How data can define a new era of opportunity for q-commerce

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After several years of eye-watering growth for “quick commerce”, or q trade, a cursory glance at the headlines in the technology sector will tell you that the industry is facing serious headwinds. This is due to the combination of a challenging macroeconomic landscape for businesses and the impact that the cost of living crisis and a looming recession are having on people’s pockets.

But far from being a cause for panic, this should be seen as a cause for opportunity in the q-commerce sector. With quite a few q-commerce players running out of steam in the race in the delivery industry, adaption and diversification of their offerings is needed, which is multicategory.

Food will always be there and in demand, and lately we’ve seen more delivery drivers enter the grocery business to meet the demand of a changing customer base. But why should we stop there?

Whether in flowers or pharmaceuticals, the future for q-commerce could undoubtedly make a huge difference in the survival and success of businesses in what could aptly be called “The Hunger Games”. It could also change the landscape of q-commerce as we know it.

To ensure we stay close to customer demand and remain relevant, we need to focus on that hidden gem that separates our industry from the high street: data.

Why data matters for q-commerce

Part of the challenges of e-commerce boil down to the numerous demands placed on the attention of entrepreneurs. For example, Glovo has a four-way marketplace of customers, partners, brands, and carriers. Add speed to the equation and the stakes are even higher.

Ninety-seven percent of US data executives say data science is critical to sustaining profitability, while 82% say their company’s leadership should be concerned about what inappropriate data models could mean for the company’s future.

This second metric should be of particular interest to q-commerce. Declining demand shows how much the industry needs to reconnect with consumers and their needs.

As web design and marketing specialist Atul Jindal recently wrote in VentureBeat, “Data is no longer an option… Accessing, interpreting and using it effectively has become the difference between life and death for modern online retail.”

The ability of data strategy to, as Atul puts it, “turn raw, meaningless data into valuable, meaningful insights… [guiding] business processes, from decision making to strategies” is why we have invested in such a robust proprietary strategy and work with a data mesh model.

Before that, it was challenging for our data setup to grow with the growth of the business, and in the end it didn’t help business performance.

With datamesh, we have a decentralized approach that is vital for managing data at scale, and if we want to evolve quickly, both in our operations and in our delivery, we need a data strategy that is worth its weight in gold. This may be the same for any business, but for q-commerce it is integral to its survival.

With this in mind, I look at some of the issues q-commerce is facing, and how data can help not only keep the industry afloat, but also diversify its offerings to drive its future and relevance on the market. secure in the long term.

Stock and product

A hefty one 75% of all supply chain management professionals want to improve their inventory management. The tightrope walk of having too much and too little inventory has taken its safety net away from recent global pressures on inflation and the supply chain.

When it comes to q-commerce, leveraging data allows players to optimize inventory management and ensure they have products in stock that consumers want. short delivery times.

But without a detailed understanding of consumer appetites, these stores are playing potluck and may not stock what is most in demand. Not ideal when McKinsey reports that 30% of consumers expect goods to arrive the same day.

However, it’s not just about convenience. Improper inventory management may cause some q-commerce players to spend money twice as much as they earn moving through heaven and earth per delivery to meet customer needs.

Some q-commerce companies have tried to absorb these costs by offering their capabilities as a service. But this will only be a short-term solution. What is needed instead is for q-commerce to apply the right data to pave a path to profitability. And, as mentioned earlier, to expand into areas beyond retail and grocery, such as pharmacies and more, and to diversify their inventory over the long term.

After all, in the world of q-commerce, there is not much to explore yet.

Better understanding of the customer

Part of changing your stock and inventory is, of course, understanding the customer better. Customer data is the holy grail in the service industry and trumps e-commerce over face-to-face retail.

But as demand for q-commerce declines, we need to make sure we’re hooked up to exactly what the customer wants beyond the item itself.

More than half (59%) of consumers claim that personalization influences their overall purchasing decisions. If q-commerce is to remain an in-demand service, it needs these kinds of metrics and needs to position itself as a service defined not only by speed, but also by personalization.

As we’ve already explored, customers have changed a lot since the rise of q-commerce two years ago. Now we need a reset. Does fast delivery still mean what it did 24 months ago? Could it even be related to a particular transaction? If we don’t ask these questions, we could be guilty of promising a specific service before the need is really defined.

That does not mean that it will also be one size fits all. The form that q-commerce takes also strongly depends on geography. Local nuance is key to staying relevant, even for a global company. For example, our experience in Nairobi tells us that deliveries in the city can be delayed due to heavy traffic and that as the demand for groceries exceeds take-away food, deliveries are still possible as there is no risk of hot food going cold.

Q-commerce should be leveraging person-to-person and country-to-country customer data to ensure it’s a relevant service – and if not, you need to ask yourself what it can do to reshape.

Maintain positive work environments

In the rush to deliver quickly, one of the risks q-commerce companies face is neglecting those behind the desk or on the road who make the deliveries.

But companies can’t afford to compromise on their commitment to providing a supportive work environment because of their commitments to the customer to go the extra mile. Especially at a time when layoffs in the tech sector are commonplace.

So data plays a role, looking inward. Implementing a robust data strategy inevitably means less drag for the employee as their productivity is increased while decision making is refined. And specifically for couriers, routes are optimized to prevent them from repeating their steps.

But data goes even further and can also benefit your culture. Due to our own hyper-growth, we were keen to maintain a positive work environment and make sure we didn’t lose our identity or voices get lost in the noise.

That’s why we’re conducting an internal survey to collect crucial data on how employees feel about factors such as compensation, career progression and diversity, equality and inclusion. Like all data, this must be used; turned into insights that are used to inform not only the status quo, but the direction in which we are heading. In this way, we can ensure that business success does not come at the expense of employee well-being.

Knowing what data q-commerce companies need to survive the “Hunger Games” is only half the battle. Any successful data strategy must also address the four concerns of data users: a lack of reliable data, quality and availability issues, findability and bottlenecks.

Only then can we build a platform that enables data-driven decision-making and ensures that q-commerce is not relegated to the junkyard of great tech-has-beens.

Whether it concerns orders, customers or colleagues, data has a lot to tell us. Developing a strategy that can listen is key to making better business decisions with faster insights. And with this, despite the headlines, the future could be very bright for q-commerce.

Daniel Alonso Moreno is the VP of QCommerce at Glovo.

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