Why city warehouses are critical to e-commerce businesses.
For Indian e-commerce companies, there has never been a more exciting time than right now. The market, which now ranks among the top ten globally in terms of sales, is hardly saturated. Since this is the second-largest consumer market in the world, there is a lot of room for expansion in terms of scale and penetration. The rate at which the market is developing, with consumers increasingly choosing convenience over value when making purchases, is surprising. In less than five years, the fast commerce market is predicted to grow by 15 times its current size, reflecting this trend.
Because of this, and for a number of other reasons, in-city warehouses—the key enablers of quick commerce and other convenience-focused retail models—are currently seeing unprecedented demand.
Increased usage of online shopping.
It would be an understatement to say that the epidemic's lockdowns have pushed the shift toward online purchasing. The epidemic has boosted internet commerce growth and inspired shoppers to make more purchases than they had previously done. Since last year, the size of the Indian e-commerce market has grown dramatically, from US$30 billion to US$84 billion. The demand for storage and distribution facilities is anticipated to rise in less than 10 years as the number is anticipated to rise. Online shopping by consumers is expanding, which has increased demand for warehouse space overall. Right present, urban warehouses are the fastest-growing sector.
The conversion of physical retail premises into e-commerce fulfillment centers, which was triggered by the demise of physical retail operations the previous year, has contributed to the expansion of in-city warehouses. A recent development has seen a growth in the demand for sizable grade A warehouses outside of major cities, which is supplemented by this action.
The expansion of ultra-fast and ultra-local delivery models.
Recent events have improved the kinds of things that customers are comfortable purchasing online, in addition to expanding the number of goods and services offered online. E-commerce channels are now more regularly used to purchase everyday necessities such as food and meat, rather than being relegated to primarily discretionary items such as books and clothes. Since these are low-margin products, efficient distribution is necessary for sustainability. More distribution networks have been created especially to hold these products as a result. The items provided through these channels are created locally and stored in areas adjacent to densely populated consumption zones to improve unit economics. Such business ideas are built on urban warehousing.
Faster delivery times are required for e-commerce players.
Consumers increasingly want same-day deliveries, even if it means paying more for them, especially for non-essential items. As recently established quick commerce providers expand their product offers to include non-essential items like gadgets and clothing, the demand for storage will increase. These participants are creating fresh deadlines for deliveries. As a result, reputable e-commerce companies are subject to stricter regulations. The bigger and more competitive ones have already begun extending their distribution networks into metropolitan areas to supplement the larger warehouses outside city limits. Because most items will eventually be delivered in a matter of hours, city warehouses will become highly expensive.
Gaining an advantage in the e-commerce sector is not always a zero-sum game, given that demand for goods is a flow variable with no apparent upper bound. The actual space in important city places, however, cannot be stated to be the same because it will soon run out. This awareness is increasing demand for the building of multistory warehouses in constrained urban areas. For a very long time, those that move early and quickly will continue to have an advantage in the race for more of the constantly diminishing in-city places.