Q-Commerce is an abbreviation for Quick Commerce. It simply means quicker delivery timelines for purchases made online. The idea of ‘quicker’ here is to deliver an order within an hour of placing it. By that measure, shadows of quick commerce are already in existence. Imagine a local grocery shop fulfilling on-demand local orders using common digital technologies like messenger apps and online payment platforms and local delivery services. However, Q-Commerce is a well-planned and streamlined business model. So, casual deliveries taking place within an hour does not count as quick commerce. We will discuss the implementation of quick commerce later in this post.
An interesting and fundamental feature of quick commerce is that it is limited to fewer and readily available products per order. For example, through quick commerce, it will be possible to deliver multiple different electronic items in one order. But under normal circumstances, it will not be possible to fulfil an order that comprises the monthly grocery needs of a household. The reason is the limited timeframe. The fulfilment process in quick commerce does not allow the time required to sort and assemble a wide variety of products in one order. But with analytics and personalization, it may become possible to offer multiple products in one package. This would then fulfil the conditions of fewness and readiness of availability of quick commerce.
Impact on eCommerce players
Quick commerce has notched up the competition in the eCommerce industry to the next level. It will become increasingly difficult for regular eCommerce players to compete with businesses following the quick commerce model. For example, giant eCommerce marketplaces and online retailers already lose out to local grocery and departmental stores when it comes to household groceries and provisions. In such a scenario, dark stores going the quick commerce route will offer strong competition to all routine online and offline stores operating within the same market.
Impact on brick and mortar retail
Running a quick commerce business model entails the presence of multiple numbers of local hubs and fulfilment centres. Existing offline retail businesses with multiple stores already have an edge in adopting quick commerce. They already possess the necessary infrastructure. Even if such businesses are still in the brick and mortar format, quick commerce offers them another strong reason to go online.
Impact on customers
For customers living in metropolitan cities, getting deliveries within hours will not be something alien to them. They might not feel the difference as strongly as customers who usually have to wait for days to get their orders delivered. But with the product selection constraints with quick commerce, customers will benefit only in a few selected product categories. The core advantage of quick commerce is that of time and urgency.
Implementing Quick Commerce
Multiple local order fulfilment centres
Quick commerce runs with the notion of hyperlocal delivery. There are only 30 minutes available to process and deliver an order. These local hubs must be strategically located with dedicated areas to be covered. A good example of this would be pizza restaurants that promise delivery within 30 minutes. They do not achieve this with drones (at least not yet). They open more and more stores in different locations within a city. Making the pizza takes the same time but it shortens the delivery time. The same is true for quick commerce.
Delivery team on standby
Remember the delivery promise is 30 minutes. So, the burden of not having a delivery guy ready to deliver the order falls on the house. But how big a delivery team should be is a tricky question to answer. Also, it needs to be figured out whether the delivery team needs to be in-house, outsourced, or commission-based associates. It depends on the costing. But dependability is also a serious consideration here because service quality is involved.
Defining orders and product selection
Not all kinds of orders could be processed with quick commerce. A pack of cornflakes can be delivered within 30 minutes. But it is extremely unlikely to fulfil an order comprising of 30 items. The sorting and assembling that many items would take up too much time. For instance, a restaurant would be able to prepare only a certain number of parathas (a type of Indian bread) within a given time. This is keeping in mind that the order must be delivered within 30 minutes.
Customers are into quick commerce for a reason. It is to save time or to meet an urgent need. And thus, it requires that the ordering platform provided to them meets the specific requirements of their shopping journey. A simple instance of this would be the ‘lite’ versions of many famous mobile applications and games. The lite versions remove all the fanciness from the apps and make them usable even on low-end phones. Slow internet? No problem. Low RAM? No problem. In quick commerce, businesses should think on these lines. And those ads and offer banners need to go down as well.
Robust QA and QC
In quick commerce, after an order is placed, there is barely any time for quality checking. Therefore, all the elaborate product-related QA and QC activities must be carried out much before that. This is because the products may still suffer from deviations from the expected standards. Customers may still ask for a return or replacement as applicable.
Operational Planning: SOPs
Sound operational planning has heightened importance in quick commerce. Here, employees do not have any time to take calls or make decisions but simply process orders. The flow of activities needs to be short and limited to fewer hands. But even in this rush, the adherence to standards cannot be violated. The procedures have to be shortened but the standards cannot be compromised. What will be the point of sending the right order within 30 minutes to the wrong door or vice versa?
How YRC can help
We are a boutique retail and eCommerce consulting firm with a growing international presence. Since 2012, we have consulted over 500 clients in more than 20 verticals. We deploy an expert and experienced team of professionals from diversified academic and industry exposure in our projects.
Our services stand aligned with the requirements of going omnichannel and adopting quick commerce. From market research and business model development to SOP design and franchise consulting, our experience and expertise are best suited for businesses that seek a sustainable and growth-oriented transformation in the ever-changing eCommerce landscape.
To know more about our quick commerce business consulting services or if you have any queries for our quick commerce business consultants, drop us a message to schedule a callback.