On-time deliveries down as next day delivery option rises

The rising popularity of next day and specific day deliveries is impacting retailers’ ability to meet customer expectations, with the percentage of orders arriving on time dropping by 7.4% in October compared to the same month last year.

According to the latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, next day and specific day deliveries accounted for almost 50% of all UK orders in October, but just 87.2% of all orders were delivered on time.

Andrew Stark, head of e-Logistics at IMRG said next day has become the new standard for delivery. “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. 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 commented.

In October, online delivery order volumes were up almost 17% year-on-year, reflecting the wider availability of early discounting compared to the same month in 2016.

The positive trend is expected to continue throughout the whole festive season and into the new year, according to the figures. But with Black Friday now completed from a sales perspective and Cyber Week in full swing, retailers will have to step up their efforts to deliver orders on time.

“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. 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,” said Bruce Fair, Chief Revenue Officer at MetaPack.

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