implement personalization and plan strategic marketing for growth. Right now, the fight amongst brands is to win the customers’ interest and loyalty. Brands planning to win the quick commerce race need to focus on user experience and quick adaptability to changing market dynamics. Quick commerce is offering the new-age, tech-savvy buyers all that they were missing in traditional e-commerce. With fast deliveries, extended hours of service and adapting quickly to local tastes and demands quick commerce brands are poised for stupendous growth in coming years.