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Insight: the growth of next day deliveries in the UK

New data has revealed that next-day delivery services are accounting for a growing share of online orders.


Insight: the growth of next day deliveries in the UK

New data has revealed that next-day delivery services are accounting for a growing share of online orders.

The figures from IMRG and MetaPack show that in 2016, next-day was selected as the delivery option for 31% of online retail orders, up from 26.8% in 2015. Over the same period, the share of orders using economy services fell from 45.5% in 2015 to 38.9% in 2016.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, said: “It’s not hard to see why delivery times are speeding up, as many retailers feature their next-day offer prominently at the top of their homepage to attract and keep customers. With delivery service so important to shoppers, retailers must look at all aspects to keep ahead of their competition and customer’s expectations.”

The data has also tracked a shift in when the bulk of Christmas peak deliveries fall. In 2014 the monthly growth in order volumes between November and December was 27.7% compared to 14.3% in 2015 and 4.5% in 2016. This can be explained by Black Friday falling earlier in 2016 than in 2014 and 2015, and the fact that with previous years’ experience retailers have been extending the pre-Christmas sales period even earlier into November.

A consequence of higher volumes in November is an impact on the level of on time delivery over the peak period. The figures show a three-year low for November at 91.4% followed by a three-year high for December of 91.5%.

Chris Hoskin, head of marketing at MetaPack, said: “Next day delivery has become the new norm for customers in the UK – who increasingly regard it as a standard rather than premium service. This is commercially challenging for many retailers who have invested heavily in securing and maintaining their online customer base. They now, more than ever before, have to balance the costs and operational implications of managing a reliable next day service with meeting customer demands.”

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