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Online deliveries set to hit 1.35bn a year by 2018: Barclays

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Online deliveries will hit 1.35 billion a year by 2018, 29% more than the billion deliveries that took place in 2013, a new study predicts.

Barclays’ Last Mile Report, carried out by Conlumino, suggests that 20% of those deliveries will be of clothing and footwear bought over the internet. At the same time, it predicts, food deliveries will become the online retail sector with the third-highest volume of deliveries by 2018, after music and film. Downloads of music and films, however, are expected to fall by 39% as subscription-based services become more popular.

Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “Not only is the online purchasing and delivery market growing, it is also having to evolve quicker and more radically than previously. Driven by the increasing use of tablet and mobile devices, almost seven in 10 consumers say they are looking for more innovative and rapid delivery options such as Sunday delivery.

“Although they seek more flexibility in delivery options, consumers are still very conscious of keeping prices low with cost influencing consumers’ preference more than any other factor including quality of service.”

The study found that nearly 30% of retailers would use click and collect services as their preferred delivery option, though less than 20% of consumers have used the service in the last year. Rather, packages that fit through a letterbox and other small parcels made up 60% of online deliveries in 2013. They are also set to grow by 45% by 2018.

While most retailers said online shopping and delivery had raised their sales, more than 30% said it had been detrimental to costs.

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