Mapping the Growth Of the D2C Commerce And Quick Commerce In India Consumers are now expecting their orders, especially essential commodities, to be delivered within a couple of hours, or on the same day

By Saahil Goel

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a cascade of disruptions for businesses across verticals in the past two years, it has augmented digital adoption astronomically. With rising internet penetration, smartphone usage, and general awareness about the technology, alongside digitally-savvy citizens, the way consumers shop has drastically changed, with consumers increasingly opting for online shopping, resulting in an e-commerce boom. And just as we think that the industry has reached the zenith of growth, a new vertical emerges.

Within the e-commerce space itself, this shift in consumer behavior has paved the way for the rise of a new segment: quick commerce. Consumers are now expecting their orders, especially essential commodities, to be delivered within a couple of hours, or on the same day. This has further expedited the D2C Commerce sector's progress. With over 800 brands in the space, the D2C wave has swept across the country, attracting brands and consumers alike.

The D2C sector is undeniably riding the quick commerce wave and growing exponentially. More and more consumers are preferring D2C commerce, given the convenience, seamlessness, and efficiency it offers. In response, brands are pivoting to D2C, leveraging the segment's enormous potential. Here's how.

The burgeoning D2C/quick commerce sector

With the skyrocketing demand for quick commerce, D2C brands need to augment their operational efficiency and speed while maintaining their quality in catering to consumers. According to a report by RedSeer Consulting, India's quick commerce market is projected to grow 10-15 times to become a $5 billion industry by 2025. And given the increasing consumer preference for quick, hassle-free doorstep delivery, the segment may even surpass the aforementioned number. But how are brands catering to the uptick in demand? While there are a few answers to this question, one of them is logistics, particularly third-party logistics.

Logistics: The driving force behind the growth of the D2C commerce segment

One of the primary reasons for the D2C commerce/quick commerce segment's astronomical growth is third-party logistics that has helped little-known brands emerge into the limelight from obscurity. A D2C business, just like any other, entails multiple business functions apart from the core product/service, making it a challenge, especially for small and medium brands, to deliver items on time and enhance customer satisfaction – the key to achieving sustained growth.

Interestingly, logistics and fulfillment have been elusive in terms of control and efficiency for the D2C segment. However, with the assistance of third-party logistics and fulfillment platforms, quick commerce becomes a seamless process. From inventory management and warehousing to swift last-mile deliveries, third-party platforms take care of the end-to-end services so that the end consumer receives their shipment safely and on time and logistics platforms truly go the extra mile to ensure this. In fact, they even offer services like flexible warehousing to optimize costs for D2C players onboard their platform and set up warehouses close to the pickup/delivery points.

Offering a bouquet of tech-enabled services, third-party platforms are ideal for D2C brands/sellers since they look after every aspect of shipping and fulfillment while the brand can focus on their core product. With real-time tracking, NDR (Non-delivery Reasons), automated warehouse management, digitization of receipts and other data, minimized RTO (Return to Origin), reduced shipping costs, and even cross-border and PAN India shipping and fulfillment, logistics aggregators, have streamlined operations to guarantee timely, frictionless delivery, and an impeccable customer experience.

Especially for a growing player in the D2C/quick commerce space, timing is everything. And at this juncture, managing every aspect becomes a challenge, resulting in cost escalations, increased possibilities of inaccuracy, etc. Partnering with a third-party logistics solutions provider can alleviate these issues and ensure efficiency through the platform's end-to-end supply chain management expertise. Besides, since logistics and fulfillment platforms have a vast countrywide or even global network alongside several courier partners, the D2C brand's reach is bound to grow, making it easier to foray into new geographies.

Summing up

Quick commerce is undeniably growing at a breakneck pace. However, to truly know how the segment will take shape, especially with constantly evolving consumer behavior, we may need to wait and watch. But one thing is for certain – the D2C sector is booming and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

Saahil Goel

CEO and Co-Founder, Shiprocket

Saahil Goel is the CEO and co-founder of ShipRocket (BigFoot Retail Solutions Pvt. Ltd.)

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