Next day delivery is increasingly becoming the delivery option of choice, according to the latest Delivery Index figures from IMRG and MetaPack.
The duo’s figures showed that for October the use of next day delivery services was at its second highest rate yet recorded.
Although standard delivery remains the most popular option for online shoppers in the run-up to peak season it only just maintained its lead at 36.6% of all volumes. It was closely followed by next day and specified day services which were chosen for 34.2% of deliveries. The same month last year the proportion stood at 29.6%.
Although carriers will be tested to the limit over the next few days following Black Friday, in October at least they outperformed, producing their best October delivery performance in five years according to the index, with 94.1% of parcels delivered on time.
The percentage of orders going cross border also rose, with 27.8% of deliveries bound for international destinations compared to 24% last year.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG, said the uplift was likely to be thanks to 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,” he said.
However he also warned retailers to be careful of keeping their delivery promises, particularly over peak. “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,” he said.
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