Ecommerce-related parcel delivery volumes shot up by 15.2% year-on-year in July, driven by a hot summer and the growing trend of staycationing.
Growth in delivery traditionally plateaus in the summer holidays 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 IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index– up 2.6% month-on-month on July.
The use 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%.
“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.”
– Andrew Starkey, Head of e-Logistics, IMRG
This growth in delivery – especially from larger brands and retailers – has not been lost on the Royal Mail. In response to growing shipping needs from bigger retailers and the unstoppable growth of ecommerce, it has launched Royal Mail Pro Shipping, which provides retailers with a range of capabilities making it simpler to manage orders and returns across distributed sites. It complements the suite of in-house shipping tools already available to customers.
Check it out here in this video
The tool offers a range of benefits including: the easy management of large lists of customers, the ability to print outward and return labels simultaneously, multiple user access from different locations and the automatic printing of customs documentation.
Alongside the shipping tool, Royal Mail API Shipping makes it easier for firms to integrate their systems with Royal Mail to enjoy a better experience. Any customers using the API will also have access to the Royal Mail Pro Shipping tool.
Both tools have been developed by Intersoft, a software development company acquired by Royal Mail in 2016.
Alongside Click & Drop, Royal Mail’s shipping platform for small to medium businesses, the new tool is future-proofed and can be quickly updated in response to the changing needs of customers.
“With the launch of Royal Mail Pro Shipping and Royal Mail API Shipping, we now offer a full range of shipping solutions to our customers, dependent on their size and ways of working. The launch of both solutions follows a year of development work based on the needs of our customers. Our teams are working hard with customers to help them migrate over to our latest solutions this year.”
– A spokesperson from Royal Mail Parcels