In May there was an unexpected slowdown in UK online retail volumes – as the unsettled weather and general election may have impacted upon shopper behaviour, according to data from the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.
The decline in month-on-month sales of 2.9% was the first time that we have not recorded growth between April and May during the life of the Index. This has also reduced the cumulative year-on-year growth to only 9% – down from the 10.9% reported last month and significantly behind our start-of-year forecast of 13%.
However, on a positive note the quality of delivery service, as defined by ‘on-time delivery or attempted delivery’ remains high at over 94% and with failed delivery attempts staying low, UK shoppers can now expect nearly 89% of their orders to arrive on time and to their expectation at the first attempt.
Andrew Starkey, head of e-logistics at IMRG: “Previous experience shows that in the months and weeks preceding an election retail performance slows, then bounces back as consumer confidence returns. But the concern is that this might have longer term implications because in online retail the month of June is traditionally lower than May but this year we must hope that, with the election period now out of the way, the market recovers sufficiently to put us back on track for the rest of the year.”
Kees de Vos, chief commercial officer at MetaPack: “While the growth in online delivery volumes has generally performed below expectation so far this year, May was a bit of an unpredictable month with the uncertainty around the general election outcome and unseasonal weather likely impacting on sales for some retail categories, so macro factors could have played a part in these figures. The weather so far in June has been far more seasonal, so it will be interesting to see if we record a pick-up moving into June.”