Online deliveries increase 10% in April

Consumers are shopping more frequently and spending more money online, according to the latest IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.

Online retail deliveries increased 10% year-on-year in April, compared to a 3% increase in March. This equates to an 11.8% year-to-date increase in online order growth.

Meanwhile, consumers are spending more, with average parcel order values increasing 20% compared to this time last year. This growth was also reflected in the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, with average basket value up 3% year-to-date after consistent falls in spend throughout 2015.

"So far in 2016 online retail delivery volumes have been pretty steady with growth broadly in line with established trends," said Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG. "We are perhaps seeing something quite significant happen in relation to order values however, which are up over 20% compared with April 2015. Last year, retailers felt pressured into running discounting activity that was more prolonged and deeper than they would have liked – as they found it difficult to scale back sales campaigns without losing shopper engagement following Black Friday 2014. The increasing order values may be a reflection of less widespread discounting now, although we are fast approaching the EU referendum which may have some impact upon shopper confidence."

The index also recorded a consistently high rate of delivery satisfaction as orders arrive on time. In April, 94.7% of orders were fulfilled in-line with shopper expectations.

Kees de Vos, chief product officer at MetaPack, added: "The increase in order values is a very positive trend, suggesting that retailers have implemented strategies such as cross selling, bundling or setting purchasing thresholds for free delivery. This consistent monthly rise, together with the growth in delivery volumes, should now be making its impact on eCommerce retail balance sheets."

Meanwhile, research conducted by shopper marketing agency, Savvy, carried out on behalf of BBC Radio 4, recorded 95% of adults who have access to the internet have shopped online at least once in the last six months, while half of UK consumers shop online at least once every two weeks.

Over half (57%) of shoppers said easy returns encourages them to shop online, but only 37% of them have returned something to an e-tailer in the past six months.

The research also stated that 75% of shoppers think they will do the majority of their shopping online in the next decade, while 80% believe all retailers will need to have an online presence.

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