Same-Day Delivery: Thriving in the era of Quick Commerce

E-commerce in India has grown exponentially since the onset of the COVID pandemic, with the emergence of brands catering to various consumer needs. From traditional brick-and-mortar stores transitioning to digital platforms to the rise of D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands offering a diverse mix of products— consumers now have a plethora of options available at their fingertips.

Over the last decade, marketplace giants have transformed categories across the board, from electronics, personal care, to groceries, fundamentally reshaping the way we approach shopping.

In this increasingly dynamic environment, the ability to stand out and succeed while growing competition hinges on refining services to ensure optimal consumer satisfaction. This is where same-day delivery emerges as a game-changer. Essentially, it ensures that products ordered online reach customers within a 2-10 hour window from the time of purchase. This transition from traditional delivery timelines of 4-6 days to same/next-day delivery models has been playing an important role for several reasons:

1. Amazon pioneered this service— setting a new standard in online shopping convenience. This development aligned the ease of online purchases with the rapidity of in-store transactions, ultimately enhancing consumer satisfaction and convenience.

2. The adoption of same-day delivery has not only accelerated the cash-to-cash cycle but also established an expectation among consumers for all online marketplaces to offer quick and efficient delivery options. In a 2021 study conducted amongst online shoppers across 25 countries, 90% of them cited ‘speed’ as a critical factor in their purchase decisions.As a result, cart abandonment rates have spiked to an all-time high.

3. Consumer willingness to pay extra for faster delivery has increased—with customers giving prompt feedback on received items. This shift in consumer behaviour underlines the growing importance of speedy reliable service.

In addition to all this, the rapid emergence of quick commerce platforms like Blinkit, Zepto has had a massive impact in India. These platforms offer deliveries in anywhere between 10-30 minutes from their dark stores- that has somewhat revolutionised the consumer experience. But, for brands seeking to scale up by leveraging quick commerce, challenges are still present.

Quick commerce platforms typically only list curated brands from categories that are considered to be ‘fast-moving’. Category leaders may enjoy some listing incentives from such platforms as is the case with all marketplaces, but up-and-coming D2C brands tend to be at a disadvantage– owing to a lack of visibility or high margins.

Beyond mere expediency, same-day delivery represents a strategic investment in long-term customer satisfaction– ensuring instant gratification & retention for consumers by setting a high bar for service excellence. Our data has consistently shown that over-time brands get to offset their customer acquisition costs (CAC) more sustainably. Hence, major e-commerce platforms in India like Clinikally, Lenskart, and Supertails that have embraced same-day delivery, are delighting customers by giving them exactly what they want— faster than ever.

Let’s understand the impact of same-day delivery on critical e-commerce metrics–– quick order fulfilment fosters customer loyalty, encouraging repeat purchases and long-term engagement. Incorporating same-day delivery into the customer journey also translates into higher conversion rates on e-commerce platforms, which then effectively converts browsing into sales.

Now, while the initial investment in same-day delivery may appear substantial, the long-term reduction in logistics costs through streamlined processes takes the limelight.

Most brands themselves can’t manage a robust network of warehouses and personnel for last-mile deliveries in major cities. Hence, 95% of brands maintain only 1 warehouse from where they ship nationwide- resulting in higher delivery times and supply chain costs. Not to forget, the importance of proper infrastructure and inventory management.