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Online delivery industry recovers from Black Friday ‘tsunami’ to post best-ever service figures

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Online delivery service was fully resumed in March, as the industry demonstrated it had fully recovered from the Black Friday ‘tsunami’ of late or undelivered orders, new figures showed today.

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index suggests that service was at its best in March since the index was launched four years ago. Some 94.6% of online retail orders were either delivered or attempted on time during the month, while the average for the first three months of the year stood at 94%. At the same time, there was a low attempted delivery rate of 2.9%.

That marks a real recovery since the index recorded its worst-ever performance figure in December, when Black Friday backlogs meant 85% of orders were delivered, or attempted, on time.

The rising performance comes as more next-day deliveries are being made. They rose by 18% in March, compared to the same time last year. That’s higher than the year-on-year growth in all etail deliveries of 10.8%. The IMRG analysis suggests that more retailers are offering cheaper next-day deliveries in order to encourage orders.

Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG , said: “These results, coupled with a record low in failed first-time delivery at 2.9%, mean that only eight out of every 100 orders are currently not being delivered on time or first time in accordance with the customer’s expectations. We expect to hit record volumes in the UK this year with over one billion orders being dispatched by UK retailers. These service results create a good foundation on which to build.”

Kees de Vos, chief commercial officer at MetaPack , said: “It’s great to see such a bounce-back in the industry – clearly, retailers are benefitting from a renewed focus on delivery offerings and processes. Next-day deliveries are proving to be more popular than ever, and are likely to continue to be an excellent marketing tool for retailers. With this year’s Black Friday and Christmas in the not-so-distant future, it seems that retailers are already thinking ahead and adapting their strategies to ensure that last year’s issues are avoided.”

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