Quick Commerce: The 3rd Generation of E-Commerce?

Quick Commerce: The 3rd Generation of E-Commerce?

Quick commerce, AKA Q-Commerce, E-grocery and On-demand delivery... A fast growing industry and the new generation of E- Commerce.

There’s no doubt that Covid-19 revolutionized the E- commerce industry and influenced the push of Q-Commerce with lockdowns and reduced accessibility to items. Plus, the fact we humans love anything that’s made quick and easy for us! Technology has irreversibly shaped consumer expectations, to the point where we expect instant gratification. Here at New Chapter we recruit in this industry.

What is Quick-Commerce?

This 3rd generation  is the fastest of its kind, gone are the marveled days of online shopping where 3-5 working days used to be an impressive delivery time frame. It differentiates itself with the speed of the deliveries which arrive in minutes, not days.

Focusing in on micro quantities, rather than replacing your weekly food shop, is there to help you get particular items delivered quickly and conveniently.

As lifestyles change, so too is consumer behaviour. On top of this, the pandemic has meant this sector has rapidly taken off, with an annual market estimation of £1.4bn already. 12% of UK shoppers already use Q-Commerce, with the market set to grow in value to £3.3bn a year.

At an average age of 36, young adults are the most common drivers and are aiding the current rise of urbanization. With smaller household sizes becoming much more common, the push in demand for delivery of products in small quantities in these areas are replacing those traditional larger and cheaper.

How do these Companies Operate?

Although all business models face differences, the general operation of these companies are very similar, running in contrary to the E-commerce brick and mortar warehouses. Rather than operating from large units based on the outskirts of cities, these companies base them selves centrally and strategically allowing for ultimate agility and flexibility that’s required to respond to customer demand, around the clock.

Sometimes referred to as ‘dark stores’ these can be anywhere between 3,229 and 7,500 sq ft and stock 1,000+ unique products.



  1. Aggregators – Third party websites offering on-demand fulfilment. Focussed within three areas of takeaway, grocery-focussed and service.
  2. Pure Plays – Emerging operators building their proposition around a high speed delivery service (often under 15 minutes).
  3. Retailers – As well as partnering with third-party players for delivery services, established retailers have also launched their own on-demand services, including the likes of Sainsburys & Ocado.  (Source: IDG


With stores generally positioned no more than 3km away, orders can be fulfilled around 25% faster than traditional in-store sales, supported by optimized floorplans and ready to go team members / delivery drivers both helping improve speed further.

Investment into Artificial intelligence and inventory monitoring technologies working in real time allows accurate supply of products to the ‘always-on’ Q-Commerce consumers who are able to order 24 hours a day due to dark store operation and smartphone technology.

Put this all together and it creates complete ease for the consumer who doesn’t need to leave the house, or in fact move, in order to get their desired products.

With the majority of these Q-Commerce companies working within food and grocery the future looks big, we look forward to seeing who else enters this growing market and what direction they may take their services in!

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