Pooja Yadav
Points of View

Is there really a market for Q-commerce print out services in India?

The on-demand printout market within quick commerce is a new category being created altogether.

Servicing an Indian market spoilt for choice and impatient for time courtesy of this newly-minted category’s players, brands like Blinkit (now a part of Zomato) and Swiggy Instamart are willing to deliver nearly anything including a sheet of paper.

Recently, Blinkit said customers can choose to order printouts which would be delivered to their doorstep in minutes. It pilots in Gurugram and charges customers Rs 9 per page for a black and white printout, Rs 19 for a coloured printout, and Rs 25 for delivery.

Is there really a market for Q-commerce print out services in India?

Not to be left behind, rival Swiggy Instamart is deliberating whether it should add printouts, passport-size photographs, toys, and gifts to its existing delivery cart of groceries.

The question of who would avail of such services is important because the target group of these quick-commerce brands, the urban-dwelling upwardly mobile folks, might not care much for printouts, they’d rather use a PDF on their smartphones, and most if not, all have a printer in their homes.

Data privacy is another vital issue which could affect the delivery of such services. For instance, why would customers offer their Pan Card details to be printed at some unknown location only because the print out can be delivered to their doorstep in minutes?

These services are attempts from quick-commerce brands to stand out, acquire more users, and possibly make some money. However, mere printouts won’t cut it. Customers need to order at least six to seven items worth Rs 400 to make a difference in the brands’ accounts. Will the customer blink?

afaqs! asked four experts to share their thoughts on it:

Arvinderjit Singh, executive vice president, Dentsu Creative India

While quick commerce is emerging as a significant channel of demand, a service like printout delivery seems more like a grocery store (in-store) marketing strategy used to unlock the full potential of the customer. I’m sure we have all been to a grocery store to buy a special deal and ended up buying much more than what we initially planned for.

Arvinderjit Singh
Arvinderjit Singh

That is what this aims to do – get new customers into the fold and increase customer expenditure by cross-selling. Even in terms of pricing, the offering ticks all the right boxes.

While a Rs 9/- printout might not look much to a customer, especially given the fuel and time cost, one would certainly feel the pinch of the Rs 25/- delivery charge. That is what would push the customer to add more products to the basket to make it a sweeter deal and worth a buy.

That said, privacy will be a concern for some, however, there will be a sizable section that would be inclined to use such services. To top it all, the company would gather rich data and insights on customer behaviour that would lead to targeted marketing and sales strategies.

Abhishek Gupta, engagement manager, Redseer Consulting

The on-demand printout market within quick commerce is a new category being created altogether. The services are currently being rolled out at a pilot level starting with select micro markets in Delhi NCR. At this point, it is very premature to comment on who the target customer is, what are the general use cases and the satisfaction and stickiness that it will command in the mind of the consumer.

Abhishek Gupta
Abhishek Gupta

One must also look at this proposition from the POV of better asset and fleet utilisation for quick commerce players. Theoretically, these services carry very little fixed costs for platforms and can potentially result in both high gross margins and better asset utilisation – both dark stores and delivery fleet utilisation.

Mrunmayi Oke, vice president, category and growth, Dunzo

Quick commerce companies need to be able to find strong use cases where there's a large TAM, and user needs can be addressed at an incremental cost per order. These are the categories that will unlock huge growth. When it comes to offering printouts as a service, with the wave of digitisation, the frequency of this use case amongst upwardly mobile urban customers may be limited.

Mrunmayi Oke
Mrunmayi Oke

Perhaps, we may see parents use this service to get copies for their kids. However, this could be more expensive when compared to an offline option - so the order volumes will depend on the urgency and need. For official or confidential documents, privacy will remain a concern. While we are not looking at this space at the moment, it will be interesting to see how it evolves in future.

Sanchari Chakrabarty, senior strategy director, DDB Mudra

The interesting thing about convenience is that we don’t always know that a need exists. The thing about this print-out or passport photo service (among others) is that it’s not a new need or something you’ll consistently need day on day. So, at best it’s just a safety net – knowing that if you EVER needed a sudden set of printouts, you could get it. More than a routine task, this service will appeal during emergencies or unforeseen circumstances.

Sanchari Chakrabarty
Sanchari Chakrabarty

I think the addition of services like these is less to do with business, more to do with the perception it builds for the brand that allows for business to happen on the core categories. For example: On the Dunzo app, you keep seeing use cases like, one guy used Dunzo to get his shoes delivered to him so that he could enter a club.

The chances of this incident happening again are low but now everyone knows that if ever they needed this random task to be done, they can use this service because it’s reliable. So, they use the service for the bigger routine tasks that happen more often. Thus, quick commerce services offer use cases that might not apply to everyone but it sets the standard on what to expect.

I think quick commerce has shown that there’s a way out of mundane tasks and that someone will take the smallest of tasks away from you. So, there are ten thousand and one things that both these platforms could get into. But more than categories – the next step would be offer personalisation in the service itself. Will the person doing your task also offer support in choice-making, solve problems that might occur at POS and more?

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