Quick Commerce: A Star in the Making

Ecommerce marketing
7mid read February 14, 2024
Ecommerce marketing
Quick Commerce: A Star in the Making

The vicious onslaught of COVID-19 has been a major trial for the civilization. It didn’t only put to test national healthcare systems across the world but also had a staggering impact on all spheres of human life. And this impact was far from being exclusively negative. Whereas some industries (like entertainment, sports, or tourism) suffered great setbacks in the aftermath of the pandemic, other domains received a powerful boost. 

Most notably, a rapid spike was manifested by the fields connected with harnessing the remote mode of work and study we had to adopt during the series of lockdowns. The limited accessibility to essential commodities has given rise to the quick commerce business model. So, what is quick commerce, and how can entrepreneurs turn it into a profitable venture?

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Quick Commerce Made Plain

In fact, quick commerce (aka q-commerce) is a type of ecommerce. Both models are based on online purchases and on-demand delivery of goods. However, if for classic ecommerce, the 3-5 day lag between order placement and purchase shipment is acceptable, quick commerce delivery should live up to expectations and take minutes instead of days or even hours. Typically, q-commerce covers perishable goods like groceries; yet, lately, this roster has been broadened to include medicines, stationery items, and other daily essentials bought in small quantities. 

How can quick commerce companies succeed in delivering purchases to the doorstep so fast? The secret is in turning traditional logistics upside down. Rather than relying on large depots conventionally situated on the outskirts of cities, q-commerce businesses employ “dark stores” – a string of smaller ‘pick-and-collect’ warehouses dispersed all over the area in cheaper rental locations and stocked with a limited number of high-demand items bought online. 

The rise of quick commerce is attributed to the mobility limitations introduced by governments during the COVID lockdowns, yet in the post-pandemic next normal, its popularity doesn’t ebb. On the contrary, in 2022, the number of q-commerce users reached $400 million; in 2023, it grew by almost $112 million and is expected to exceed $788 million within three years. Why? Increasing urbanization, smaller households, busy lifestyles, and aging populations are the major drivers that propel the expansion of q-commerce. 

Sensing the universal demand for instant delivery, astute entrepreneurs worldwide started investing in q-commerce startups. For instance, Turkish company Getir raised funding close to $2 billion last year, and American Gopuff did even better by raising $3.4 million. Generally, the q-commerce market in Europe generated over €7 billion in revenues in 2022 and is expected to double this number by 2027. However, it is still no match for the $21 million of revenues the USA quick commerce ventures reported in 2021.

Definitely, far-sighted business people are well aware of the boons quick commerce promises to consumers they can capitalize on. 

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Zooming in on the Benefits of Q-Commerce

What do customers get by ordering from quick commerce outlets?

  • Speed. This is what q-commerce is essentially for. Thanks to the ramified network of dark stores, clients get the items they order lightning-fast.
  • Ease. No need to go anywhere, search for the thing you want, stand in a queue, etc. All you have to do to obtain everything you fancy – from popcorn to Chinese food – is to open an app and press a few buttons. 
  • Availability of relevant goods. To keep abreast of customer needs, companies in the realm leverage quick commerce software. By employing AI and ML-driven ecommerce products, they can monitor demand, fine-tune inventory, prevent stockouts, and avoid deadstock. Also, companies should have mobile commerce solutions in place, enabling them to keep constantly in touch with numerous couriers and provide a high level of services to the clientele.
  • Round-the-clock operation. Dark stores don’t have opening and closing hours since they work 24/7/365. This “always-on” mode gives them a definite edge over brick-and-mortar facilities.

How do entrepreneurs benefit by being involved in q-commerce?

  • A competitive unique selling proposition. By adopting the q-commerce model, entrepreneurs offer new value to consumers and build a business capable of competing with both physical stores and large online marketplaces.
  • Opportunities for greater margins. A survey reveals that half of consumers in the COVID-ridden world were ready to pay more to get everything they needed in a swift and no-sweat way. The pandemic is over, but people’s adherence to convenience still reigns supreme. Shoppers from wealthier strata are willing to loosen purse strings, and quick commerce firms can monetize this convenience drive. 

Given these hefty advantages, quick commerce is in full swing today. But what awaits the industry tomorrow?

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Q-Commerce: A Glimpse into the Future

An ever-growing demand for quick commerce services does not in any sense mean the inevitable eclipse of traditional retail organizations and envisage dark times for classic ecommerce players. As a seasoned ecommerce consulting agency, Elogic Commerce believes that speaking of the bright vistas of q-commerce compared to other retail models, we should use the phrase “in addition” but not “in place of.” 

With an eye towards quick commerce trends supermarkets and online stores augment their last-mile delivery fleet and harness respective software to speed up their shipment routine. As technological progress advances, we are sure to see a wide employment of drones that will enhance the reach and curtail delivery time. 

On the other hand, q-commerce ventures won’t rest on their oars either. They will not only upgrade the quality of services by opening new hubs but also expand into the yet untapped niches and go beyond the traditional assortment of delivered FMCG items (the staple of which is foodstuffs). Glovo pioneered in offering furniture, pharmacies, beauty products, books, and literally “anything” to cater to people’s most whimsical needs. Other quick commerce brands are sure to follow suit. 

Moreover, traditional stores and q-commerce companies aren’t doomed to eternal competition. Nowadays, many quick commerce firms don’t rely on stocks out of their own dark stores. Instead, they function as marketplaces and partner with supermarket chains, local grocery stores, restaurants, and pharmacies for the mutual benefit of both and customers’ ultimate satisfaction. 

The chief factor that hamstrings the rapid growth of the quick commerce industry is the inadequate infrastructure of many modern cities. Local authorities struggle with making their streets, highway junctions, and residential areas less prone to congestion and more vehicle-accessible. However, it is quite difficult to keep pace with the increasing needs of inhabitants. 

Evidently, it is the q-commerce companies themselves that should take care of the operational efficiency of their business (the same is true of the classic ecommerce players, by the way). When a company that has endured a precarious survival phase enters the major league of the industry, it has no choice but to leverage technological achievements in machines, devices, and software, fueling them. 

By hiring ecommerce developers of Elogic Commerce, you obtain a qualified team of vetted professionals who can tackle any q-commerce project and provide an extensive roster of related services. Contact us to give your quick commerce venture a powerful boost. 

Drawing a Bottomline

The outburst of the global plague has catalyzed the demand for new commerce frameworks that could provide fast delivery of essential commodities. The quick commerce model responded to this demand when companies guarantee the shipment of purchased goods (mainly groceries) within minutes or a maximum of an hour. As a rule, they rely on a network of 24/7-operating dark stores with a limited list of high-demand items and a pool of agents on scooters or bikes to deliver them to customers on short notice. 

Q-commerce brands successfully vie with supermarkets and online marketplaces, the speed of delivery and ease of use being chief differentiators in the rivalry. However, the future is likely to witness close cooperation between online and brick-and-mortar outlets that will try to carve their share of the huge revenue pie the niche promises. Any business model will thrive if it harnesses high-tech instruments to give them a competitive edge.

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Frequently asked questions

What is quick commerce?

It is a highly popular contemporary business model that prioritizes fast delivery of items purchased online. Specializing in perishable products (usually groceries), q-commerce companies keep a network of small “dark stores” strewn all over the city and stocked with high-demand products, from which agents on two-wheeled vehicles deliver the order within an hour at most.

What are the benefits of quick commerce?

Consumers enjoy the lightning-fast and no-sweat procedure of acquiring the necessary products available round the clock. Entrepreneurs who launch a q-commerce business have a competitive unique selling proposition and can establish greater margins for their services.

What products do quick commerce firms typically deliver?

The staples of their business are groceries and food from restaurants. Recently, q-commerce behemoths have started to expand this limited range by including medicines, books, beauty products, and even furniture.

Will q-commerce oust physical stores?

These business models are expected to function in parallel. While supermarkets will dominate as destinations for weekly shopping tours, quick commerce will satisfy immediate needs here and now. However, by expanding their offer roster, q-commerce brands can encroach on the traditional ground for brick-and-mortar stores and challenge their leadership.

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