Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Online customers switch to premium deliveries

Online shoppers are increasingly switching from economy to premium delivery services, according to MetaPack the e-commerce delivery company.

The company has analysed despatches from more than 150 retailers using a total of 23 carriers. It found that over the past three years take-up of premium services has nearly trebled to 57 per cent of the total.

At the same time use of economy services almost halved to 43 per cent.

“The huge growth has been in tracked next day services which has really become the new standard delivery, with a sizeable proportion taken up by time specific services,” it said.

MetaPack chief Patrick Wall said: “Despite a tendency for many e-commerce sites to offer a standard delivery for free, customers are actually preferring to pay a premium to have the goods in their hands as quickly as possible.

21976 Patrick Wall

“With this trend identified it is now clear that the market will swing further in favour of next day, tracked, nominated day and time specific services”.

MetaPack says that part of the increase has been driven by retailers who now only offer tracked delivery services and part of the change has been driven by carriers who have upgraded non-tracked services to tracked.

“In fact, the movement towards tracked and next day delivery is even greater where the ticket price is higher, e.g. for electrical goods. Likewise economy is stronger where the packet price is lower, eg for everyday apparel, but even here, premium services have increased from 20 per cent to 40 per cent over the last three years.”

* MetaPack is working with Royal Mail on a six month trial of evening deliveries. People living within the M25 can select an evening delivery option for items they have ordered from participating retailers.

Mike Brown, Royal Mail’s fulfilment director, said: “Consumers increasingly want more control over when and where they receive their orders and Royal Mail is looking to fit the online delivery experience around the shopper – enabling them to select, rather than being told, when their goods will be delivered.”

The two retailers involved so far, House of Fraser and beauty product specialist L’Occitane, both use MetaPack. Royal Mail is talking to other retailers who are already interested in joining the trial.

Nancy Tolhurst, business development manager at Royal Mail said: “We’re working with MetaPack because they’re a supplier to many of our existing clients – solving the integration problem once for a group of clients, rather than for each individual client, makes a lot of sense for us.”