Online retailers dispatched 13.9% more parcels in April than they did a year earlier, new data suggests, with only a slight decline (-0.3%) on March despite an earlier than usual Easter.
The latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index showed that while delivery volumes improved, so did their punctuality: just over 90% of deliveries were on-time in April 2018. That contrasted with lower on-time deliveries during much of 2017 that fell to a record low of 84.6% in December 2017. This is likely, says IMRG, to be because more orders are now using faster next-day services.
Maria Dahlqvist Canton, global marketing director at MetaPack, said: “While delivery volumes in February, March and April are traditionally lower than during other times of the year, it is heartening to see that order volumes in April 2018 have shown a year-on-year increase. This puts year-to-date cumulative growth at 12.9%, right on target for the forecasted 13% growth to the end of the year, which is very positive.”
Average order values continued to grow for the 14th month in a row. IMRG says that while it might be assumed that shoppers in the EU were driving growth as they benefitted from the continued weakness of sterling against the euro, in fact it was UK-based shoppers who were behind the rise.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG said: “It’s so far so good for order volumes given that, toward the end of last year the indicators for 2018 were not particularly good – there was a squeeze on household incomes, consumer confidence wasn’t particularly strong and many retailers were reporting tough trading conditions. However, so far 2018 has proved to be a good year for online retail. Many of the economic pressures have eased as the year has progressed so shoppers are finding themselves with a bit more spare change in their pockets, plus there are some major events, such as the royal wedding and the World Cup to help stimulate interest and activity around certain product ranges.”
Image courtesy of DPD