The Indian customer has recently gotten irritable. Many supermarket delivery businesses now claim to be able to deliver items in as little as 8 to 20 minutes. We become irritated if the items are not delivered within 10 minutes. We’re seeing a major shift in consumer behavior, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Brands like Zomato and Domino’s Pizza diversified into grocery delivery during the COVID-induced lockdown in 2020 but departed the industry after a few months.
But this raises the question of whether this expectation will spread to other categories. Will a customer willingly wait a week for an item ordered on an e-commerce website like Amazon to arrive?
To further understand this fundamental shift in customer behavior, afaqs! chatted with two experts.
Nisha Sampath, a brand marketing consultant with more than 20 years of experience, believes that the players, particularly in new age categories, will establish category norms and, eventually, our expectations, based on the technologies they use.
Thanks to Uber and Ola, we can now expect a cab to arrive at our door on demand rather than walking down the street to a cab stand. Even for a low-value item like a bag of chips, we want a retailer to allow online payment.
Sampath uses the example of food delivery as an illustration. Before Swiggy, we had no way of knowing when our food would be delivered to our house after we made an order.
In recent times we may have altered our ordering habits in response to delivery times. We used to order a long time ahead of time. Today, we place our orders as soon as possible. We tend to order on the spur of the moment.
She goes on to say that the quick grocery segment is no different. The initial aim was for next-day delivery within a specific time frame. After that, it grew into same-day delivery.
We may anticipate groceries to be brought to our home before we leave for an outing/party, rather than picking them up when we go out.
On the other hand, as Sampath points out, there is a societal trend toward “slow life” and corporations that promote it. They say that they only create or source things after an order has been placed. However, there is a trend toward ‘immediate gratification,’ which several e-commerce companies are catering to. It appears that the latter is present in the lead. Other e-commerce segments may face pressure to reduce their delivery timeframes.
ourabh Mishra, a brand strategist and managing partner and co-founder of Mumbai-based Azendor Consulting (and a former CSO at TBWA India and Saatchi & Saatchi), says that as the environment around customers evolves, so do their expectations.
Mishra adds that expectations are constantly being reset by different companies in the market. However, the expectations that they raise will be around for a long time.