New figures from IMRG suggest that the volume of online orders going cross-border has slowed marginally this month, a trend that has been evident since June when the Brexit results were first announced.
In September, the percentage of orders going to international destinations was 27.5%, a slight fall on August’s figures of 27.8%.
Despite the drop however, the figures are still up on the same time last year when the volume of orders going cross-border stood at 23.8% in September 2015.
Non-EU destinations see uplift
IMRG says that the most obvious driver for the trend is the fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote. It says this may also be influencing a trend for increasing numbers of orders going to non-EU destinations since over the past 12 months, the higher percentage have always been going to EU destinations. However, for the second month in a row now the greatest proportion of cross-border orders have gone to non-EU destinations.
Taken as a whole online retail order growth was up 10% year-on-year in September, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index. This puts year-to-date (Jan – Sep) growth at 12.8%, slightly ahead of the full-year forecast (12%), as we approach the peak trading period.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG, said retailers should still focus on the general uplift in international trade. “We typically see cross-border orders slow down between October and December as peak trading kicks in, but it seems possible that a higher volume may be sustained this year. The EU usually accounts for the higher percentage of cross-border volumes, but the past two months have seen non-EU destinations account for a greater share.”
“This may well be due to the relative strength of the currencies in various markets around the world – while the euro has gained 13% against sterling since Brexit, the US dollar has gained 15.5% and the Australian dollar 16.5%. It’s quite possible that further falls in the value of sterling may continue to drive this trend,” he said.
Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack, said delivery had to be a key focus in the coming weeks. “As we enter the peak period, we know a rise in online volumes is already underway, so continued carrier delivery performance and retail operational efficiency is vital to ensuring customer satisfaction,” he said.
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