Is the Q-commerce bandwagon running out of steam?, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

The “instant delivery” buzz created by Blinkit, Zepto, Dunzo and other fast-trade players seems to have been a short-lived celebration.

Not only did these brands fail to deliver within 10 minutes, but their instant delivery tactics turned out to be a mere advertising gimmick. Well, turns out the brands probably knew that all along.

The last time Blinkit was seen actively advertising its 10-minute delivery time was in December. (Was it called Grofer’s back then?)

Swiggy Instamart has completely removed the timing feature from its app. From “groceries in 10 minutes”, the brand now uses the marketing formula “groceries in a few minutes”.

Due to labor shortages, rising fuel costs, operational challenges and growing concerns over the safety of delivery agents that could lead to breakneck speeds, brands that have plunged straight into the ’10 minute delivery’ plan have now taken a step back in the Game.

At this point, while most brands have exploited and abandoned the concept of instant delivery, Reliance Retail planned to enter the fast commerce space.

But is there room for another player to enter a market that has already been explored by the precursors? Will there be enough space for all to coexist?

This is a reminder of the period 2017-2019, when morning milk delivery subscription became a trend, but soon Ninjacart, SuprDaily, Doodhwala had to scale down their operations or close shop.

Similarly, experts estimate some consolidation during the disruptive phase of this industry. In 2020, the Rs 26,754 crore online quick commerce industry in India (according to Statista) accounted for only 7% of the total addressable market.

While the opportunity is great, so are the challenges.

Also, it’s fair to wonder if these brands all dive into the same pond, will they be able to meet the needs of cities beyond Tier 1?

When there are a multitude of instant delivery offers in the same market, it is important for a new entrant like Reliance Retail to explore other levels and own that market.

In addition, meeting the changing needs of consumers and maintaining their profit margins is a tightrope that all “instant delivery” majors must walk. There are no “second” thoughts on this.

– Chehneet Kaur

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