We all know how convenient online shopping can be, but sometimes you just can’t wait for an item, even if it’s next-day delivery. Unexpectedly running out of a health or hygiene staple, basic food products, or dealing with an unexpected event like a cold, sends us to the store or pharmacy quickly. Enter the next evolution of e-commerce: Q-commerce. Short for quick commerce, q-commerce promises delivery on a very curated selection of items to your door in as little as 15 minutes. Q-commerce promises to disrupt the convenience store segment in the same way that e-commerce has disrupted traditional retail stores.
Where e-commerce giants have focused on building large warehouses on the outskirts of population centers, q-commerce is supported by much smaller facilities right in the center of the city. Limited to about 2,000 items, q-commerce merchants focus on the same categories as you would find in your local convenience store, namely basic food items, some take-and-eat food choices, beverages, snacks, and health/beauty essentials.
Q-commerce is beginning to emerge in India, where the densely populated cities of Mumbai and Delhi make it easy to service a customer base from a q-commerce hub. Initially viewed as a competitive threat to the kiranas, or corner stores, an evolving business model may enable existing stores to overlay a delivery function onto their existing walk-in businesses. Redseer is forecasting that the q-commerce market may quickly develop into a $5 billion segment by 2025.
Overview by Don Apgar, Director, Merchant Services Advisory Practice at Mercator Advisory Group