For the last few years the MetaPack Group, a leading provider of e-commerce technology delivery services, has been tracking online sales in the run up to Christmas with its Peak Delivery Analysis for five years. This year’s 2014 analysis will be available from here and will show how carriers are delivering Christmas in the UK.
As MetaPack coordinates the e-commerce of 80 of the UK’s top retailers, plus many smaller niche retailers, the company has a unique insight into the online shopping habits of UK and international consumers, volumes of orders made and parcels dispatched.
Based on historical and current data analysis by the company’s data intelligence team, MetaPack is forecasting in 2014 “Four Peaks of eChristmas” with high peaks of online deliveries on each Monday of December up to Christmas. The 1 December should be the highest peak followed closely by the 15 December. This will be driven by Christmas falling on a Thursday allowing for orders on Monday and Tuesday to be delivered in time for Christmas combined with the significant change in online and mobile shopping habits and the transformation of delivery services and choices available to shoppers.
MetaPack will be tracking how online Christmas 2014 performs and sharing details of how the Mad Mondays of high peak delivery volumes are progressing, as well as highlighting how well the industry’s investment in new delivery systems and services is meeting consumer expectations.
A separate Carrier Performance Heat Map will also be provided by MetaPack. This tracks how the top 10 UK carriers perform throughout the Peak period. Carrier performance figures from September were calculated for each carrier using a sample set of MetaPack e-commerce customers. MetaPack indexes all figures to reveal each carrier’s improvement or degradation in service relative to their performance in September 2014. This data is shared with retailers and carriers to help address any delivery bottlenecks or pinchpoints that could affect Christmas deliveries to home, workplaces or via click and collect stores and networks.
These insights and data on delivery trends and volumes will be announced every Tuesday from this week until Christmas.
The current forecast on Christmas 2014 is it will be the busiest festive season so far, with online order and delivery volumes expected to reach 120m orders in December alone. However, similarly to the last four years, 2014’s peak shopping season is starting later and, as a result, will peak later.
Following the usual late summer slowdown, order volumes are expected to increase by 10% and continue to increase steadily as the festive season draws closer. This follows a similar pattern to previous years’ e-retail figures. Managing this increase in delivery volume and also satisfying increasing consumer demand for flexibility and convenience is going to put retailers under serious pressure.
Angela O’Connell, marketing and strategy director, MetaPack, said: “As retailers and carriers gear up for the Christmas push, trying to ensure the best possible delivery experience is going to be weighing heavy on their minds. There are going to be steep peaks of online delivery demand that the industry will need to scale week after week in the run up to Christmas. However, the industry has been innovating all year on delivery in readiness for Christmas 2014. There’s tremendous collaboration among retailers and carriers to widen the choice available to consumers and meet their demands for greater flexibility. In fact, this Christmas consumers will be increasingly embracing innovative options like Sunday service and click and collect, which will play an integral role this Christmas.”
Thanks to MetaPack’s unique ability to track sales patterns through the thousands of orders flowing through their Delivery Management Platform every hour, industry followers can ensure that they have the most up to date information to hand on a regular basis.