When you think back to December’s last-minute Christmas shopping, what image springs to mind? A stressed-out encounter in an overcrowded store or happily clicking online with a glass of sherry and a mince pie? According to figures just released there’s a good chance that you were one of the shoppers who spent £114bn online in the UK during 2015, with £24.4bn having been spent over the Christmas period alone.
Confirming this relentless upswing, experts are saying that online now accounts for 27% of total retail market (excluding travel). Naturally this has led to a rise in parcel volumes. Royal Mail handled 130 million parcels overall in December alone, 6% more than last year, while IMRG understands that 260 million were handled by carriers for retailers throughout the November / December peak trading period – around 10 million more than estimated.
Not only that, but 92% of deliveries were fulfilled on-time during the peak period, representing an improvement of 3%, reflecting the way that carriers and consumers are now working closer together and planning ahead – smashing the billion parcel record in the process.
But perhaps the most interesting development is the rise of click and collect, with penetration more than doubling since 2010, averaging 23% in 2015 with the number of collection points spreading beyond retailers’ own stores to locker boxes and third party locations.
With more and more customers having confidence in click and collect as a reliable delivery option, this is another growing factor in online’s rise that is showing massive potential.
Which leaves the question: what’s YOUR experience of click and collect? Let us know and we’ll disclose the answers in a future blog!