lightspeed ecommerce

94% of UK deliveries on time in first quarter 2015

The ecommerce industry in the United Kingdom has seen a strong quarter in terms of on-time and attempted deliveries. Although the performance was on an all-time low in December, due to the massive amount of orders process on Black Friday, the industry bounced back: 94% of orders were delivered on-time or attempted within the promised timeframes.


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The UK ecommerce industry produced the best quality of service results since IMRG started keeping track of these results in 2011. In March, the share of orders delivered on-time or attempted within the promised timeframes was even 94.6%. During this month there was a very low attempted delivery rate of 2.9%.

Delivery volume increased harder than online sales
Data from the latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index also shows there has been a “seasonally uncharacteristic” increase in the use of next-day delivery services, which are up 18% compared to the same period last year. Also, delivery volumes increased at a higher rate (10.8% in Q1) than online sales (7%). “It may be that retailers are having to send more orders to get the same value of sales and are using lower-cost next day offers to help stimulate sales activity.”

The delivery index shows that currently 8 out of every 100 orders are not being delivered on time or at the first time in accordance with the customer’s expectations. “We expect to hit record volumes in the UK this year with over 1 billion orders being dispatched by UK retailers. These service results create a good foundation on which to build”, says Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG.

Avoiding last year’s delivery issues
Kees de Vos, MetaPack’s CCO is happy 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.”