What is quick commerce and why it revolutionises E-commerce sector
Quick commerce is the new trend we are heading towards. ⇒ Find out exactly what it is and why it will revolutionise the world of e-commerce.
In the last few decades, we have seen two trends take over the daily lives of most of us: a frenetic pace of life and a lack of patience reflected above all in consumer habits. According to research by Kissmetrics, reported in this RD station article, 40% of visitors abandon pages that take more than 3 seconds to load, a fact that demonstrates the speed at which we live. The point is simple: we want it all and we want it now.
If we also consider the age of the users, the lack of patience becomes even more evident in Generation Z. It is impressive to see how fast they consume content on Instagram or TikTok. This impatience inevitably carries over from the digital to the physical world, and we often see it in online shopping: we want to have the product in the shortest possible time or our food order to arrive very quickly. Companies like Amazon or Glovo make this possible.
In this context in which we find ourselves, the evolution of e-commerce is already a reality. Quick commerce is the new trend we are heading towards, a new modality that will try to satisfy the needs of users who need their orders to be delivered in a very short time. If you want to know more about it, in this article I explain what it is and why, and how it is revolutionising the online sales sector.
What is quick commerce?
Quick commerce or q-commerce is the direct evolution of E-commerce, a new form of e-commerce that aims to go much further. As its name suggests, this innovative concept aims to reduce consumer waiting times to an unprecedented level, offering very fast delivery without losing sight of excellence.
This type of commerce aims to combine the positive aspects and lessons learned from E-commerce with the innovations and changes introduced by the latest generation of delivery, which has introduced immediacy into the formula of the equation.
The aim of this business model is to deliver the user’s order in the shortest possible time, with delivery times of between 10 and 30 minutes, at most. Companies like Glovo have already introduced this concept of a very fast delivery with which they can bring almost anything in a very short time. Amazon Prime Now also has a 2-hour delivery service, and in the not too distant future, we will be able to get more and more things in less and less time.
For a delivery to be considered quick commerce, the standard is that the maximum time that can be used to deliver orders is half an hour at most. However, companies that want to become leaders in this type of digital commerce are facing the challenge of lowering this indicator to a maximum of 15 minutes, so the target is even lower.
The market seems to be ready for this kind of change, also considering the context shown in the introduction.
How do you deliver the purchase in 10 minutes?
Although the concept of quick commerce may seem very ambitious, the reality is that it is possible to achieve this speed of delivery, especially in large cities. To achieve this, these companies have logistics hubs at strategic points in the city – also called DMARTS (delivery-only local warehouses) or dark stores – which make it possible to offer this service to different neighbourhoods. For example, at this very moment, Glovo is already acquiring premises to transform them into dark stores in different European countries.
Thus, the vision of having stores outside cities is being changed to place them in key locations that can be reached more quickly and more easily. In this way, a more streamlined service can be offered to the extent that it can change the paradigm of the sector. Although it is not yet applicable to all products, it can cover a large number of products or services to receive our order at home with ultra-fast delivery times.
Another strategy being applied by quick commerce companies is to establish a partnering relationship with some local businesses. In this way, it is possible to have a wide range of products always on hand and to make very fast deliveries thanks to this collaboration in which all parties benefit.
Technology and new forms of delivery, such as drones or delivery robots, also have a big role to play in quick commerce. The company Foodora is a great example of this, using a small autonomous robot capable of very fast deliveries, simply seeing is believing. This not only has positive implications from a technological development point of view, but also goes in a good direction in terms of sustainability (replacing motorbikes, scooters, going zero km, etc.).
Why do users want quick commerce?
As human beings living in the 21st century, if we think about the need for speed and convenience, there are 4 aspects that are key to understanding it: a very chaotic and frenetic pace of life, people who live on their own, elderly people who need something urgently but have trouble getting it, and the overcrowding of cities.
If we think in an urban context, speed is crucial. Rhythms are chaotic and organisation plays a key role in being able to have everything at home as needed. The urban context is perfect for this type of service, as there are many houses in which people live alone, as a couple and/or share a flat.
These types of customers need to buy a smaller quantity of things to eat, if we refer to shopping, or equally of a single item for purchases of any other type. Buying in bulk, although usually cheaper, is not an option for this type of household. This would be the opposite type of behaviour to traditional and, to some extent, also to traditional e-commerce.
Speed and convenience, in short, are the determining factors for users; these characteristics take precedence over other characteristics such as price. The user experience in quick commerce is most important, as the aim is to provide goods that are essential in everyday life. Therefore, the service provided by quick commerce serves an immediate need and is not a substitute for weekly shopping, for example.
Which sectors can benefit from quick commerce?
As we have seen, it is clear that quick-commerce is particularly applicable to one type of product in particular, i.e. basic necessities that can generate the urgency of having them in such a short time.
Therefore, it is evident that the businesses that can apply it are supermarkets, food, retail and what we find in these shops: food, drink, cosmetics, some essential-basic clothing, some gifts, etc. Also, with the rise of post-pandemic teleworking, people might need office supplies or something to make their day-to-day life in their home office easier.
Indeed, a lot of q-commerce specialises in food delivery, but the trend we are heading towards is that many more sectors will be able to explore this type of fast commerce, and it will soon be possible to have everything delivered in a very, very short time.
Given the potential to deliver anything and that it is possible to cover more speciality products, quick commerce democratises access for all types of businesses to get their products to customers. Both local shops and local businesses can have a chance to carve out a niche in a hyper-competitive and saturated market.
In short, we could say that convenience and time saving are two very valuable assets that are highly valued in the times we live in, and these are precisely the aspects that characterise q-commerce. Therefore, everything points to this type of commerce being the direction we are heading towards, not only in the food sector but also in any other sector.
What do you think about this trend and do you think it will mean a big change in the way we consume? We’ll read you in the comments!