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More UK online orders destined for EU in July than for four years: IMRG

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Nearly three in 10 online orders placed with UK retailers are bound for an EU destination beyond our shores, new data suggests.

Some 29.6% of all ecommerce orders shipped from the UK were heading across borders, in July, according to the latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index. That’s up from the 24.4% of UK orders shipped in July 2015, and the 26.6% shipped in July 2016, soon after the Brexit vote.

Of that volume going cross-border, the share going to EU destinations reached a four-year high in July 2017, says the IMRG. It says that the split between EU and non-EU destinations has tended to be fairly even over the lifetime of the Delivery Index (which launched in 2011), but last month it reached 62.7%. In July last year, the percentage going to the EU was 55.3%.

Chris Hoskin, head of marketing, MetaPack , said: “We can see a consistent rise in cross-border orders which over the last three months have all been over 60% of the total. Whilst we could assume that this is to do with sterling and the beneficial prices that overseas consumers are enjoying, we believe it is also part of a wider trend. As long as UK retailers can offer quality products with great delivery options at good prices, overseas customers are happy to make their purchases, and we have every reason to believe this will continue even once the UK is out of the EU.”

Overall, delivery order volumes grew by 16.5% last month, according to the index, in contrast to sales revenue from online shopping, which was up by 11%. That suggests, says the IMRG, that discounting during the summer sales may have accounted for a significant proportion of those sales.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG , said: “The established trend up until 2015 was for a month-on-month rise between June and July in the Delivery index, but last year this line flattened out and in July 2017 we saw a monthly dip of -2.6%. Last year was an exceptional time of course, being the month directly following the Brexit referendum, and July this year followed an exceptionally warm June that brought heatwaves, but it may be that we are also starting to record some impact of the establishment of Amazon Prime Day as a major sales event – the Delivery Index does not include marketplace orders so some of the volume may be shifting over in connection with Prime Day.”

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