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Online deliveries grew by 12% in the first quarter: IMRG

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Online deliveries grew in line with forecasts in the first quarter of this year, according to IMRG figures.

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index had predicted that delivery volumes would grow by 12% in the first quarter of the year. Volumes grew by 12.7% in March, ensuring growth hit that figure.

Percentages of on-time delivery stayed steady in March, at 94% – and in line with both previous years.

Changes came in average parcel order values, up by 21% on the same month last year, while 35% of all orders were sent using next-day or specified day delivery. These premium deliveries took their highest share of the market since March 2012.

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack , said: “The growth in average parcel order values and orders being delivered via specific or next day delivery, only highlights the growing trend for consumers to use a variety of delivery options that suit their lifestyles. The adoption of sophisticated personalisation engines that really took off in 2015 is reaping dividends for retailers whose customers can choose exactly when and how their deliveries are made.”

Overall, the figures represent a steadying after volumes fell in the first quarter of last year, said IMRG.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG , said: “It’s been a fairly unremarkable start to the year in terms of order patterns so far, which is perhaps no bad thing after the unpredictable performance in the first quarter last year when there was an unexpected slowdown in online sales. Last year it’s possible that the general election had an impact on shopper confidence and there are some potentially disruptive influences to come in 2016 in terms of the EU referendum and US election, as well as big sporting events such as the Olympics and European tournament, the early impact of which we will be monitoring closely.”

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