Cross-border order volumes at record high following Brexit

The volume of online retail orders being sent cross-border was at a record high for July, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.

For the second month running, the proportion of orders leaving the UK was recorded at almost 27% – the highest percentage for June and July in the five-year history of the Index. Usually around this time of year we would expect to see cross-border volumes account for around 23% of the total.

July represents the first full month of data we have had since the EU referendum result on 23 June and since then the value of sterling has fallen sharply against the euro and dollar, making products on UK retail sites attractive to foreign shoppers in Europe and the US.

Last month we recorded a sharp drop in cross-border average order values, as shoppers took advantage of the relative strength of their currencies. This month we have seen a recovery, although it is still below where we would expect it to be.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG: “While it’s hardly surprising that cross-border volumes have risen since the Brexit vote, the question is whether this upturn in orders will be temporary or sustained over a longer period. As the July average order value has risen on June, we might surmise that shoppers initially used the opportunity to snap up a bargain or two, but are now realising that the deals are very attractive and are loading up their baskets with more goods each visit. While this upturn is good news in a way, clearly there will be pressure on margins due to all products being discounted for cross-border shoppers, in effect.”

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack: “July is usually a month in which retailers enjoy a mini-peak in sales, but the impact of Brexit on shopper confidence is now being felt. The increase in order values from EU consumers snapping up bargains thanks to the drop in Sterling is welcome, however. We expect that over the next few months we’ll see a return to much greater volume growth, ensuring that forecasts for the year are met.”  




About the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index has been designed to enable the e-retail industry to track a wide range of key benchmark metrics to enable organisations to benchmark performance, track trends and inform strategic decisions.

The information presented is aggregated from a consistent sample of MetaPack's extensive dataset so all retailers, carriers and other suppliers remain completely anonymous. While it is not possible to confirm whether the data is entirely representative of all retail sectors, by covering in excess of 200 retailers and an average of more than 5 million orders in any one month, we consider it to be a valid and highly reliable source.

About IMRG

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry.

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs.

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

About MetaPack

Founded in 1999, the MetaPack Group provides eCommerce and multi-channel delivery technology to leading retailers. MetaPack's highly configurable platform looks after the customer delivery experience generating consumer trust and loyalty. The software connects shippers with parcel carriers, as well as a wide range of alternative delivery, collection and returns services. For more information, visit

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