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After many years of eye-watering growth “quick commerce,” Or q-commerceIf you look closely at headlines about the tech sector, you will see that it is facing serious headwinds. This is owing to the combination of a tricky macroeconomic landscape for businesses and the impact that the cost-of-living crisis and a looming recession are having on people’s wallets.

This should not be interpreted as a reason to panic. Instead, it should be viewed as an opportunity for the q-commerce industry. With a fair few q-commerce players running out of steam in the delivery sector race, what’s needed is adaptation and diversification of their offering — namely, going multicategory.

Food will always be here and be in demand, and recently, we’ve seen more delivery players move into the groceries sector to meet the demand of a changing customer base. Why should we stop there?

Whether it’s flowers or pharmaceuticals, what’s next for q-commerce could undoubtedly make a huge difference in companies’ survival and success in what you could aptly call “The Hunger Games.” It could also alter the landscape of qcommerce as we know.

To ensure that we’re staying close to the demand of the customer and remaining relevant, we need to focus on that hidden gem that separates our sector from the high street: Data. 

Why data is important in q-commerce

Part of ecommerce’s challenges come down to the numerous demands for business owners’ attention. Glovo is an example of a multi-sided marketplace with customers, partners and couriers. Add speed to the mix and the stakes can get even higher. 

Ninety-seven percent of U.S. data executives say that data science is crucial to maintaining profitability, while 82% say their company’s leadership should be concerned about what unfit data models could mean for the future of the company. 

This is a particularly important stat for q-commerce. Dwindling demand is a sign of how important it is for the sector to reconnect with customers and fulfill their needs.

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

Atul calls it the ability of data strategy for turning “raw, meaningless data into valuable, meaningful insights … [guiding] business processes, from decision-making to strategizing” We have therefore invested in a strong strategy that operates with a data mesh system.

Prior to this, it was difficult for our company’s data setup to scale with growth. It also didn’t help business performance. 

Data mesh provides a decentralized way to manage data at scale. This is crucial if we want to be able to move at a rapid pace in our operations as well as our delivery processes. This might be the same for any business, but for q-commerce it’s integral to its survival. 

With this in mind, I look at some of the problems facing q-commerce, and how data can help to not only keep the sector’s head above water but diversify its offering to help secure its long-term future and relevance. 

Stock and product

A substantial 75% Most supply chain managers want to improve their stock management. With the recent global stress on inflation and supply chain, the tightrope act involving too much or too little stock has lost its safety net. 

When it comes to q-commerce, by leaning into data, players can optimize inventory management and ensure they are stocking products the consumer wants — an even more significant consideration given the Cook Rooms and micro fulfillment centers (MFCs) it relies on to offer typically short delivery windows. 

But without a detailed understanding of consumer appetites, these stores are playing potluck and will potentially fail to stock what’s in most in-demand. It’s not ideal. McKinsey reports 30% of consumers anticipate goods arriving the same day.

It’s not just about convenience. Q-commerce players could be spending due to poor inventory management. twice as much as they earn per delivery by moving heaven or earth to meet customer requirements

Some qcommerce companies are trying to absorb the cost by offering their services. This will not be a long-term solution. What’s required instead is for q-commerce to apply the right data to forge a path to profitability. As previously stated, q-commerce must expand beyond grocery and retail to diversify their long-term inventory. 

After all, in the world of q-commerce, so much to explore hasn’t yet been explored. 

Better customer understanding

Understanding your customer better is an important part of stock and inventory changes. Customer data is the holy grail in the service industry and is the ace up e-commerce’s sleeve when compared to in-person retail.

But as the demand for q-commerce wanes, we need to ensure we’re plugged in to what exactly the customer wants beyond the item itself. 

Over half59%A majority (65%) of consumers believe personalization has an influence on their purchase decisions. These metrics are essential if q-commerce is going to be a popular service. It also needs to be able to market itself as a service that is not only fast but also personal.

As we’ve already explored, customers have greatly changed since the rise of q-commerce two years ago. Now is the time for a complete reset. Do we still need fast delivery 24 months later? Could it be related to a specific transaction? We may be guilty of promising services before we have fully understood the need. 

That’s not to say it’ll be one size fits all, either. Geopolitical factors also play a significant role in the shape of q-commerce. Even for global companies, local nuance is crucial to staying relevant. For instance, our experience in Nairobi tells us that because of the heavy traffic can delay deliveries in the city and that with the demand for groceries outweighing takeaways, deliveries are still possible because there’s no risk of hot food going cold.  

Q-commerce should leverage customer data from person to person, country to country, to ensure it is a relevant service — and if it isn’t, ask itself what it can do to reform. 

Positive working environments

Q-commerce companies are often in a rush to deliver quickly and neglect the people behind the desks or on the road to make the deliveries.

But companies can’t afford to compromise on their commitment to provide a supportive working environment because of their promises to the customer to go above and beyond. Particularly in an age when tech sector layoffs are becoming more common.

Data can play a part in looking inwards. A robust data strategy will make it easier for workers to work, as they are more productive and their decision-making becomes better. For couriers, routes can be optimized to prevent them from repeating their mistakes.

Data can also benefit your culture and go further. Because of our own hypergrowth, we were very keen to maintain a positive working environment and ensure that we didn’t lose our identity or that voices became lost in the noise.

To find out the opinions of employees about things like compensation, career advancement, diversity, equality, inclusion, and pay, we conduct an internal survey. Like all data, this needs to be used; converted into insights used to inform not just the status quo, but the direction in which we’re headed. This way, we can ensure business success doesn’t come at the expense of employee well-being.

To survive, q-commerce companies must know what data they need “Hunger Games” This is only half of what it takes. A successful data strategy must address four issues that data users have to worry about: trustworthiness, availability and quality, discoverability, bottlenecks, and lack of transparency. 

Only then can we build a platform that allows for data-driven decision-making and ensure that q-commerce isn’t consigned to the junk heap of great tech has-beens. 

Data can tell us a lot, whether it’s from customers, orders, or colleagues. To make better business decisions, it is important to have a strategy that can listen. The future of q-commerce could be bright, despite the headlines.

Daniel Alonso Moreno serves as the Vice President of QCommerce at Glovo.

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