What is Q-commerce?
Your wife isn’t home and you decide to make a quick Maggi for dinner. Only that you can’t find a pack and are lazy to go out and buy it. You wish someone got it for you.
Your mom is making dosai and runs out of oil. She knows making oil-less dosai is not possible or palatable. None will touch it giving a whole new meaning to the term contactless dining. She wants you to go get it but you would rather watch the match and wish someone else could.
Your sister realizes at midnight she’s run out of diapers. She wakes her husband who is more pissed than worrying about his son pissing on the bed. Your sister wishes she had a better husband who got her things at odd hours.
Help is on the way for your family. And quick too. Welcome to Q-commerce – the next dimension of e-commerce. As the name suggests, it’s all about speed. Q-commerce means consumers can expect delivery less than an hour of placing an order. In a way of speaking, Q-commerce is e-commerce that’s arrived quicker!
E-commerce vs Q-commerce:
It combines the merits of traditional e-commerce with innovations in last-mile delivery. It builds on the omnipresence of the internet to deliver products in a jiffy. The speed of delivery is the key.
This may seem like a ridiculously impossible timeline but Q-commerce is more about small orders, rather than the wide assortment offered by retailers. Redseer consulting estimates the Indian market opportunity of Q-commerce to be $ 0.3 billion in terms of overall GMV. This is expected to reach $ 5 billion by 2025. Quick growth, so to speak!
Changing consumer dynamics, altering social and cultural realities coupled with a fast-changing, rapidly-moving world have all conspired to create this perfect storm. People today are time-starved. They are unplanned compared to their parents, are more value-seeking, have more disposable income and are in the mood to spend it too. Importantly, they belong to an increasing breed called I-want-it-now generation, who can’t wait, don’t want to wait and wonder why anyone should ever keep them waiting.
What’s faster than Q-commerce is the rush players who have quickly moved into this space. New players like Zepto have waltzed in as much as the traditional biggies like Swiggy, Dunzo and Big Basket who are changing colors and shifting to Q-commerce. Grofers has gone one step further and have even changed their all-grocery business model to a quick-commerce one and offer a whole range of other products too. For good measure, they have even changed their name to Blinkit.
Swiggy just got a $ 700 million funding to their Q-commerce venture, Instamart. Zepto got $ 60 million. Real quick, if I may add!
Impact of Q-commerce on traditional retailers:
Does all this frenetic bustle and market around Q-commerce sound like the death knell for traditional mom and pop stores? Is it the end of the road for the neighborhood Kirana?
The answer is a happy no. On the contrary, the more Q-commerce space gets crowded and noisy, the better it is for the local retail stores. This is where their real game begins.
If Q-commerce was ever tailor-made for someone, it’s for the neighborhood retailer. Who else knows the customers better? Who else can deliver it faster than the guy who is right across the street? Importantly, who else did you grow up with and have been served every step of the way?
Q-commerce biggies work by setting up dark stores in millions of neighborhoods. They carry far few stocks and far fewer variants of each. But the Redseer study, mentioned earlier, found out that only 20 million Households are addressable by Q-commerce companies in India. To put that figure in perspective, there are more than 250 million households in India. And most of them are served currently by the neighborhood retailer. Do the math and you can find the hidden potential!
Why should retailers adopt Q-commerce?
For starters, they need to realize they can and will fight and win this q-commerce war. All they need is the invisible hand of technology that will serve as their Brahmastra in this war. Let me bring you up to speed, pardon my pun.
Foremost, Q-commerce requires you to have a rigorous business discipline.You need to perfect the entire gamut of key operations viz., purchase, stock refilling to the godowns and from there to the racks, daily stock taking, seamless online ordering tools, automated stock picking process based on order, home delivery management system and periodic engagements with customers through notifications. In short, you need a robust ERP to manage all operations that are involved right from the time the product enters your store till it reaches your customer’s home. Not any ERP, but a software that’s wider in scope and one that is constantly upgrading itself rendering it in tune with the times.
Key features needed for Q-commerce:
The bedrock of Q-commerce is a strong and robust inventory management. More so to take on the dark stores that the biggies are going to open in every neighborhood. You need some stable apps to manage your operations and mitigate attendant errors. You need a flexible online order management solution to receive orders from consumers through mobile or web, accurate order picking solution to fulfill the orders quickly and finally an integrated delivery management application to assist delivery executives to reach the destination with no follow-ups.
Gofrugal’s OrderEasy, ERP integrated online order management platform to help you with managing your entire e-commerce operations. Once you receive a customer order, it would convey it faster to your staff so they can pick the right product without errors. It can also quote complementary products to the order so you can sell more and bill more!
Complementing the app is another deep solution solving a niche problem of order picking, called Stockpick. This app is a real game-changer. You don’t need a dedicated and well-trained staff to locate the right product, the right variant and right flavor. All you need is just a semi-skilled person who knows how to run the scanner over the product barcode. It helps you pick the orders quickly without any errors or hassle.
To round it all, you have GoDeliver, which would automatically assign it to the delivery boy who is free. It would also lay out the quickest map to the customer so the delivery can be done within the time you had promised and the customer had wanted.
The setup is done, but what next to make it sustainable? Gofrugal’s GoAct solution empowers businesses to monitor the performance anywhere through an online graphical reports to spot, fix and execute decisions to streamline the Q-commerce operations.
Q-commerce is a need for speed game. A 20-20 cricket match, so to speak. You have the complete assortment of products that your locality needs. You are in the customer’s neighborhood. If anyone can play the game harder, faster and better, it’s you. All you need is a well-rounded ERP like Gofrugal and a range of apps to complement it and complete it. Q-commerce then becomes child’s play.
Let your game begin!