Getir, one of the pioneering quick commerce startups, is delivering more than 1 Mn orders every day
There is a misconception that under 10 minute deliveries are achieved by drivers having to drive faster
The rise of dark stores as a concept underlies the growing wave of quick commerce
The pandemic brought about many changes across the globe for companies and consumers alike. While consumers changed their patterns and expectations, companies evolved and innovated on their models and operations — giving rise to many trends. Amongst them, is the “under 10 minute deliveries” otherwise known as quick commerce. The buzz around this trend is so huge that we have seen many known names — the likes of Swiggy, Blinkit and Zepto — also trying to tap into the potential and opportunity.
There are several opinions about this. There are many who ask the question — “Is it really necessary to deliver anything within 10 minutes?” “Has the customer really asked for any such service?”
Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion but I would like to portray some of them on the ground realities which make under-10 minute deliveries possible.
From our experience of close to a decade, I can vouch for the importance and necessity of automation in the logistics sphere. Here, I will share three of the most common myths around under 10 minute deliveries and why they may be a pointer to something phenomenal.
1. Faster Delivery Means Drivers Have To Drive Faster
This is the biggest myth for quick commerce. Faster deliveries are not a result of drivers driving faster but because of the organisational changes in how deliveries are made. The entire game is won around predicting orders, new structures (like the emergence of dark stores and dark kitchens), route optimisation and logistics automation.
Hang on, are those too many buzzwords?
Let’s get into the details: Under 10 minute deliveries are made possible because of strategically placed warehouses (also called dark stores). They are placed or built on the basis of order density and the delivery drivers can be stationed in such a way that they are almost ready to be delivered. Because of the analytics and insight around positioning, the driver just needs to drive a few hundred metres or maybe he is stationed in the same building itself which makes such quick deliveries possible.
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Take for instance, Getir, one of the pioneering startups in the quick commerce domain. Set up in 2015 with a promise of under 10 minutes deliveries, the startup started its operations from Turkey — where it has more than 500 dark stores in over 30 cities. Cut to today, it has expanded operations in all 81 cities in Turkey and 48 cities across Europe and the U.S, cumulatively delivering more than 1 Mn orders daily.
2. It’s The Same Model Of Order Fulfilment (Hint: Rise Of Dark Stores)
Building on the first point, what really is a dark store? Till now, whenever one thinks of a store one visualises a shop in a locality or a large supermarket. A dark store is basically a small warehouse or a micro fulfilment centre which is located in an area where a high number of orders are being placed. It does not have a name or board which means that anyone passing by it would not realise that it is a store. There will always be a few delivery drivers stationed around the dark store and as soon as an order is placed, the driver will go and deliver the order.
There are also huge strides being made in predicting orders which means that some of the orders are already pre-packaged and ready to be delivered which further helps in reducing the time of delivery.
3. Under 10 Minute Delivery Is Just A Gimmick
Another comment on quick commerce that goes around is that under 10 minute delivery is just a marketing gimmick. And yes, it makes for a very eye-catching headline but there is much more beneath the surface.
The entire quick commerce trend is bringing in a revolution in the way commerce works. Traditional models of fulfilment are being questioned and completely relooked at. And technology is playing a major role in this.
Right from warehouse management where inventory is stocked immaculately, digital processes where orders are taken in digitally and processed automatically, to route optimisation where the delivery drivers are located in strategic positions and deliver the orders in the best possible manner.
There are huge strides being made in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tracking millions of location data points, one is able to make very accurate predictions taking into consideration weather patterns, traffic conditions, driver skill sets, order forecasting and other variables. That combined with the rise of different fulfilment models, makes it certain that quick deliveries are surely here to stay.
This also empowers the gig economy, creating a lot of new jobs for delivery partners. The aim of technology is not to pressurise drivers but to make it easier for them to deliver more efficiently and have all precautions in place for their safety. Convenience for the end customer is the biggest upside of the gig economy and it is in the hands of the brands to use technology effectively to make home deliveries work for everyone.