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June saw an increase in failed deliveries by UK couriers

By Retail Technology | Friday July 25 2014

The number of attempted – or carded – deliveries by UK couriers in June was more than double that of the previous month, according to new research

Almost one in 10 deliveries were attempted or carded during June by UK couriers, up from 4.39% in May according to recent results by the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.

Blaming the silly season

This may be an anomaly attributed to the nature of the holiday season, according to IMRG. “Attempted (carded) deliveries and address queries have spiked alarmingly this month,” commented Andrew Starkey of IMRG. “Could changes in staffing levels and driver allocation - resulting from holiday cover - mean that delivery agents who may be less familiar with addresses and consumers availability, are finding it harder to make delivery in person?”

Angela O’Connell at MetaPack feels the increase in carded deliveries could be an indication that retailers need to provide more convenient delivery options to their customers.  “With the start of the summer holiday season and with people spending more time outdoors, delivery services need to be flexible enough to fit around the busy schedules of online shoppers.  Alternative delivery options such as dropping in parcels at a neighbour’s house, at local pick up points, at a store or at the workplace will play a key role in reducing attempted deliveries in the future.”

Cross border volume growth

Elsewhere, the proportion of delivery orders going to non-UK consumers appears to have reached a plateau (26.3%), having settled at the same level or below that of last year for the past five months. However, cross border volume still continues to grow in line with the increase in overall volumes. The percentage of cross border orders being delivered to countries in the EU has risen to 59.5%, up from 55.8% in May.
The cross-border market might be entering a new phase, according to Starkey. “The volume of orders going to EU destinations where English is not the first language is holding above those going to non-EU destinations, with English speaking US and Australian shoppers who like UK brands the main source of these orders,” he commented. “This may suggest that UK e-retailers are increasingly targeting the more adjacent European markets which although closer, require a more localised approach.”

The information presented in the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index is aggregated from a consistent sample of MetaPack's dataset so all retailers, carriers and other suppliers remain completely anonymous. It covers over 220 retailers and an average of over 4.5 million orders in any one month.

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