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UK retailers deliver on Black Friday Weekend

39% increase in Cyber Monday delivery volumes, plus 82% rise in weekend shipments

 London, UK, 2nd December 2014 – MetaPack, the leading provider of eCommerce technology for delivery services, today released its data on how retailers delivered over Black Friday Weekend and into Cyber Monday.

The company confirmed that the UK Christmas shopping started on a high this year with MetaPack systems coordinating demand for 2.5 million parcels, or a thousand parcels a minute.

Commenting on how UK retailers and carriers performed over Black Friday Weekend, Patrick Wall, founder and CEO, MetaPack said: “This year’s introduction of Sunday services has ensured everyone received their on-line orders on time. Despite some reports of eCommerce systems straining to keep up with demand, this first test of Christmas online retail went well because UK eCommerce  has significantly evolved to now operate  a seven  days a week delivery standard.  This meant Black Friday volume could be delivered over the weekend with high rates of Saturday and Sunday deliveries. In other years some deliveries would have been held back until the Monday.”

Even with deliveries spread over the weekend, MetaPack reported a significant increase in delivery volumes on Cyber Monday with a 39% rise in number of parcels dispatched compared to the previous Monday.  There was also an 86% increase in the number of cross border shipments compared to 2013, revealing how international consumers are contributing to the UK Cyber Monday mania.

“Cyber Monday was a record breaking day for MetaPack. What’s significant for the industry is that we’re still forecasting the same volumes on the next two Mondays with Monday 15th being the highest peak for parcels being dispatched. It’s worth reminding ourselves that the Christmas Peak has only just started and there’s a lot more eCommerce to happen,” added Wall.

As retailers respond to increased consumer demand for greater choice and convenience across all channels, their supply chains are having to accommodate far greater complexity such as increased demand from outside the UK, a wider range of alternative delivery points and the enormous success of click and collect that’s fast becoming many retailers’  preferred low cost offering for predictable, convenient deliveries.

Cyber Monday has been a growing phenomenon in the past few years with shoppers increasingly flocking to online websites to do their Christmas shopping. This year’s record sales haven’t come as a surprise, as October 2014 saw a 26% increase in the total volume of parcels dispatched compared to the same month last year, reinforcing the forecast that this Christmas will be the busiest ever. By the end of this year, UK retailers are expected to dispatch a record 890 million orders and 925 million parcels, with more than 115 million of these orders expected to be dispatched in December alone.

The surge in online shopping over Black Friday Weekend and into Cyber Monday is facilitated by the numerous ways in which retailers and carriers are innovating with delivery, making a wider range of alternative services available to consumers and improving the overall experience. This is evidenced by the fact that MetaPack’s data recorded an increased demand for Specified Day and Time Slot services in November compared with the same month last year. The demand for other alternative delivery options such as Next Day Delivery is expected to grow in the second half of December as shoppers race to get their final online orders home in time for Christmas.

Each year at MetaPack, we produce benchmarking reports to help the industry understand how peak is shaping up, the Peak Profile Index and Carrier Performance Heat Map are updated weekly to help you keep track of Christmas peak. Click here to view