Delivery volumes defy expectations in July owing to stay-at-home summer

Online retail parcel delivery order volumes were up +15.2% year-on-year in July, according to the latest data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index. Growth traditionally plateaus as we move into the summer holiday season as many people go abroad but, as the temperatures remained very high across most of the UK, it seems people instead opted to stay on home turf this year, which reflected positively in the delivery index – up 2.6% month-on-month on July.

LONDON UK – 23 August, 2018: The usage of specified and next-day services remained at an all-time high in July, accounting for 36.5% of all online orders. And while an increase in the reliance on specified-day services means added pressure for carriers, the percentage of successful on-time deliveries remains unchanged at 90%. This is still considerably lower than in previous years, however – just two years ago, retailers and carriers were maintaining an average success rate of 94%.

The average order value in July was again above its relative position in recent years, up 4.6% against July 2017, with the continued hot weather likely to have been a key contributing factor. Most of this year-on-year performance is driven by purchases made by UK-based shoppers, although the strength of the euro has kept European values up too.

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Andrew Starkey, Head of e-Logistics, IMRG“2018 continues to be a solid year for online delivery growth. There have been a number of recent economic indicators that suggest consumer confidence is decreasing and that shoppers are feeling the pinch as we have moved into the third quarter, but there were some more positive findings this month in that the average order value was the highest ever recorded in the Index for the month of July. With European shoppers apparently taking advantage of the strength of the euro against sterling, and UK shoppers wanting to make the most of the hot summer, it’s only the on-time delivery rate that remains a concern over the coming months as we approach the peak shopping season.”


About the ‘IMRG Metapack UK Delivery Index’

The IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index has been designed to enable the e-retail industry to track a wide range of key benchmark metrics to enable organisations to benchmark performance, track trends and inform strategic decisions.

The information presented is aggregated from a consistent sample of MetaPack's extensive dataset so all retailers, carriers and other suppliers remain completely anonymous. While it is not possible to confirm whether the data is entirely representative of all retail sectors, by covering in excess of 200 retailers and an average of more than 5 million orders in any one month, we consider it to be a valid and highly reliable source.

About IMRG 

For over 20 years, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) has been the voice of e-retail in the UK. We are a membership community comprising businesses of all sizes – multichannel and pureplay, SME and multinational, and solution providers to industry. 

We support our members through a range of activities – including market tracking and insight, benchmarking and best practice sharing. Our indexes provide in-depth intelligence on online sales, mobile sales, delivery trends and over 40 additional KPIs. 

Our goal is to ensure our members have the information and resources they need to succeed in rapidly-evolving markets – both domestically and internationally.

About MetaPack

Founded in 1999, the MetaPack Group provides eCommerce and multi-channel delivery technology to leading retailers. MetaPack's highly configurable platform looks after the customer delivery experience generating consumer trust and loyalty. The software connects shippers with parcel carriers, as well as a wide range of alternative delivery, collection and returns services. For more information, visit

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