A record proportion of ecommerce orders delivered to UK shoppers in May arrived by next-day delivery, new IMRG figures suggest.
The etail trade association says 37% of UK-delivered orders for the month were sent via the premium delivery option.
The shift came as shoppers spent more online, with delivery order volumes lifting by 14.8%, year-on-year in May, according to the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index. And while next-day delivery grew, on-time delivery fell to its lowest level yet – to 88%, as measured by the delivery index. IMRG says this is the first time the on-time delivery has fallen below 90% in May.
Andy Mulch, strategy and insight director at IMRG , said: "IMRG has carried out shopper surveys every year for the past nine years and what’s interesting about the move toward faster fulfilment is that customers haven’t really been asking for it. These studies have consistently found that two days is still perfectly acceptable.
"As technology and processes have evolved, however, industry has come to view it as a potential differentiator in acquiring and retaining customers and their expectations are changing in line with that over time. A lingering question is whether they always know they are getting next-day: some orders are sent on premium services because customers require it and are prepared to pay for them, but many are not requested. How many ’genuine’ next day deliveries fail, and how many orders are being delivered next-day when the customer does not actually expect them?"
This strong uplift in delivery volumes came as factors including the royal wedding and hot weather appear to have driven shoppers to spend both online and in the high street.
Maria Dahiqvist Canton, global marketing director at MetaPack, said: "The holiday spirit in May with long weekends and the royal wedding has not only driven delivery order volumes, it seems also to have increased consumer spending. Average basket values went up to an average of £62 in May, an increase of 14% over the same month in 2017, and the highest average across all destinations in the history of the index. Whilst we might expect much of this to be down to overseas buyers making the most of exchange rates, in fact it is UK to UK orders that are having the biggest impact."