‘As London based Quiqup secure a £20m Series B Round, Co Founder and CEO Bassel El Koussa talks on-demand logistics, e-commerce and comparisons with San Francisco’s Postmates!’

Since the commercialised internet and the myriad products spawned in the wake of digitisation — think the smartphone and its armies of derivative apps — the world has changed a lot. One such change has to do with how consumers interact with retail businesses; the ways in which they access, discover and purchase the products that retailers have on offer, and the expectations on the kind of services they will receive.

Merchants today aren’t just competing on the quality of their products, but also on the quality of the experience that they can provide their customers. Firstly, because consumers are blending online and offline channels in their retail journey, you can no longer have a physical store without a digital presence. Secondly, e-commerce natives in the likes of Amazon have paved the way for the growing expectation for same day delivery.

Retailers are now competing in a market that champions convenience. Consumers consistently identify quick and flexible delivery services as one of the priorities affecting their purchasing decisions. Regardless of whether you’re a brick and mortar store or an exclusively e-commerce platform, the quality of last-mile delivery services is a critical differentiator.

Crucially, on-demand logistics doesn’t just mean same-hour delivery, it means speedy service whenever it suits the customer. Immediate delivery is redundant if your customer is about to head out some place — they want to get their goods at their discretion, when and where it fits into their schedules. That’s what true convenience means.

Research from Statista spells a compelling tale: a staggering 72% of consumers would buy more items and more frequently if there were convenient delivery. 63% of consumers are willing to pay higher price for on-demand services. And 54% of high street shoppers already browse stores with the expectation of delivery options that prioritise speed and convenience.

What Quiqup brings to the table is exactly that: on-demand delivery for anything, for anyone. Whether you’re an existing e-commerce player seeking a way to enter the same-day delivery space, an independent boutique in want of delivery capabilities to up your game, or just an individual looking for instant access to your city’s shops — Quiqup always has an option available.

Independent boutiques that are lacking online representation can establish their virtual presence by joining Quiqup’s digital storefront on our web and mobile apps, for example.

For local retailers who already have some digital presence but want to start delivering, they are able to instantly request or schedule our Quiqees (our drivers) with the Quiqdash app to pick up goods and drop them off to a single or multiple locations. Designed to the needs of SMEs, there are no upfront costs or subscription fees, so merchants only pay for what they use.

Quiqup’s API, on the other hand, is designed to incorporate our on-demand logistics service into existing e-commerce platforms. Essentially adding an option on the checkout window offering flexible options for on-demand or scheduled deliveries.

The problem is that most SMEs and e-commerce enterprises lack the capital and the necessary expertise to build the kind of logistics infrastructure and operations required to tap into the on-demand economy.

That’s why we want to connect local and big businesses to the on-demand market. Because if they don’t adapt to the new rules imposed by their customers, they will lose out.

We believe there should be a level playing field between local retailers and digital behemoths, and Quiqup provides a means through which merchants can compete with these giants. In our partnership with Whole Foods Market, for instance, not only did we create a custom digital storefront on the Quiqup app and enabled them to deliver on-demand, but we also built bespoke technology to streamline logistics operations so to spread their organic vision across London.

There are of course other players in the same sphere, such as Postmates over in the US. We are similar in that both our origins began with the premise of moving anything from A to B. And when you compare the two you can see that Postmates has a heavy emphasis on the food and beverage sectors, whereas we are actively investing to educate the market on the importance of on-demand for any vertical, since consumers demand convenience for any retail good.

Having said that, though, we don’t think the best way to evolve is through defining our position in relation to the competitive landscape. Instead, we like to think that we’re competing with time. Specifically, we are competing against the scarcity of time, and the challenges that brick and mortar retailers face in the digital age.

Ultimately, our vision is to augment cities with a layer of logistics infrastructure, providing businesses and consumers with an on-demand service to enjoy convenience and master their time. This round of funding will facilitate the expansion and investment in the Quiqup family that’ll take us one step closer to realising that vision.

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