Non-EU destinations accounting for a greater share of online orders post-Brexit


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.

The volume of orders going cross-border has slowed marginally this month but, as has consistently been the case since June when the Brexit result was announced, this is still well up on the same period last year. In September the percentage of orders going to international destinations was 27.5% – slightly down on the August volume (which was 27.8%), but still up against the 23.8% from September last year.

The most obvious driver for this trend is the fall in the value of sterling since the Brexit vote – and this may also be influencing a trend for increasing numbers of orders going to non-EU destinations. Over the past 12 months, the higher percentage have always been going to EU destinations but, for two months running now, the greatest proportion of cross-border orders have gone to non-EU destinations.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG: “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.”

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack: “Cross-border ecommerce is providing a positive impact on volume growth. Retailers trading overseas are able to reap the dividends of the fluctuating value of sterling, and this is likely to continue, contributing to the 12% growth that is forecast for 2016. 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.”  



About the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index

The IMRG MetaPack 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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