Online retail delivery volumes were up 11.9% year-on-year in February according to IMRG and Metapack.


This now means that UK online retail parcel volumes have risen by 10.5% in the first two months of the year compared with 2014 – while total online retail sales are up 6.5% for the same period[i].


While the growth so far is below IMRG and Metapack’s UK online retail parcel volumes forecast for the year (13%), the percentage of on-time delivery / attempted delivery has continued to increase – reaching 94.5% in February, up from 92.5% in January which was the highest seen for that month since 2012.


Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG comments: “It’s encouraging to see that against the background of volume growth the level of on-time delivery / attempted delivery continues to improve – this combined with the attempted (carded) delivery rate of only 3% means that in February only 8.5% of orders failed to meet customer expectation.


“The continuous reduction in attempted but failed (carded) delivery must be in large part due to the deployment of pre-delivery alert services which allow consumers to defer and increasingly divert orders when the original delivery time or place is not convenient. In addition the increase in use of click & collect, both in-store and through 3rd party networks, is enabling shoppers to better specify when and where they receive their order[ii].”


Angela O’Connell, Strategy and Marketing Director at Metapack, adds: “February’s figures confirm a familiar pattern of how consumers are embracing flexible and reliable online delivery services as part of their busy lifestyles. Innovations in the way UK retailers and carriers are offering wider choice and control to consumers are growing in usage, providing a robust platform for the growth in delivery volumes we’re forecasting for 2015.” 


Economy services continue to represent nearly 60% of UK-destined orders with next day services remaining steady at 33%.


[i] IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index – see latest press release

[ii] The IMRG Collect+ UK Click & Collect Review will be published at the start of April to provide in depth insight and analysis into the development of this logistics and marketing channel.