The volume of online retail delivery orders rose nearly 17% year on year in October but the number of on-time deliveries fell, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.
The rise in the volume of orders in October is likely to have once again been the result of shoppers taking advantage of some of the early discounting ahead of Black Friday in the month.
However, the percentage of orders delivered on time dropped by 7.4 percentage points on October 2016, reaching 87.2%, according to the index. Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, said that the fall was actually likely due to increasing pressure for next day and specified day deliveries, which represented nearly half (49%) of UK orders in October. “The lower on-time delivery rate of 87.2% appears largely due to a steady shift towards next day as the new ‘standard’ for delivery,” he said.
“Next day is being widely promoted and often free if spend is above a certain threshold, as retailers seek to use their delivery offers to attract and retain shoppers,” said Starkey. “The good news is that although on-time rates are down, it is likely that more parcels are being delivered faster than ever before and in line with increasing customer expectations,” he said.
“We have seen a gradual increase in volumes across our delivery platform since October and we anticipate that this will continue into the New Year,” said Bruce Fair, chief revenue officer at MetaPack. “Black Friday and the Cyber Weekend followed this trend, but with an even greater peak in deliveries than we expected, which will inevitably put continued pressure on express services,” he said.
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