Consumers Next Step to Convenience: Q-Commerce

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Consumers have become accustomed to how convenient online shopping can be with next-day delivery options from places like Amazon. But what if a consumer runs out of an item unexpectedly like health or hygiene staples or basic food products? The onset of a cold can send a customer to the store or pharmacy quickly.

Enter the next evolution of e-commerce: Q-commerce. Short for quick commerce, q-commerce – also known as on-demand or rapid delivery – promises delivery on a very curated selection of items to a buyer’s 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 large e-commerce companies 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’ consumers can find in at a local convenience store, namely basic food items, some take-and-eat food choices, beverages, snacks, and health/beauty essentials.

According to Global Data’s report on q-commerce, the rise of these companies is being fueled by changing consumer behavior since the pandemic and rising expectations. There has also been a shift in customer loyalty, with consumers more willing to buy from a range of online retailers.

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 corner stores, an evolving business model may enable existing stores to overlay a delivery function onto their existing walk-in businesses. Forecasting predicts that the q-commerce market may quickly develop into a $5 billion segment by 2025.

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