The growth of quick commerce depends on its ability to enable faster access for new-age customers in a compliant way.
The quick commerce space is heating up in India and turning out to be the fastest-growing segment of e-commerce. As per a report by the consulting firm RedSeer, the Indian quick commerce market is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2025, hitting a 15X growth. Covid-19 has played a big part in accelerating growth in this industry. The initial mandated lockdowns and confinement measures have led to an increased dependency on home deliveries.
This has brought a paradigm shift in purchasing habits of people, making online grocery delivery platforms a preferred medium of shopping over ‘neighborhood kiranas’ and local brick-and-mortar stores. Consequently, big players in the space are rushing to deliver a more convenience-driven shopping experience.
Over the past few months, the Q-space has witnessed an intense turf war between new players and the existing ones to gain a first-mover advantage in the market. Startups like Zepto have been aggressively marketing themselves in the 10-minute grocery delivery space. Grofers has rebranded itself as ‘BlinkIt’ and marked its debut in this space. Even Zomato announced itself to be the first one in the food delivery space, riding the 10-minute wave. Recently, Mahindra Logistics Limited announced plans to tap new growth segments like groceries, quick commerce, and last-mile delivery. While top competitors look game-ready, it is important to analyse if the infrastructure can support such speedy growth
In the current state, companies are operating in two ways to optimise the supply chain and improve distribution. Either they are setting-up multiple dark stores or partnering with local logistics stores to ramp up supplies in a short span of time.
· Dark stores establishments: Dark stores are becoming a core strategy to solve the fragility of supply chains and ensure speedy deliveries of daily necessities on a large scale. Though it is taking the pressure off the supply chain, even a small compliance oversight can impact the business processes and deteriorate the customer experience. Strict KYC checks are imperative to prevent any mishappening associated with identity frauds of vendors, suppliers, delivery partners, etc. and reduce onboarding turnaround time from days to minutes.
· Hyperlocal logistic partnerships: Quick commerce companies tie-up with logistic partners to ensure a faster shopping experience. In the absence of central control, these companies must protect their interest and conduct due diligence to identify if they are partnering with the right businesses. Just like the KYC process, technology solutions in KYB (Know Your Business) can reduce costs and provide control methods that are more reliable than manual identification.
With delivery times of less than 10 minutes, all parts of the supply chain need to work in harmony and sync. As customers scale-up, the rest of the supply chain needs to scale at the same speed to ensure consistent delivery of services. During this time, if we have some aspects of the supply chain lagging behind others, it can have huge repercussions impacting business costs and brand value. Having an automated and seamless process to onboard logistics, delivery partners, vendors, etc. across the supply chain becomes crucial for substantial growth.
While many companies are still figuring out the best ways to ensure speedy onboarding and verification, the foresighted ones are already leveraging solutions built on AI-powered technology to streamline clunky verification and onboarding processes.
For example, e-signing and digital documentation is enabling companies to eliminate manual paper-intensive documentation and signing processes and complete all the legal formalities digitally. Liveness detection and voice authentication technologies authenticate individual identities at scale. OCR engines ease out the complex form-filling process for the suppliers, vendors, delivery partners, and logistic partners and ensure smooth onboarding. All these technologies are easily integrable, scalable, and capable of reducing onboarding time by up to 80%. This means businesses can stay aligned with the market speed and expand faster into new markets with reduced operational costs.
Many third-party service providers have been offering authentication technologies through APIs or on their dedicated platforms that are built on plug-and-play models. Deploying these technologies can help companies to have a more powerful data-driven approach in this competitive tech ecosystem.
Manual onboarding restricts businesses from scaling operations and leads to high turnaround time and communication hassles. Automating third-party verification is momentous to add speed and scalability to the process and prevent compliance failures.
The growth of quick commerce depends on its ability to enable faster access for new-age customers in a compliant way and partnering with the right solution providers for identification and onboarding needs will take them a step closer to the goal. It is important to keep in mind that fast delivery services do not compromise on KYC compliance, fraud detection while also keeping customer satisfaction at priority.
Arjit Bhargava, Senior Vice President, AuthBridge Research Services and has been exclusively created for BW Disrupt)
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