Following a lowest-ever on-time/attempted delivery performance in December of 85% (due to the huge backlog of orders processed on Black Friday), the industry has bounced back to produce the best quality of service results since the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index was launched in 2011.
94.6% of orders were delivered on-time or attempted within the promised timeframes in March – with the Q1 2015 average standing at 94%. The March figure was supported by a very low attempted delivery rate (2.9%).
There has also been a seasonally uncharacteristic increase in the use of next day delivery services, which are up 18% year-on-year as a proportion of all services used with no obvious seasonal reason. As delivery volumes (10.8% up in Q1) are currently increasing at a higher rate than online sales (7% for same period), 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.
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 8 out of every 100 orders are currently not being delivered on time / first time in accordance with the customer‘s expectations. We expect to hit record volumes in the UK this year with over 1bn 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, added: “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.”