Customers are getting increasingly impatient, with next-day delivery services now accounting for almost a third on online retail orders, according to the latest figures from IMRG and MetaPack.
The latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index results show that for 2016 as a whole next day delivery was selected for 31% of online orders, compared to 26.8%. The use of economy services fell from 45.5% in 2015 to 38.9% in 2016.
The figures also showed a shift in when most Christmas peak deliveries fall. In 2014 order volumes between November and December grew by 27.7% and in 2015 by 14.3%. However in 2016 it was 4.5%. This is most likely attributable to an earlier Black Friday date with many retailers starting their sales period before this too.
On-time delivery hit a three-year low in November at 91.4% but a three-year high in December at 91.5%.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG said: the changes weren’t surprising. “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 in order to attract and keep customers,” he said: “With delivery service so important to shoppers retailers must look at all aspects to keep ahead of their competition and customer’s expectations.”
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,” he said.
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