Buyk’s Ultra Fast Grocery Delivery Services – How Does Buyk Work
The term “Dark Stores” has an ominous, almost dystopian ring to it because of this.
However, in reality, it represents one of the numerous innovative ideas and concepts that have assisted numerous retail businesses to remain afloat during the pandemic.
When times are tough, business owners are forced to be innovative. We’ve seen this all over the place in the last year, from hotels turning empty rooms into co-working spaces for the WFH-crowd to restaurants offering takeaway menus and home delivery.
Many retailers have also transformed their physical locations into “dark stores,” in keeping with this trend.
Even though people were forced to stay indoors, they continued to consume. Despite the fact that many people’s incomes have declined, global shopping volumes have increased, with the retail sector’s market capitalization increasing by 35% between February 2020 and April 2021.
Despite this, a large number of retail establishments are experiencing financial difficulties. What, then, distinguishes the top performers from the bottom performers?
According to McKinsey, “In many cases, the strengths enabling some companies to surpass their industry peers—tech-forward and asset-light business models propelled by the tailwinds of growing demand—became even more important during the crisis.”
One way retail stores have satisfactorily managed to adapt to the pandemic is to “go dark.” And when that is not the case — many new stores have emerged out of the blue and offer on-demand grocery delivery services.
One of the most notable ones is Buyk!
What is Buyk?
On September 14th, the ultra-fast grocery delivery startup Buyk began operations in New York City.
On September 14th, the company announced that it had begun delivering in Manhattan. Earlier this year, the founders of Russian fast-grocery chain Samokat, Rodion Shishkov and Slava Bocharov, revealed that they had raised $46 million for a US launch of their company Buyk, which they founded with Slava Bocharov.
Using the Buyk business model, deliveries are guaranteed within 15 minutes by using hyperlocal dark stores located throughout the city. Items are retrieved in 2 minutes after customers place their order and delivered by bike couriers (referred to as “buyers”) in 5-10 minutes to the customer.
Buyk’s service is currently available in Manhattan, and the company says it plans to expand to all five boroughs of New York City by the end of the year. In 2022, the company plans to expand to other major US metro areas, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
Buyk is the latest in a long line of quick-grocery players to expand into the New York market. JOKR, Gorillas, and Fridge No More are just a few names that have come out this year. With goPuff’s 500-city blitz and goPuff, there will be five dark store/fast grocery players in the Big Apple by 2021.
How Does Buyk Work?
Buyk follows the dark store business model by creating dark stores to make it as simple as possible to fulfil online orders. Although some have aisles and shelves like a regular store, they lack the signage and displays that you would find at your neighbourhood retailer.
Some dark stores resemble warehouses. Robots may be used to pick and pack customer orders if they are completely automated. Some businesses use a hybrid approach that includes self-driving carts that collect items and then send them to workers who prepare the order for delivery.
But that is not how Buyk Works.
Buyk follows a more low-key approach where small store rooms are created in various places in the city that stock and shelf goods and groceries. These storage units are handled by dedicated store managers.
So every time an order is placed, Buyk’s smart algorithms automatically assign the delivery duty to the nearest delivery personnel, or as they call them, Buykers — who would go to the nearest store for pickup and deliver the order within 15 minutes or less.
Because these dark stores aren’t retail establishments that deal directly with customers, they aren’t bound by the laws governing their hours of operation. Customers’ orders are frequently picked up overnight and in the morning, with inventory being replenished in the afternoons.
There are multiple trips made by trucks to get orders to customers throughout the day, so they can be delivered as quickly as possible.
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What’s The Purpose Of A Dark Store Like Buyk?
Brands can stock more inventory in dark stores than they can in a brick-and-mortar location with limited storage. Dark stores helped merchants with physical locations during the COVID-19 pandemic provide contactless delivery and pickup options to their customers.
One or more dark store locations have proven to improve order accuracy, speed up fulfilment time, and provide additional space for inventory for many merchants in the long term. As an added benefit, it’s a great way to deliver orders to customers more quickly by providing various delivery options
Who Should Open A Dark Store Like Buyk?
A dark store is an excellent choice for any retailer who needs more options and space to fulfil a large number of online orders in their physical store. Due to the pandemic, e-commerce grew rapidly this year and is expected to continue growing in the future.
Retailers who previously relied solely on selling products in a physical location can now quickly increase their online sales by converting their physical space(s) into a warehouse to quickly fulfil orders and store more inventory.
Why Should You Open A Dark Store Like Buyk?
Most likely, you’ll pass a sign that says “Online-Only” on your way to work or home. In response to COVID-19, major retailers including Walmart, Whole Foods Markets, Kroger, and Bed Bath and Beyond are experimenting with dark stores as a part of their overall sales strategy.
Giants may enjoy dark stores, but they aren’t the only ones. Small businesses are also experimenting with this concept, and they will reap the benefits as the number of their customers grows while the cost to reach them decreases.
Below, you’ll see some of the benefits that retailers can get from having dark stores:
- Stocking Spaces
The interior space is designated for inventory storage in these dimly lit shops. Generally, the layout of a warehouse is designed to show off a warehouse’s storage and picking capabilities better. Only in such complicated online operating situations can product classification and order fulfilment become more significant and accurate.
- Greater Control On Stock Levels
Despite the enormous ones, dark warehouses are typically smaller. As a result, controlling and managing them in terms of inventory tracking is a lot simpler. In order to better control the area and better handle orders, some dark store owners prefer to construct inventory management systems.
Preventing deadstock and stockouts can be made easier with inventory management software. You’ll always have the right amount of inventory on hand when you’ve successfully implemented stock control simplification.
- Improve Warehouse Efficiency
One dark store may end up supporting the retail fulfilment needs of several other stores in the same geographic area. Due to the fact that these warehouses are customer-free zones where pickers can easily navigate aisles without having to dodge customers and their carts, dark stores are able to handle a large number of orders. But not if you don’t have the appropriate tools.
- Increases In Order Consumptions
Shoppers who become accustomed to receiving their purchases quickly, reliably, and accurately from your brand will likely become regular, repeat customers.
The more options you can give your customers, whether it’s local pick-up options or different shipping options, dark stores give you the ability to provide more for your customers, which ultimately drives more sales and increases customer lifetime value for you.
- Quick And Contact Free Shipping
Contact-free shopping has become increasingly popular as a result of social seclusion and safety concerns. Dark Stores allow customers to make purchases from a brick-and-mortar retail store without having to go inside.
They can place their order online and pick it up or have it shipped to them. While online shopping can be dangerous, Dark Stores make it almost as safe as getting your product right away.
Converting physical stores into dark stores is a smart way to expedite order fulfilments faster and more efficiently by including a variety of distribution options and being physically closer to a specific part of the market.
- Maintaining Perishable Products Get Easier
The Dark Store concept works well for grocery stores because it addresses the issue of perishability. In order to reduce the time it takes from when the food is taken out of the store fridge until it is delivered, perfect warehouse control and super-efficient order fulfilment are required.
- Improved Range Of Products
Since customers are unable to enter Dark Stores, their layout and planning can be optimised for increased storage and improved picking. Greater storage capacity translates to a wider range of products, and faster picking means that orders are filled more quickly.
- More Options For The Customers
Online shoppers had a variety of delivery options to choose from this year, from curbside pickup to local delivery to cheaper and faster shipping. Dark stores give local customers the option of picking up their orders or having them delivered the same day, especially for necessities like personal care products and groceries. These delivery options will most likely be around for years after the pandemic is over.
Will Dark Store Remain Relevant Even After The Pandemic?
Since long before the pandemic, converting physical stores into dark stores has been a way to reduce costs, optimise the supply chain and leverage online shopping. Some retailers are teaming up with eCommerce companies to meet customer demand, and this has been beneficial to many chains. Even prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, grocery delivery and fashion retailing were major industries using dark warehouses.
However, in the wake of the global pandemic, other industries have followed suit. It’s no secret that the demand for eCommerce, curbside pickup, and same-day delivery has skyrocketed. As a result of this development, it appears that Dark Stores are not only here to stay but will continue to evolve as a concept.
The retailers who recognise and adapt to the market’s constant behavioural shifts are the ones who will win the hearts of future customers.
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