Majority of users expect q-commerce delivery to happen under 30 minutes

Published on 20/03/2023 by Ojasvini

Are consumers aware of the concept of quick commerce (q-commerce)? Have they ever used such services? What type of q-commerce platforms do consumers use the most? What are the advantages and disadvantages of q-commerce deliveries? Find answers to these and other such questions in our article.

 Q-commerce is a part of eCommerce wherein an item delivery typically happens in less than an hour

With technological advancements in place, consumers these days typically want items delivered to their doorstep. Unlike the traditional methods of eCommerce delivery, wherein an online order could take days to come, q-commerce could offer quicker delivery modes.

With that said, q-commerce is a concept that can be considered a newer form of eCommerce, with the speed of delivery being the main differentiating factor. Using such services, the delivery of goods typically happens not in days but in minutes. For instance, food delivered by a restaurant in 15 minutes would be considered a quick commerce delivery.

In the first part of this two-part article series, we talked about the meaning of mobile commerce, how customers use it, their choice of m-commerce platforms, their preferred mobile devices, and the challenges they face while making mobile purchases. We also discussed the transition from eCommerce to m-commerce. Having said that, is q-commerce widely considered a part of eCommerce? To evaluate this and understand whether consumers are aware of this concept and whether they’re using it or not, and other related aspects, Software Advice conducted an online survey with 1,002 participants. The full methodology can be found at the bottom of this article.

What is q commerce?

Quick commerce (q-commerce) is a part of eCommerce wherein an item delivery typically happens in less than an hour. The primary focus of quick commerce is to provide faster delivery options, and the convenience of shopping anytime and usually involves an order tracking feature. Q-commerce companies generally develop their applications or ‘one-stop shop’ via which customers can place orders for multiple items on a single platform.

Moreover, the q-commerce business model typically focuses on smaller quantities of items or fewer products. For instance, a person is more likely to order daily food items via quick commerce delivery instead of purchasing monthly/quarterly groceries in bulk.

What factors might have contributed to the emergence of quick commerce?

According to Forbes, ‘consumers who used to be willing to step out and visit their neighbourhood mom-and-pop stores or malls now prefer to stay home’. In addition to this, the settled-in work-from-home lifestyle might have pushed consumers to pay a higher price for the near-instant delivery of items. The same article also states that ‘as shifts like urbanisation, rising disposable incomes and single households continue to grow, this number will only multiply’.

Are consumers aware of the concept of quick commerce?

To understand how well-acquainted our respondents are with the concept of q-commerce, we showed them this definition and asked them whether they were aware of this concept:

‘The term quick commerce refers to commercial distribution activities based on the promise of delivery within a very short period of time (generally under one hour, although it could be as quickly as 10 minutes). Quick commerce includes delivery of food, drinks, groceries, pharmacy products, electronics, and any kind of products.’

To this, we got the following responses:

  • 41% of the respondents said ‘they knew the concept but did not know the name’
  • 30% of them said ‘they were not familiar with either the concept or the name’
  • 16% said ‘they knew the name but not the concept’
  • The remaining 13% affirmed that ‘they exactly knew what this meant’

Have consumers ever used a quick commerce service?

Moving forward, we asked them whether they’ve ever used a quick commerce service, to which we recorded the following answers:

  • A combined total of 64% of respondents answered with ‘no’, with 41% saying they have never used it but are interested in trying it, and 24% saying they have never used it and are not even interested in using these services
  • 19% of the participants said ‘they have used it at least once in the last three months’
  • 13% said ‘they haven’t used it in the last three months but are still interested in using it
  • The remaining 3% of the surveyed respondents said that ‘they’ve used it, but are not interested in using it anymore

Why have some consumers not tried quick commerce services?

We wanted to understand why some respondents have still not tried q-commerce services, so we questioned those respondents who stated that they’ve never used them but are interested in trying the reasons behind this. We received the following answers, as depicted in the chart below:

Majority of the respondents don’t know how quick commerce platforms work

Reasons why some are not interested in using q-commerce

Moreover, we also wanted to question the 24% of respondents who said a complete ‘no’ to using quick commerce services and even said they’re not interested in using them why they feel this way. To this,

  • 36% of the survey takers said ‘they don’t want to pay extra money for the delivery’
  • 27% of them said that ‘they prefer to shop physically’
  • 15% of the participants said ‘they prefer to support local or traditional businesses instead’
  • 10% of them stated that ‘they don’t want to use the mobile even more than they do’ currently
  • 5% of the respondents expressed the view that ‘they don’t think these services respect workers’ conditions'

Additionally, we also asked those 3% of respondents who said that they’d used q-commerce services but are not interested in using it anymore the reasons why they’re disinterested. Some such reasons included the fact that they don’t need those products anymore (28%), that they had bad experiences with the delivery service (22%), they’ve had bad experiences with customer support (13%), and bad experiences with the quality of the products (13%), among other such reasons.

How frequently do users make purchases using q-commerce?

Delving deeper to understand the customer purchase pattern, we asked the same set of frequent quick commerce users the following question: ‘How many times per month do you make purchases using quick commerce services?’ The recipients gave the following answers:

  • 45% of the respondents said they make purchases 1-3 times in a month using quick commerce services
  • 20% answered with ‘less than once a month’
  • 19% of the participants said the frequency is 4-6 times a month
  • 7% of them answered with 7-9 times a month
  • 5% stated that they purchase goods more than 15 times a month
  • The remaining 4% of participants said the frequency of them making a purchase using quick commerce services is 10-15 times a month

What type of q-commerce platforms do consumers use the most?

Moving forward, we asked the same set of q-commerce users about their choice of platforms. To this, we got the following responses:

What type of q-commerce platforms do consumers use the most?

What items/services have they purchased via quick commerce?

The same subset of users was again asked to choose what items/services they’ve purchased through quick commerce, and these are the results we got:

Majority of the consumers have purchased prepared food and grocery items via quick commerce

What is the expected time for quick commerce deliveries?

Examining further, we asked users what the acceptable time for q-commerce deliveries is according to them. We recorded the following results: 

  • Majority (58%) of the respondents said that ‘15-30 minutes’ is the acceptable time for quick commerce delivery
  • 28% of the survey takers answered with ‘31-59 minutes’
  • 6% of them said the time should be ‘less than 15 minutes’
  • Another 6% said ‘1 hour-1.5 hours’
  • The remaining 3% answered with ‘more than 1.5 hours’

Clearly —for the majority of the respondents— the expected delivery time is under 30 minutes, which again is the essence and true meaning of quick/instant delivery. In addition, we also asked these respondents what type of purchases they are mainly doing through quick commerce. To this, the majority (75%) of the respondents answered with spontaneous/urgent purchases, and 25% agreed to making planned and regular purchases.

What do users value most in a store/restaurant?

Delving deeper into understanding what part of a daily order routine has more influence on the respondents’ evaluation of a store/restaurant, we asked them the following question: ‘When you order groceries, food, or drinks through quick commerce, what has more influence on your evaluation of the store/restaurant? Select from 1 (has no influence) to 5 (influences a lot)’. The different responses are depicted in the chart below:

Majority of customers value the quality of the food/beverages the most when ordering from a store/restaurant

How much do users spend per purchase via q-commerce?

Moving forward, we asked users how much money, on average, they spend each time they purchase quick commerce (without considering the delivery cost). These are the responses we got:

  • 33% of the respondents agreed on spending ‘$21 to $30’ each time they purchase quick commerce
  • 28% of the participants answered with ‘$31 to $40’
  • 16% said they usually spend ‘more than $50’
  • 13% of the respondents answered with ‘$41 to $50’
  • 10% marked the range between ‘$10 to $20’

What are the pros and cons of quick commerce deliveries?

To gain an understanding of how users feel about quick commerce deliveries, we asked them to select up to three advantages and disadvantages of using quick commerce deliveries instead of the corresponding traditional ways of deliveries. They listed the following advantages:

  • The majority of the respondents (58%) said there is ‘convenience of delivery’
  • 50% of them answered with ‘speed’
  • 41% said they like the ‘possibility to buy and get products delivered almost 24/7’
  • 24% of the participants said they prefer ‘possibility of live order tracking’
  • 19% said there is a ‘variety of selection of products’
  • 18% chose the response ‘payment options’
  • 17% of them responded with ‘promotions’ —such as coupons and discounts— being one of the advantages
  • Other responses included ‘better delivery fees’ (12%) and ‘customer service’ (10%).

In addition, they chose the following disadvantages as illustrated in the chart:

Some disadvantages of using quick commerce deliveries

Do users buy premium subscriptions for delivery services?

We asked the same subset of users the following question: ‘Some companies offer premium delivery services for a monthly fee, which typically includes free shipping, etc. Do you pay for a premium subscription?’ To which:

  • 33% of the respondents answered negatively, stating that they’re not interested in signing up for a premium delivery service
  • 32% of them said ‘yes’ and indicated their satisfaction
  • 15% of the participants said ‘no’, but added that they are interested in doing so
  • 13% of them said they used to have it, but cancelled it
  • The remaining 7% said ‘yes’ but added that they’re not satisfied with it

How important is price for frequent q-commerce users?

We wanted to understand whether elements such as delivery speed, price, communication, quality of packaging, and customer service hold importance for customers. Therefore, we asked them to rank the degree of importance (with 1=Not important, 5=Very important) for the following elements when doing quick commerce.

For majority of the respondents, the ‘price’ of a product is the most important factor

What do consumers expect from the quick commerce industry?

As per an article on LinkedIn, ‘quick commerce is a relatively new term and, to date, it is an opportunity that has largely remained untapped in eCommerce. But as consumers demand more convenient options, quick commerce will grow’. Contrary to this, our survey results showed that only some of our respondents are frequent users of quick commerce services.

However, when we asked all our respondents about how their expectations regarding online shopping have changed in the last two years, 38% said ‘they expect to pay less for the delivery of the products’, 34% of them said ‘they expect the products to arrive sooner’, and other responses such as the expectation to have more products to choose from (33%), to have more visibility of the delivery process (27%), better customer service (25%), and to have more logistical options when exchanging or returning purchases (22%).

Having said that, businesses can perhaps focus on improving their current quick commerce delivery strategies to satisfy their customers’ demands. In addition, companies can also try and adopt new technological aspects such as drone delivery which might help in quicker delivery of products and thereby boost the company’s profits.

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The 2023 Q-Commerce and M-Commerce Survey was launched between 27 January 2023 to 2 February 2023. Software Advice gathered the participation of 1,002 participants from different parts of Australia. The criteria for selecting the participants are as follows:

  • Australian resident
  • Above 18 years of age
  • Shop online at least once per month
  • Are not a part of the silent generation (people born before 1946)

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About the author

Ojasvini is a content analyst for Software Advic. She shares insights about software technologies critical to SMEs. Inspired by growing tech trends and how these help SMEs to grow.

Ojasvini is a content analyst for Software Advic. She shares insights about software technologies critical to SMEs. Inspired by growing tech trends and how these help SMEs to grow.