Use of next day delivery may be key for Black Friday weekend

The latest data from IMRG and MetaPack reveals that use of next day delivery services was at its second-highest rate yet recorded in October – and how widely it is promoted to shoppers over the coming Black Friday weekend may be key to enabling fulfilment operations to work efficiently.

In the UK, standard delivery is usually (and remains currently) the most popular option for online shoppers in the run-up to peak season – but only just at 36.6% of all volumes. As retailers increasingly view delivery as a differentiator to attract and retain customers, we have seen the gap between standard and next day delivery become much tighter this year. In October, next day and specified day services accounted for 34.2% of deliveries – up on the same period last year (October 2015), when it was 29.6%.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG: “The reasons behind this increase in the percentage of orders using next day delivery are likely to be retailers offering later order acceptance times; which naturally drives an increase in next day delivery and, retailers using faster delivery services to set them apart from their competitors. A few large retailers are even able to provide same day but for most this is not achievable. Instead many are actively promoting next day, often for free if the customer spends above a set threshold. Our data shows shoppers are responding well to this, but during peak retailers should have the contingency to put some limitations around offering next day delivery as standard – it could put some carrier networks under strain, and some may apply limits on how many next day orders they will accept during that period.”

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack: “Next day and nominated day delivery are becoming increasingly popular choices amongst customers. Our latest consumer research (1) shows almost a quarter of respondents had used same day delivery options and this has doubled year-on-year. Consumer expectation of ‘speed’ of delivery varies greatly across geography and by age groups, but it is fair to say that the general consensus is toward faster and cheaper delivery. During peak, however, this is much harder for retailers, brands and carriers to sustain, particularly if volumes are as high as predicted. Merchants must ensure they adjust delivery options in real-time, to ensure that delivery promises are kept and peak distribution remains smooth.”  

Other highlights from the October Delivery Index from October:





1  MetaPack 2016 State of eCommerce Delivery report


About the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index

The IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index has been designed to enable the online 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 online 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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