Growing Role of Quick Commerce in The Retail Sector

Growing Role of Quick Commerce in The Retail Sector
Quick commerce is disrupting the way how the on-demand delivery industry operates.

By Soham chokshi , Founder and CEO, Shipsy

20 Jan 2022 | 7 min read

Imagine Amira realizing she needs to travel for a sales meeting within a few hours and needs a new blazer. Think of Jasmine’s urgent requirement for a new sports shoe now that she qualified for her Tennis semi-finals the next day. Think of Mrs. Sen, who just has a couple of hours left to buy presents for her father’s birthday. Such events will emerge as excellent opportunities for retailers to deliver what customers need in record time and drive high levels of loyalty. What’s important to keep in mind is that it’s possible, and quick commerce providers are already leading by example.

Quick commerce is disrupting the way how the on-demand delivery industry operates. From same-day and one-hour deliveries, now it’s fuelling expectations that warrant deliveries to be done in less than 45 minutes. Ten minutes to be realistic. Having said that, grocery still dominates quick commerce deliveries. But that is going to change quickly. Today, a need is not just driven by necessity. It is also triggered by the want for convenience. The demand for super-fast deliveries will sprawl beyond groceries and percolate into retail items like apparel, electronics, household products, and more.

In other words, the popularity of quick commerce will alter customer expectations from the retail industry and drive retailers to reimagine how they execute last-mile delivery operations. Here is a glance into what the growing popularity of quick commerce means for retailers.
 
Customer Expectations from Retailers Will Evolve Faster

As quick commerce providers work towards shrinking delivery turnaround times to less than 45 minutes, customers will soon favor retailers and e-commerce providers who mirror the same level of delivery convenience. A study by Deloitte already revealed that as much as 70 percent of consumers shop online solely because of ‘convenience’. Hence, it’s only a matter of time before delivery expectations from quick commerce will sprawl over to the retail industry.

Retailers Will Have To Thrive In a Shared Economy

To ensure faster deliveries, retailers will need to bring inventory closer to customers. In other words, their reliance on dark stores will increase multifold. However, the challenge lies in the availability of dark stores in prime city locations. Hence, brands will collaborate to optimize storage capacity to drive better unit economics, improve reach, and reduce operational costs.

Retail Outlets Need To Ensure Real-Time Inventory Visibility

Delivery of apparel, electronics, and household equipment from local physical outlets will play a significant role in fulfilling fast delivery expectations from customers. But to realize the full potential of such a fulfillment model, retailers, e-commerce providers, and delivery aggregators need to provide consumers and other delivery stakeholders with complete visibility of their available inventory. For instance, in the US, Accenture predicts that by 2023, more than 50 percent of all e-commerce purchases will be delivered from local inventory - and that number could easily be 70 percent.

Like Quick Commerce, Automation Will Be Critical for Retailers

Manually driven dispatch and last-mile execution processes pose enormous challenges in shrinking delivery turnaround times for retailers. Automating core delivery tasks like route planning and driver allocation will be essential to ensure deliveries are done in less than 45 minutes. Using automation, retailers can easily set multiple constraints based on delivery type, proximity from store and customer, order volumes, rider workload, and many more before assigning a delivery task. Modern logistics management tools can auto-allocate 99 percent of delivery tasks to achieve never before seen delivery turnaround times and on-time delivery volumes. 

Greater Need To Leverage Sustainable Delivery Models

Trip volumes will skyrocket once retailers start fulfilling quick commerce standard delivery expectations, and it will directly increase a brand’s carbon footprint. Retailers need to be proactive here. They need to embrace technologies that empower them to reduce the distance traveled, optimize capacity, and leverage eco-friendly delivery models (like bicycles, electric vehicles, and robots) to ensure less than 45 minutes delivery windows.

In a nutshell, for retailers to deliver on the promises made to the Amiras and Jasmines of the world and absorb market disruptions introduced by the on-demand delivery universe, embracing smart delivery management strategies and tools is the way ahead.

Imagine Amira realizing she needs to travel for a sales meeting within a few hours and needs a new blazer. Think of Jasmine’s urgent requirement for a new sports shoe now that she qualified for her Tennis semi-finals the next day. Think of Mrs. Sen, who just has a couple of hours left to buy presents for her father’s birthday. Such events will emerge as excellent opportunities for retailers to deliver what customers need in record time and drive high levels of loyalty. What’s important to keep in mind is that it’s possible, and quick commerce providers are already leading by example.

Quick commerce is disrupting the way how the on-demand delivery industry operates. From same-day and one-hour deliveries, now it’s fuelling expectations that warrant deliveries to be done in less than 45 minutes. Ten minutes to be realistic. Having said that, grocery still dominates quick commerce deliveries. But that is going to change quickly. Today, a need is not just driven by necessity. It is also triggered by the want for convenience. The demand for super-fast deliveries will sprawl beyond groceries and percolate into retail items like apparel, electronics, household products, and more.

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