As the fourth quarter is just weeks away, retailers are beginning to gear up for their busiest time. MetaPack, the intelligent home delivery platform have managed their clients through a number of these peaks and have noticed a definite trend for the Christmas shopping peak to extend into the new year. Patrick Wall, CEO explains, “Everything over the Christmas period is geared up to get people shopping. Even when Christmas is over, people still feel the desire to continue spending, which is further facilitated by the holiday and “sales” period. This year there is also the added incentive of getting shopping in before the VAT increase on the 4th January, which I believe will see people going online from around midday on Christmas to avoid paying more tax.”

According to MetaPack’s eCommerce 100 Tracker, a mechanism that tracks the despatches made by a cross section of 100 of their customers, the online shopping peak began around September last year, after a slight drop during August. There followed a 28% rise in online deliveries between September and October and a 42% increase between October and November. There was a further 29% increase between November and December, making the increase from September to December a staggering 133%. Last year e-Retailers exploited this peak to the full and are set to do so again: “Despite cut-off dates for pre Christmas delivery being passed, people were still shopping on line right up to Christmas day and online retailers were still despatching their goods on Christmas Eve. Companies such as JD Sports, House of Fraser and Asos were operational every day over the 2009 Christmas week (bar Christmas day) processing orders ready for despatch through MetaPack on the first working day after Christmas. This is indicative of the 24/7 online mentality that shoppers now have and are expecting from their etailers. Customer with the instant gratification through quick, painless delivery - and the leaders in the field are responding.” explains Patrick.

August through to September are always the busiest months for MetaPack, ensuring their customers are fully prepared for the peak period. In the past two months alone twenty retailers have gone live with MetaPack including Debenhams, Past Times, Figleaves, Fit Flops, Rare Fashions and Oki Ni. “As our software is a SaaS platform and we are already integrated into most eCommerce platforms, set up can take as little as two weeks, which means we still are able to get retailers live in time for Christmas,” explains Patrick.

The seasonal retailer Festive Lights went live with the MetaPack delivery software in September 2009 and experienced substantial benefits through their peak period when compared to 2008, Philip Jones, IT/Marketing Manager explains, ”MetaPack allowed us to pack twice as many parcels than the previous year by automating a lot of the processes. MetaPack has specifically assisted cutting out any delivery address mistakes but the main benefit is the ability to be able to use multiple carriers which have seen our overall costs fall by 32% owing to better allocation and use of different services.” He goes on to say how MetaPack will further assist him this year, “by using MetaPack’s reports from the 2009 we are now able to see exactly when our parcel volumes increased at our busy time, therefore enabling us to pre-book extra collections for large volumes of parcels expected in the coming months.”

MetaPack is the leading Delivery Management solution in the UK. They deal with a whole range of eCommerce companies from the large and well known through to the SMEs in each sector, all who despatch their parcels through the software.

Published on: 11:42AM on 20th September 2010