E-commerce: Next day delivery is the “new norm”

IMRG Ecommerce

Customers now consider next day delivery to be a standard, rather than a premium, service from online retailers, new figures show.

According to the latest report from IMRG (the industry body for online retailers) and MetaPack, next day delivery was selected by 31% of customers in 2016, up from 26.8% in 2015.

In addition, the number of customers selecting economy delivery services fell from 45.5% in 2015 to 38.9% in 2016, suggesting customers now prioritise speed over price when it comes to delivery options.

MetaPack head of marketing Chris Hoskin said the figures showed that for customers next day delivery was the “new norm”. “[They] increasingly regard it as a standard rather than premium service. This is commercially challenging for many retailers who have invested heavily in securing and maintaining their online customer base. They now, more than ever before, have to balance the costs and operational implications of managing a reliable next day service with meeting customer demands.”

IMRG head of e-logistics Andrew Starkey said retailers marketed the next day delivery option heavily, which has had an influence on the increase in uptake. “It’s not hard to see why delivery times are speeding up, as many retailers feature their next-day offer prominently at the top of their homepage in order to attract and keep customers. With delivery service so important to shoppers retailers must look at all aspects to keep ahead of their competition and customer’s expectations,” he said.

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index also revealed the changes in peak Christmas shopping times that have been brought about since the UK adopted the end of November Black Friday promotional period from the US.

In 2014 the monthly growth in order volumes between November and December was +27.7%; in 2015 it was +14.3% but in 2016 it was just +4.5%. This, said IMRG, was largely explained by Black Friday falling earlier in 2016 (25 November), whereas it was 28 November in 2014 and 27 November in 2015.