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The business of love on Q-commerce

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How Q-commerce platforms added cheer to the Valentine’s Day celebrations of its customers

New Delhi: In 2015, Indians spent approximately Rs 22,000 crore on Valentine’s Day, as per ASSOCHAM data. Valentine’s day has grown manifolds since then as a celebration in the country and even as a business. Although, the pandemic had put a dent in consumption, the good news is that consumption and spending has picked up in the last year that had a positive impact on Valentine’s Day business.

Consumer sentiment has improved since the FM announced various IT related decisions in the Budget 2023 that put more money in the hands of the consumers. Buoyed by the prospect, people are now willing to spend on non-essentials, entertainment, and other non-discretionary items as is evident by the box office collection of Pathaan which grossed approximately Rs 239 crore amount in 7 days of its launch.

The spending trend continues in gifting as well and is the reason why valentine’s day 2023 was one of the best for most companies in the business. It was especially a good Valentine’s week season for quick commerce companies who made gifting convenient for consumers by tweaking their inventory to meet the Valentine’s Day surge in demand and offering under 30 minutes delivery.

V-Day expectations

Q-commerce player Blinkit had expected a surge in demand of at least 20% said a spokesperson from Blinkit.

Dunzo expected the demand for most categories to increase by 50% over the weekend leading to the Valentine’s Day most categories and certain categories by 40% closer to Valentine’s Day shared Mrunmayi Oke, head, category and growth, Dunzo.

She added that Dunzo expected chocolates and desserts to receive maximum traction.

Another player in the category Swiggy Instamart expected a 4x jump in orders this year with Taj Mahal roses leading the demand.

Stocking up on the right gifts

Armed with a fair idea of the demand, Q-Commerce companies got working on tweaking their inventory accordingly. “We started a few weeks in advance,” said Blinkit in an email response.

Extensive research and past trends consumers helped Dunzo come up with a varied selection of products to stock.

“We had informed the brands on our platform about our anticipated increase in demand weeks ahead of our campaign and beefed up our inventory accordingly,” said Oke of Dunzo.

Swiggy Instamart curated an ‘All things love’ store on its app that included an inventory of products that could be classified under ‘Date Night’ and ‘Get Naughty’ essentials to a section ‘Celebrating Singles’.

Roses, extensive variety of chocolates, desserts, personal care and sexual wellness products, balloons, gift wrapping sheets, home décor, curated gifting boxes & hampers, teddy bears and greeting cards were top items that the q-comm companies stocked up.

Special tie-ups

In addition to modifying their inventories, Q-commerce platforms entered into tie ups to differentiate their offerings amid the Valentine’s Day noise.

While Blinkit collaborated with several brands like Ferns N Petals, Cadbury, Durex, Nivea and Plum, Dunzo partnered with Cadbury, Kwality Walls and Durex.

What sold the most

Surprisingly, the brands witnessed high level of sales not just in typical Valentine’s related product categories such as roses and chocolates but also in products like strawberries, ice creams, makeup and beauty, personal care, grooming, perfumes and deodorants.

“The response has been consistently positive. We had sold more than 10,000 roses way before 10 am on Valentine’s Day,” said a Blinkit spokesperson.

Giving an insight on the ordering trend on Valentine’s Day, Blinkit CEO Albinder Dhindsa tweeted “30% of all orders till now are orders placed for someone else.”

Oke of Dunzo informed that the platform had been witnessing a 30% increase in response since the start of its campaign on February 7. There was an uptick in demand for different items like roses, chocolates – individual packets and gifting boxes—grooming products and sexual wellness products right from the first day of the campaign.

Swiggy Instamart revealed that consumers ordered everything from premium beauty gift hampers to couple’s mugs and that the platform fulfilled nearly a million rose orders of Taj Mahal roses.

“It was a rose-y affair with over 200,000 roses sold during the week,” informed Vinay Dhanani, COO, Zepto.

“The average demand for Chocolates on Zepto, especially heart-shaped cookies, candies, and chocolates, doubled between the 7th and 14th of Feb, with a 4x jump in sales on February 9, Chocolate Day. Ice creams saw a growth of over 50% in the second week of February,” he added.

Beyond indulgences, stuffed Teddy Bears and heart-shaped cushions were a popular choice of gifts on Zepto that saw a 10 times spike in sales during the Valentine’s week. “In fact, on Teddy Day (Feb 10) alone, there was a 7x demand surge for soft toys,” Dhanani added.

Giving an insight into Zepto’s sales during the period, Dhanani shared that makeup and beauty witnessed a growth of over 50% in the second week whereas beauty accessories grew by over 125%. “Fragrance and Deo grew by around 50% over the first week and electrical grooming products saw a growth of over 80%. Date nights were certainly brought home with sales for party decorations growing by over 90%,” Dhanani explained.

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