E-commerce to Q-commerce – Technology Driving Greater Convenience

By Ibad Ahmed

It was as far back as 1979 that British inventor, innovator, and entrepreneur Michael Aldrich practically invented online shopping to facilitate online transactions and trade – the buying and selling of goods and services.

The method came to be known as e-commerce and since then there has been no looking back, even though it would take a couple of decades or even more for e-commerce to become a part of life in developing countries.

e-commerce today takes 3 forms: B2C or transactions between businesses and consumers; B2B or business to business transactions; and C2C or consumer to consumer deals, with eBay or OLX being examples of C2C e-commerce.

It was inevitable that as the speed of reaching deals grew because of e-commerce, the need or demand for faster deliveries (once the deal was done or an order was placed online) would also grow; and so quick commerce (or q-commerce) emerged as e-commerce 2.0 so to speak, especially in the B2C area.

Basically, q-commerce is all about fast or even super-fast delivery of goods to customers, where delivery is not being made in days (as in traditional e-commerce), nor even in hours, but in minutes!

In Pakistan today, there can be no better example of q-commerce than pandamart. For anyone still unfamiliar with it, pandamart is a division of foodpanda (the leading online food delivery service) that specializes in delivering a huge range of grocery, food, household, and other items ordered online through the foodpanda app, within 20 minutes or less from the time the order has been placed and accepted!

What’s more, the delivery can be ordered day or night. Imagine running out of something you really need before retiring for the night and realizing this at say 11 pm. Or getting up in the morning and finding out that you are out of bread and eggs.

In both cases, all that is needed to be done is to go on the foodpanda app and order the items needed on pandamart and wait less than 20 minutes for your doorbell to ring to receive the delivery. This is the fantastic, technology-based reality of home-based shopping. What’s more, customers can order just one item, a loaf of bread for example, or their whole monthly groceries!

Thus e-commerce and even more, q-commerce, has effectively taken shopping for groceries, household products, and a huge variety of other goods to a previously unimaginable level of convenience. No need anymore to change clothes, get into the car and drive through traffic to your target shop, stress out finding a parking space, go into a crowded shop and search the shelves for the items you want, and then line up to pay for your purchases, before lugging these back to your car and driving back.

To this convenience of your location-based shopping, add the benefits of day and night delivery, the facility to order goods not only from pandamart’s own stores, but also from scores of regular other stores registered on the foodpanda app, and relevant to these pandemic times, the safety to the community of contactless delivery.

Equally important as the great convenience offered to the public by q-commerce solutions like foodpanda, is the huge benefit accruing to hundreds of independent shops registered separately on the foodpanda app as an independent vertical, offering customers even greater flexibility in terms of ordering goods from specific shops of their choice.

For these shops, sales and revenues have multiplied several-fold. And of course, the trickle-down effect also positively impacts the income of the multitude of producers and suppliers of all kinds of goods to these shops.

In conclusion, q-commerce is a shining example of how technology can be used for making life better. Shopping online and having the goods delivered to your doorstep in minutes also frees up a lot of your time to do other things. And today as we all know, time passes by so very quickly!

Ibad Ahmed is a Director at pandamart. He is an experienced executive with 12+ years of experience, ranging from B2C, B2B, and corporate strategy environments within downstream energy, automotive, and FMCG/CPG retail.

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