Use of next day delivery may be key for Black Friday weekend
The latest data from IMRG and MetaPack reveals that use of next day delivery services was at its second-highest rate yet recorded in October – and how widely it is promoted to shoppers over the coming Black Friday weekend may be key to enabling fulfilment operations to work efficiently.
In the UK, standard delivery is usually (and remains currently) the most popular option for online shoppers in the run-up to peak season – but only just at 36.6% of all volumes. As retailers increasingly view delivery as a differentiator to attract and retain customers, we have seen the gap between standard and next day delivery become much tighter this year. In October, next day and specified day services accounted for 34.2% of deliveries – up on the same period last year (October 2015), when it was 29.6%.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics, IMRG, said:
“The reasons behind this increase in the percentage of orders using next day delivery are likely to be retailers offering later order acceptance times; which naturally drives an increase in next day delivery and, retailers using faster delivery services to set them apart from their competitors. A few large retailers are even able to provide same day but for most this is not achievable. Instead many are actively promoting next day, often for free if the customer spends above a set threshold. Our data shows shoppers are responding well to this, but during peak retailers should have the contingency to put some limitations around offering next day delivery as standard – it could put some carrier networks under strain, and some may apply limits on how many next day orders they will accept during that period.”
Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack, said:
“Next day and nominated day delivery are becoming increasingly popular choices amongst customers. Our latest consumer research shows almost a quarter of respondents had used same day delivery options and this has doubled year-on-year. Consumer expectation of ‘speed’ of delivery varies greatly across geography and by age groups, but it is fair to say that the general consensus is toward faster and cheaper delivery. During peak, however, this is much harder for retailers, brands and carriers to sustain, particularly if volumes are as high as predicted. Merchants must ensure they adjust delivery options in real-time, to ensure that delivery promises are kept and peak distribution remains smooth.”
Other highlights from the October Delivery Index from October:
• Online retail order growth was up 11.8% year-on-year in October;
• The percentage of orders going to cross-border markets increased unseasonably in October, bucking the trend seen in previous years. In October 2016, 27.8% of deliveries went to international destinations, compared with 24% in October 2015.
• UK carriers produced their best October delivery performance in five years, with 94.1% delivered on time.