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Next day delivery trumps slower alternatives as consumer habits shift

29 September 2016 - 10:02 by Graham Miller

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The latest figures from IMRG show that more people who place orders via safe shopping online in the UK arrange for them to be delivered the next day, rather than choosing to save money by picking a more affordable form of shipping that takes longer to arrive, according to Internet Retailing.

They show that 36.7 per cent of people now opt for next day delivery, compared with the smaller 33.8 per cent proportion who select Super Saver or equivalent services, available from retailers like Amazon.

IMRG spokesperson, Andrew Starkey, explained that there are a multitude of factors involved in this change in habits, explaining that in some cases the retailers are driving this by providing next day delivery as their standard option, to set them apart from the rest of the market. He also said that the cost of next day delivery was dropping across the board, meaning consumers are more likely to choose it when they get to the checkout because it has less of an impact on the total price of their order.

Starkey warned that while this was good news for retailers and consumers alike, there were some potential problems with the rise of next day delivery. During peak periods, such as in the run-up to Christmas, analysts believe that as more people pick next day delivery over slower alternatives, businesses will have a tougher time fulfilling orders in the allotted time.

The number of orders placed via safe shopping online last month was up by a fifth, showing the e-commerce market to be robust in the face of the shadow of economic uncertainty cast by Brexit. So if consumer expectations are to be met, retailers will need to shore up their distribution networks, so that they do not crumble in the face of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.