As a developing country, India is witnessing a fast-paced, ever-changing economic climate. One of the latest additions to its list is the introduction of Q-commerce. So, what is q-commerce? And how does it change the landscape of online retail business in the country? Let’s find out.
Q-commerce is still in its nascency. However, it is moving full steam ahead as a growing number of people are acknowledging its benefits. After all, q-commerce apps are the perfect resort for your last-minute needs, food cravings, or a lazy day when you don’t want to get out of bed.
If you have caught yourself in a daze about what q-commerce actually is, think no more. We are here to calm your curious minds.
What Is Q-Commerce?
Q-commerce stands for “quick commerce” and is an online retail business where goods or services are delivered “quickly,” usually within a few minutes, up to an hour. The Covid-19 pandemic fueled the popularity of such apps, but they are still topping the charts even after the pandemic is behind us. The delivery time is at the crux of quick commerce apps, which are seeing a rise in their numbers.
The modus operandi of the last-mile delivery companies is based on the “dark store model.” Dark stores are the mini-warehouses of such companies located in several neighborhoods across a serviceable city, open only for online orders. The multi-location presence of such stores enables the location-based, “on-demand delivery” of the orders to customers that a q-commerce app promises. Dark stores have a sub-category that is also on the rise – dark kitchens!
Examples of such apps surround us: JioMart from Reliance, Bigbasket from Tata, Amazon Fresh from Amazon, Flipkart Supermart from Walmart, Swiggy Instamart from Swiggy, Blinkit from Zomato, Nature’s Basket from Spencer, DMart Ready from DMart, Dunzo, and Zepto.
Q-Commerce vs. E-Commerce
Let us understand the differences between the two forms of online commerce:
The major distinction between q-commerce and e-commerce is the speed of delivery. The multi-location fulfillment stores, more commonly known as the dark stores, allow speedy delivery, usually within minutes, in the case of q-commerce companies. On the other hand, delivery can take a few days, depending on the product type and its dispatch location in the case of e-commerce.
Type of Products
The q-commerce companies are used to deliver mostly daily essential products like cooking or cleaning essentials, stationery, etc. In contrast, e-commerce has a vast catalog of products ranging from clothes and furniture to electronic gadgets, sports equipment, etc.
The q-commerce and e-commerce companies also differ in their business locales. While the former has localized mini warehouses from where the supply occurs, the latter may have localized or regional warehouses depending on the type of product you order. The delivery may occur after the completion of intercity dispatch in the traditional e-commerce business model.
Since q-commerce is a relatively newer concept, it is available in select cities as of now. However, e-commerce has a more all-pervasive presence and delivers goods to far-fetched areas as well.
Benefits of Q-Commerce
Q-commerce offers plentiful benefits. Let’s take a look at them:
Q-commerce companies provide quick delivery of products, usually within a few minutes to an hour. This gives it an edge over e-commerce and makes it a perfect choice for your last-minute needs and other situations demanding immediacy. They bypass the traditional methods of order acceptance and use the medium of quantum computers to expedite the transactions.
Q-commerce apps and websites have priced their products reasonably, along with attractive discounts and offers.
Quick commerce apps provide ease and convenience to the user. It brings the supermarket experience to your smartphone, only without the long queues and poor-quality goods. You can order anytime throughout the day, unlike brick-and-mortar shops.
Live Updates and Tracking
Once you place your order, the q-commerce apps will provide you with real-time updates about your order, like “your order is confirmed” or “your order is packed,” etc., and also allow you to track your order once it is on its way along with the delivery person’s details.
Q-commerce apps ensure good quality products failing which they give their customers the right to claim a refund or demand a replacement. For this purpose, their customer care helpdesk is willing to listen to your grievances and act upon them readily.
Future of Q-Commerce
Modern-day customers are always on-the-go and do not like to wait. They prioritize ease and convenience and have the purchasing power to do so. The popularity that q-commerce has attained will not last as a wave. It is here to stay and will only grow ahead. According to a recent Redseer report, the Q-Commerce market in India is predicted to grow by 10–15x to reach almost $5.5 billion by 2025.
As of today, the q-commerce services are available in select locations. The future trends indicate making many other locations serviceable by increasing the number of micro-fulfillment centers. They plan to do so with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze the purchase volume in a location and conclude whether or not it is optimal for a new dark store.
The q-commerce companies are relying on logistics to add more categories of products to their inventory beyond grocery and other essential items. Non-essential items like books, electronic appliances, etc., are on their radar.
Lastly, the q-commerce apps have to up their game to align with the advancing technology and customer expectation. They are accountable to the public to aim at sustainable means of growth by methods like focusing on eco-friendly, reusable packaging and promoting deliveries on electric scooters known for their zero emissions, etc.
The modern-day lifestyle has many people depending on q-commerce apps for grocery and other essential needs. In such a scenario, the decline in the trends of such apps is not in sight. Instead, with greater urbanization and improved quality of life, people are being pulled towards the convenience that q-commerce apps offer.
We hope we could help you understand the concept of q-commerce. Feel free to write to us regarding further queries and concerns. We would be delighted to reach out to you.