Quick Commerce: Going Dark Is Just The Start

by Shelly PatwariMar 21st, 2022

Quick-commerce has become the buzzword in India’s e-commerce market, promising delivering products in a jiffy. Companies typically set up dark-stores to service orders in under 15 minutes. The Indian market opportunity of Q-commerce is estimated to be $ 0.3 billion in terms of overall GMV. This is expected to witness a 15X growth by 2025, reaching a market size of $5.5 billion. This market size would put India ahead of other leading markets (including China).

There has been a tremendous shift in consumer behaviour as majority of consumers across the country including those in tier II and tier III cities have resorted to online shopping. Customers today need to have access to their required products and they need them within a shortest period of time. To deal with such situations companies have understood the importance of having a real time pulse of the market and are investing in Grade A warehousing facilities in smaller cities. This has helped them cater to rapidly increasing customer base across these cities.  

Dark stores are basically a brick and mortar store turned into a warehouse or distribution centres or micro-fulfilment hubs. Dark stores got their name from being dark-that is closed to shoppers, only used to fulfil online orders.

They are more common in grocery sectors and increasingly becoming prevalent in big box retail, fashion, homeware and furniture industries.The sector has seen players such as Zepto, Blinkit (formerly known as Grofers) as well as Swiggy instamart to ramp up speedy supplies. It is estimated that atleast 1,200 Dark Stores will be opened in the next 15-18 months in major cities in India.
It is safe to say that dark stores are revolutionizing the last mile delivery landscape as customer satisfaction takes centre stage. Changing consumer dynamics, altering social and cultural realities with a fast-changing, rapidly-moving world have all conspired to create this perfect storm.