The Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) market size was valued at US$ 4.85 billion in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 47.39 billion by 2030, grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.5% from 2023 to 2030.
Quick commerce, also known as q-commerce or rapid commerce, refers to the business model of delivering groceries and other daily essentials to consumers in as little as 10-30 minutes. The ultra-fast delivery is enabled by a proximity-based network of urban micro-fulfillment centers like dark stores and cloud stores that stock a limited range of high-demand items. The quick commerce model brings convenience to time-pressed urban consumers who want to order daily essentials, groceries and meals on-demand.
The growth of the quick commerce market is driven by changing consumer lifestyles, on-demand culture, and the pandemic-fueled boom in online grocery shopping. Busy schedules, traffic congestion in cities, and the convenience of getting items delivered in minutes are making quick commerce highly appealing to metropolitan consumers. The market is further driven by the rising smartphone and internet penetration.
The Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market is segmented by business model, product category, order size, delivery time, and consumer group. By business model, the market is segmented into dark stores, cloud stores, hybrid stores, dark warehouses, and 3PL utilization. Dark stores are expected to account for the largest share during the forecast period owing to their optimal location and inventory management.
Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Drivers:
- Changing Consumer Lifestyles and Preferences: The rapid pace of modern consumer lifestyles, especially in urban areas, is a major factor driving the growth of quick commerce in Europe. Consumers are increasingly time-starved and value convenience. According to surveys, the average commute time in Europe is close to 1 hour per day. Long working hours and busy schedules leave little time for grocery shopping and food preparation. Quick commerce provides a highly convenient way for metropolitan consumers to get groceries, meals and daily essentials delivered to their doorstep in minutes. The on-demand culture and instant gratification provided by q-commerce platforms is appealing to younger millennials and Gen Z consumers.
- COVID-Led Surge in Online Grocery Shopping: The COVID-19 pandemic led to an overnight boom in digital grocery shopping as consumers moved away from physical stores. Housebound consumers relied on q-commerce for accessing daily essentials and groceries during lockdowns. According to an Accenture survey, 46% of European consumers started using q-commerce for the first time during the pandemic. While lockdowns have eased, many new pandemic-led shopping behaviors have endured with consumers now accustomed to the convenience of rapid delivery. The rollout of vaccines and economic reopening is providing tailwinds to the quick commerce sector.
- Smartphone and Internet Penetration: Widespread smartphone and mobile internet adoption is a key enabler of quick commerce in Europe. According to Eurostat, over 80% of the EU population owns a smartphone in 2022. High-speed 4G and 5G networks allow quick commerce apps to provide a seamless ordering experience. GPS and location technology enables real-time tracking and hyper-accurate delivery logistics down to the minute. The proliferation of smartphones and mobile internet will continue to provide growth impetus to the European quick commerce industry.
- Urbanization and Densely Populated Cities: Europe is highly urbanized with over 75% of the population living in metropolitan areas as of 2020. Megacities like London, Paris and Berlin present a massive addressable market for quick commerce with their large populations, high living costs, traffic congestion and very limited space for large format supermarkets. Busy schedules, long commuting times and the convenience factor create substantial latent demand for services like 10-15 minute grocery delivery offered by quick commerce firms.
Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Opportunities:
- Product Range Expansion: Quick commerce firms have an opportunity to drive growth by increasing their product selections beyond just grocery and food to items like electronics, pharmacy, and home essentials. Dark stores due to their limited inventory are currently restricted to a fast-moving selection of 2,000-3,000 SKUs. Expanding micro-fulfillment centers and utilizing big data analytics can enable customized hyperlocal assortments catering to specific neighborhood preferences.
- Newer Cities and Markets: While quick commerce is concentrated in major cities like London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, vast scope exists to expand into smaller, underpenetrated European cities. Firms will increasingly look at cities with populations between 200,000 to 1 million which offer less congestion and operational complexities versus large cities. Central and Eastern Europe also presents an untapped opportunity where modern grocery retail is still evolving.
- Optimizing Operations: Quick commerce firms can substantially improve margins and growth by optimizing operational metrics like drop densities, delivery times, fulfillment costs and inventory management. While the current model relies on expediting delivery at the cost of efficiency, companies have significant headroom to improve unit economics through operational streamlining and tech innovation without impacting consumer value propositions.
- Strategic Partnerships: Strategic tie-ups with complementary players can help quick commerce firms expand their reach, add offerings and achieve profitability faster. Partnerships with real estate firms can secure prime store locations; logistics firms can enable flexible last-mile delivery; CPG brands can improve supply chain efficiency through data sharing. Quick commerce firms can also potentially join forces with autonomous vehicle developers to reduce last-mile delivery costs.
Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Report Coverage
||Market Size in 2023:
||US$ 4.85 Bn
|Historical Data for:
||2018 to 2021
||2023 - 2030
|Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR:
||2030 Value Projection:
||US$ 47.39 Bn
- Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
- By Business Model: Dark Stores, Cloud Stores, Hybrid Stores, Dark Warehouses, 3PL Utilization
- By Product Category: Groceries, Food & Beverage, Alcohol, Health & Beauty, Household Products, Pet Care, Others
- By Order Size: <$10, $10-$20, $21-$30, $31-$40, >$40
- By Delivery Time: <30 Mins, 30-60 Mins, 1-2 Hours, 2-4 Hours, >4 Hours, Scheduled Delivery
- By Consumer Group: Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, Traditionalists
Getir, Gorillas, Gopuff, Just Eat Takeaway, Delivery Hero, Jokr, Flink, Zapp, Uber Eats, Wolt, Bolt, Deliveroo
- Changing consumer lifestyles and on-demand culture
- COVID-led surge in online grocery shopping
- Smartphone and internet penetration
- Urbanization and densely populated cities
|Restraints & Challenges:
- Low order values and high last mile costs
- Fierce sector competition
- Regulatory scrutiny
Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Trends:
- Dark Stores and Cloud Stores: Dark stores and cloud stores are emerging as the most optimal proximity-based micro-fulfillment models for quick commerce. Dark stores function as small warehouses optimized solely for rapid order processing versus conventional stores. Cloud stores are compact attached store formats that offer customers limited dine-in options while primarily functioning as fulfillment centers. Dark and cloud stores enable faster delivery and higher service levels.
- Quick Grocery Focus: While some firms offer a wide assortment beyond groceries, early data indicates that convenience grocery items and ready-to-eat meals drive a majority of quick commerce demand. Classic value-added services like fruit/vegetable washing and meal kit assembly provide differentiation in grocery-focused quick commerce. Firms are increasingly partnering with gourmet stores, fresh food specialists and known chefs to enhance prepared meal offerings.
- Greening of Quick Commerce: Sustainability is growing as a priority area for quick commerce firms amid concerns regarding the climate impact of rapid delivery models. To minimize carbon footprints, companies are optimizing drop densities, using electric vehicles, digitalized warehouse flows, recyclable packaging and tweaking routing algorithms. Some firms have launched carbon neutral delivery options and environmental impact trackers for conscious consumers.
- Autonomous Last-Mile Delivery: Quick commerce firms are piloting the usage of autonomous robots and vehicles to reduce last-mile delivery costs. Autonomous bots by companies like Starship Technologies provide a lower cost and more flexible way to fulfill quick deliveries. While still in the early stages, autonomous last-mile delivery will help address driver shortage and cost issues confronting the quick commerce model.
Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Restraints:
- Low Order Values and High Last Mile Costs: A key challenge for quick commerce is achieving unit economics with low order values and high last mile delivery costs. The average order value is quite low at €10-15, while ultrafast delivery costs remain high. Cutting down fulfillment and delivery costs is difficult without impacting the core value proposition of speed. This can put pressure on margins, especially amid rising inflation and driver shortage issues.
- Fierce Sector Competition: Intense competition in key European quick commerce hubs has sparked an unsustainable delivery time and price war. Too many players are chasing growth over profits by offering unrealistic 10-15 minute deliveries with heavy discounts. This has turned business metrics on their head - firms boast about the lowest delivery times and not the highest margins or cash flows. Consolidation is imminent as only 1-2 players per city will eventually survive.
- Regulatory Scrutiny: Quick commerce is drawing scrutiny from regulators and labor groups over potential issues like gig worker exploitation, lax rider screening, rode safety, and anti-trust concerns. Stricter regulations on operating dark stores in residential areas, grocer licensing norms or mandatory employment benefits for gig workers can negatively impact costs and services for some players. However, sensible long-term policies will benefit the ecosystem.
New product launches
- In March 2022, Getir launched its services in Paris, marking its expansion into France. Getir is looking to capitalize on the untapped market potential for q-commerce in France.
- In January 2022, Flink launched its services in Italy, its first market outside Germany, to tap into the €240 billion Italian grocery market with its 10-minute delivery proposition.
- In November 2021, Gorillas rolled out its on-demand grocery delivery services in New York City as part of its U.S. expansion strategy. It aims to differentiate itself on ultra-fast delivery in the competitive New York market.
Acquisition and partnerships
- In February 2022, DoorDash acquired Wolt in an $8.1 billion deal to enter the European quick commerce market by leveraging Wolt's footprint in Europe.
- In January 2022, Gorillas acquired Frichti to strengthen its quick grocery delivery in Paris and accelerate its expansion in France.
- In November 2021, Gopuff acquired rideOS for $115 million to leverage its optimization technology to improve delivery logistics and cut down delivery times.
Figure 1. Europe Quick E-Commerce (Quick Commerce) Market Share (%), By Business Model, 2023
Top companies in Smart Technologies Market
- Just Eat Takeaway
- Delivery Hero
- Uber Eats
Definition: Quick commerce refers to the business model of delivering groceries, food, and daily essentials to customers in as fast as 10-30 minutes. It is enabled by a hyperlocal network of dark stores or micro-fulfillment centers that are optimized to prepare orders and deliver them in minutes. The quick commerce model brings unprecedented convenience to metropolitan consumers allowing them to order anything, anytime at the tap of a button.
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