More orders using ‘next day’ delivery than ‘economy’ for first time

Online retail order growth was up 18.2% year-on-year in August, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index, as shopper confidence appears to be showing some resilience following the Brexit decision.

Since the EU referendum on 23 June, we have tracked an increase in the percentage of orders going cross-border – most likely due to a sharp fall in the valuation of sterling. This continued to be the case in August, with 27.8% of UK orders going to international destinations.

There was also a notable development in the delivery options that shoppers are selecting. For the first time in the history of the Index, the percentage of orders using ‘next day’ (36.7%) as the fulfilment option was higher than those using ‘economy’ (33.8%).

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG: “We’ve been tracking a general increase in the percentage of ‘next day’ orders for a while now, and in August it became the most popular option domestically for the first time. There are a number of factors potentially influencing this – some retailers see delivery as a differentiator and are offering next day as standard, others offer it if the customer’s basket value is above a specific threshold and for others the charge for next day is smaller than it has been on average in previous years. A move toward faster delivery is not unexpected and, for carriers, it doesn’t represent a capacity issue during most of the year – but during peaks such as the Black Friday period, promotion of next day delivery should be handled more cautiously.”

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack: “August is traditionally a slower month, so it is great to see delivery numbers swinging up again, and cumulative growth back on track. Despite our concerns about the effects of the European Referendum, overseas shoppers are taking advantage of the strength of Sterling which is boosting overseas deliveries with the added bonus that we are seeing a rise in order values from cross-border shopping. With requests for next day deliveries moving ahead of economy delivers we are also witnessing a strengthening in the trend towards speed over cost.”  



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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