An Ultimate Guide to Quick Commerce 2023  


An Ultimate Guide to Quick Commerce 2023  

The ability to get essentials and nuances delivered to your doorstep within minutes is nothing less than magic!

From a milk formula delivered just in time to ingredients that save the day when guests come unannounced, from a piping hot Pizza to pair with the ongoing match to a dress that you need for a function tomorrow – quick commerce comes in various forms, sizes, flavors, and delights!

Combining last-mile innovations with existing e-Commerce practices has enabled quick commerce delivery models to complete order fulfillment within minutes. The q-commerce market is projected to grow at a steady rate of around 47% over the next decade. What began as an assurance of 2-day or same-day delivery has now evolved into a highly competitive and instant gratification service model with delivery SLAs of 10 minutes!

With accelerated technological adoption and the customers’ need for instant gratification, the q-commerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds and is projected to reach a $20 billion market value by 2024.

Here, we share a complete quick commerce guide 2023 for retailers, customers, and all the ecosystem stakeholders. We discuss the challenges involved in scaling the quick commerce deliveries and orchestration of efficient operations. We also discuss how using smart automation can help businesses unlock higher profitability at multiple levels and much more.

What Is Quick Commerce and How Does It Differ From eCommerce 

eCommerce or electronic commerce is the buying and selling of products over the internet, with the payment being made online or in person. A typical e-commerce delivery may take about 3-4 days to one week.

Q-Commerce or quick commerce is a type of e-Commerce where deliveries are carried out within minutes or hours. Quick commerce focuses on supplying a variety of items, mostly necessities, in smaller quantities to cater to instant delivery demands.    

The business model has grown exponentially in the last few years with an increased focus on executing super-fast deliveries for essentials across verticals like groceries, food items, medications, gifts, etc. Delivery giants such as Swiggy, Instamart, Blinkit, and Zepto collectively account for more than 80% of the q-market.

During the pandemic, enterprises found themselves neck-deep trying to keep up with the rising order volumes, especially in essentials and daily use items categories. This is where q-Commerce emerged as a viable alternative. The lightning-fast and on-time doorstep delivery business model allowed customers to receive products at home within 30-10 minutes. 

The way people shop has significantly changed throughout the years, be it a pair of sneakers from their favorite brand or a meal to satisfy their midnight cravings. Both eCommerce and quick commerce have impacted and influenced how we buy and consume services. 

We have listed down a few points highlighting the differences between quick commerce and e-Commerce:

Difference in ETA

The estimated time of delivery after placing an order is the main distinction between q-commerce and e-commerce. While e-commerce offers delivery within a 24-hour to window days, q-commerce businesses complete deliveries within 2 hours to 10 minutes.  

Delivery Approach

Q-commerce businesses frequently utilize two-wheelers like bicycles or scooters for on-demand order fulfillment. In contrast, the e-commerce fleet uses a mix of two-wheelers as well as larger vehicles for last-mile deliveries.

Warehouse Storage

Q-commerce uses physical storefronts or micro-fulfillment centers, also called dark stores, to have a wider reach around the area. E-Commerce businesses typically use a central warehouse for inventory and managing returned products.

Product Catalog

The product catalog in q-Commerce depends upon various factors such as location, time, and availability and mainly comprises essential and daily-use items. In comparison, e-Commerce has a much more diverse product catalog, and the inventory size is many times as compared to a hyperlocal scenario.

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns prompted consumers to resort to digital means for purchasing essentials such as groceries, medicine items, and beverages. As per OECD, 16% of US consumers ordered groceries online from a nearby retailer in April 2020, right after the pandemic, a 30% increase from 2019. 

The global impact of the covid outbreak propelled consumers to incline toward q-Commerce services, and the market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down soon. In fact, the global quick commerce market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of about 42% during 2022-27. 

Enterprises are heavily investing in state-of-the-art platforms to execute cost-effective and scalable deliveries. By ensuring SLA adherence, they are able to complete on-time deliveries at all times and stay ahead of customer expectations. 

Geographically, the Global Quick Commerce Market expands across: 

  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Middle East & Africa
  • Asia-Pacific

North America, followed by Europe & the Asia-Pacific, occupies a significant portion of the global quick commerce market. 

In the US, Instacart’s delivery services expanded from 30,000 to 55,000 stores, capturing nearly 85% of households from July 2020 to July 2021. Additionally, the growth of regional q-Commerce platform warehouses in populated nations like India and China has enabled businesses to deliver on-demand items at customers’ convenience. 

In 2022, Blinkit (Grofers) declared the opening of 200 dark stores to facilitate ten-minute grocery deliveries and meet the surging demand. In 2020, the q-commerce market was projected to stand at 49 billion US dollars. Additionally, that same year saw an average q-commerce penetration of roughly 7% of the country’s online consumables industry. Forecasts state that by 2025, this percentage will increase to 12-13%

The continuing advancements in logistics tech have enabled businesses to track the supply chain processes in real-time and scale on-demand deliveries via AI/ML capabilities. 

However, executing a supply chain network of on-demand deliveries comes with complex challenges, taking a toll on TCO and human resources. Intelligent solutions such as Shipsy’s on-demand delivery platform leverage geocoding to avoid potential misrouting or delays and optimize fuel consumption with geofencing capabilities. 

Quick Commerce Operational Challenges

Quick commerce may appear to be the ideal way for businesses to stay ahead of the competition by catering to customers’ instant demands and delivering a positive buyer experience. However, it comes with its fair share of challenges.

Today, receiving products within 20-30 minutes after placing an order is no longer a luxury but the new normal for customers. However, the q-commerce model comes with its own set of roadblocks. 

Next, we discuss some of the top operational challenges that every quick commerce guide 2023 is incomplete without.

Growing Logistics Silos 

Considering that logistics is a layered process, there is scope for error at every step resulting in delays and rising costs. As organizations grow, departments are bound to increase. 

The growing logistics silos in the supply-chain network hampers the supply-chain network efficiency and takes a heavy toll on the wallet. Delivery management platforms enable businesses to establish a unified view of the logistics process, with concerned stakeholders accessing crucial information from any place at any time. 

Poor Inventory Management and Forecasting 

Businesses must stay ahead of consumer expectations to ensure an uninterrupted flow of the supply chain network and maintain profit margins. Rush hours, festive seasons, or seasonal sales often witness a surge in demand for orders. 

The seller must be equipped with an efficient stock of products at times of high demand. In the absence of automation, it becomes challenging to accurately predict customer behavior which negatively impacts the business’s bottom line. 

Inability to Optimize Asset Use 

From selecting the most suitable vehicle to providing the rider with the best-optimized routes, the quick commerce journey is an uphill task. Businesses often have a hard time maintaining fleet operations due to managing multiple delivery and post-delivery operations. 

Sellers must equip a proper understanding of the fleet required for each operation to save time and rising costs. 

Higher Customer Acquisition Cost 

Businesses are aware of the fact that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Industry players are always competing for new customers, which is a costly endeavor. 

So, the burden to keep the happy customers happy always, all the while adding to the pool of existing customers, is one of the most crucial challenges for businesses in the quick commerce sector.

Inefficient Fleet management 

The primary focus of quick commerce is achieving the fastest delivery within the shortest time frames. This results in managing multiple riders at once to maintain the uninterrupted flow of delivery. 

However, businesses might face shortages of drivers during periods of high demand due to the absence of automation. Static routing is a cost-intensive and time-consuming approach that is prone to delays or mishandling of operations. 

Route optimization, fuel costs, and environmental compliance have been some of the top concerns for fleet managers over the last few years. 

Fluctuating Market Demand 

Although enterprises today have tons of data at their disposal, the question remains how much of that data is reliable? 

Without tools and automation, business users may find it challenging to identify hidden tropes of customer behavior and fluctuating market patterns. Another operational challenge is meeting the high order volumes during festive seasons or rush hours. The inability to meet the increasing demand severely hampers the brand’s reputation and impacts customer loyalty. 

Lack of Vision for Sustainability and Scalability Goals 

Building a loyal customer base is one of the core goals for business success, and quick commerce is no different. According to a report, 50% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for sustainable brands and products. 

Businesses involved in quick commerce are now being incentivized to showcase services as having a low environmental impact. However, in the absence of dynamic routing, riders often end up taking longer routes resulting in increased fuel consumption. 

Further, the inability to cut down on vehicle and fuel costs only increases emissions, affecting sustainability goals. 

Lack of Real-time Insights  

From retailers and riders to the end consumer, various stakeholders are involved in the last-mile delivery process. Businesses must know the driver’s whereabouts at all times to ensure on-time delivery. 

Moreover, the customer also needs to be informed regarding order status, be notified instantly in case of delays, and should be able to contact riders directly if required. Without real-time insights, it is difficult to evaluate performances, ensure rider safety and identify recurring business challenges. 

The business pain points in implementing quick commerce operations are many. However, with the right set of tools and automation capabilities, enterprises can address the roadblocks and accelerate the supply chain flow and realize their business goals. 

How to Overcome the Quick Commerce Challenges With Smart Automation 

Cost-effectiveness and scalability are crucial to achieving success in quick commerce operations. Platforms such as Shipsy’s SaaS-based end-to-end delivery orchestration and management solution offer various capabilities for order tracking, fleet management, dynamic order clubbing, etc., to seamlessly meet and stay ahead of rising consumer expectations.

We have listed below how smart automation enables enterprises to overcome q-commerce delivery woes and deliver a superior customer experience.

Automated Driver Allocation 

AI-powered quick commerce delivery management solutions come with a driver management app for automatic order allocation based on multiple parameters, such as rider availability and location. 

Orders are allocated to riders based on multiple factors like the current workload of the driver, proximity to the delivery location, order volume, etc. This ensures highly cost and resource-efficient delivery operations at all times. 

In addition to completing the deliveries on time, businesses can also ensure peak-hour driver availability by managing shifts via smart rosters. 

Multi-Payment Options 

Smart quick commerce delivery management platforms provide multiple payment options to customers, be it UPI, QR codes, digital wallets, or cash-on-delivery. It ensures visitors have a wider variety of payment options and do not leave at the final checkout process or pay by any other preferred payment mode at the time of delivery. 

Moreover, businesses can gain greater visibility and control over cash reconciliation from riders at hubs post-delivery. This facilitates awareness about which COD orders have been fulfilled and the remittances.

In-App Gamification

In-app gamification is a powerful technique to boost customer experience and user engagement. Rewards and loyalty points can significantly boost drivers’ morale and increase productivity. 

Gamification is an excellent way to measure and reward KPI-driven performance and encourage positive competition among the on-field workforce, such as riders or warehouse and distribution staff. Businesses can ensure highly transparent rider payouts and automate payments based on shift adherence.

Intelligent on-demand delivery platforms also incorporate user ratings and reviews to further enhance the process, with businesses attaining data banks to identify real-time trends and practices.

Smart Order Clubbing 

Dynamic en route smart order clubbing considers multiple factors like location, radius amount, and the maximum number of orders to be assigned to a single rider. As a result, businesses are able to allocate their resources more effectively, boost productivity and ensure SLA adherence at all times. Moreover, riders are provided with the best-optimized routes to save fuel and meet sustainability goals. 

Live Tracking for Customers 

Smart quick commerce delivery orchestration and management platforms provide a centralized dashboard for customers to track the order status in real time and get notified of key delivery milestones. 

The solutions also allow customers to connect with riders directly via the app, SMS/WhatsApp-based communication, or a phone call. In addition, consumers can also change pin location, provide alternate contacts or reschedule deliveries as per convenience.  

How Shipsy Can Help Improve Quick Commerce Deliveries

Shipsy’s AI-enabled quick commerce delivery orchestration and management solution is the one-stop solution for flawless quick commerce operations and delightful on-demand delivery experiences. 

Shipsy’s smart capabilities help businesses ensure a positive customer experience with multi-channel communication in an increasingly competitive world. The innovative functionalities created based on a consultative approach have helped businesses across the globe to realize: 

  • 24% increase in on-time delivery 
  • 77% reduction in steps for the delivery process 
  • 14% increase in deliveries per driver 
  • 45% reduction in average order allocation time 
  • About 95% of deliveries are marked in real-time 

For more information or to get started with Shipsy’s AI-powered quick commerce delivery management solution, please schedule a customized demo today.

Quick Commerce FAQs 

How can a small business implement the Quick Commerce Model? 

A business must have an online order management platform, warehouse management platform, and a robust delivery orchestration and management platform to cater to the instant demands of customers. A flexible and customized quick commerce platform, like Shipsy, will facilitate the seamless management of order influx and inventory to ensure product availability at all times. 

How long does it take to enable Quick Commerce Platforms from scratch?

It depends on the platform you choose and how much web design experience you have. Shipsy’s SaaS-based quick commerce solution is a no-code, easy-to-use platform that seamlessly integrates with your existing order management system, warehouse management system, and any other existing management system and helps you get started with a negligible learning curve involved.

How do I check if my business is tech-ready for Quick Commerce?

Before switching to an online business model, you need to identify the cost of shifting to e-Commerce, such as the cost of acquiring services, delivery management, and warehousing. An intuitive, quick commerce delivery platform will help your organization identify business gaps, opportunities for growth, and reigning market trends. You would also require employees who can adapt to the new business environment and handle potential consequences.


Related Posts

The Rise of Quick Commerce Delivery 

The quick commerce market is expected to grow at a rate of 42% CAGR. Here are some detailed insights into the industry, its challenges, key growth drivers, and how automation is spurring the wheels.


Fixing the Dilemma: Quality of Fresh Produce vs. Less Than 45 Mins Deliveries

The fresh produce segment is gaining traction in the online grocery market. However, quality and freshness emerge as two major pain points. Find out how the latest technology can rise to the occasion.