By Pranatharthi Haran, Managing Director, APAC, Fluent Commerce
Blinkit, Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket, Dunzo, and Zepto–what do these brands have in common? They all promote delivering food, groceries, and essentials in 10 minutes. Given that 44% of India’s USD 620 billion retail markets are mostly grocery and food items, it is evident why companies are branching out their delivery services to drive more customers to their platform.
According to a McKinsey report, quick commerce has turned into a global retail priority, increasing the pressure on the supply chain. It also poses challenges such as delivery partner availability, employee health and safety concerns, environmental impact, and lack of organization during peak hours.
Owing to these challenges, over the last six months, businesses that initially endorsed their 10-minute delivery service have rephrased their claims to ‘delivery in minutes’ or ‘20-30 minute delivery.
But what if speed weren’t the only goal to delight a customer when it comes to delivering goods and services? We believe experience, reliability and convenience are as important and need to be looked at from a retailer’s customer proposition. What stands is that at present, the appeal of the 10-minute delivery system isn’t enough, the service has to match up with the hype. Instead, there are other, safer, and more reliable methods through which businesses can drive customers to their platform.
Avoiding the eternal rush hour
There’s no time to waste with quick commerce. Businesses have to arrange for multiple delivery partners at each location that they service. The partners are then expected to accept orders, complete pickups, beat traffic, and get to the location, all in a short span. Not only does this make the delivery timeline inconsistent, but it is also a daunting task for delivery partners.
Delivery-related setbacks made Swiggy, Blinkit, and others resort to assigning multiple orders to their available partners–making it more of a challenge to stick to the assigned timeline. Businesses need to remember that while customers expect personalized experiences and offers, it doesn’t have to be in the form of fast delivery.
A recent report states that most businesses want to employ an omnichannel system with personalized capabilities for their customers and their backend operations. However, only 15% of them have implemented it. By making better use of the tools and platforms such as an omnichannel order management system, businesses can make their work both easier and more efficient. It also enables them to leverage the insights gained from these tools to provide better service to their customers.
Consistency and convenience over speed
Order management system is a versatile tool, enabling brands to streamline their orders from start to finish. What this essentially means is that OMS can unlock multiple delivery alternatives without compromising efficiency and providing consistent services.
Providing quality deliveries, and being known for it, can be rewarding to brands in the long run (as opposed to providing 10-minute deliveries occasionally). Thankfully for them, a seamless and integrated order management system provides alternatives to quick commerce, such as:
– Smart order fulfillment
With an integrated OMS, retailers have the ability to display buffer stock (or safety stocks) for popular items on their online platforms, preventing over and underselling. Based on the location of the customer, orders can then be routed to the nearest store with stock, facilitating faster deliveries.
In case the nearest warehouse isn’t stocked up, OMS reroutes the order onto the next closest store, fulfillment center, or warehouse. Based on the location and fleet availability, OMS can calculate accurate delivery dates. This way, customers still receive their orders relatively quickly.
– Pick up from the store
Convenience is important for customers, and it can make or break their decision to stick with a brand. With nearby pickups, with urgent requirements, get pick-up options at a nearby store, at their earliest convenience.
Retailers with a comprehensive order management system can view their master stock and allot the orders to a dark store or fulfillment center nearby. Businesses can also turn their retail stores into pick-up points, encouraging footfall to the stores.
If the challenge is to stand out, why conform?
Globally, only companies such as Gorillas, Buyk, Getir, Zapp, and some other isolated players follow the 10-minute delivery system. India’s retail market, with the domination of select international and homegrown retail, eCommerce, and food delivery brands, presents a challenge for businesses to offer something unique.
Quick commerce also directs attention toward a business’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. Over 64% of retailers believe their actions affect customer purchase decisions. So, in a swarm of competition, it makes sense for brands to stand out by not conforming to quick commerce. A brand’s commitment to providing high-quality services doesn’t go amiss, even if it isn’t as quick.