eCommerce delivery expert MetaPack has identified a colossal change in the type of delivery service being chosen by online shoppers. They believe this is the fastest and most dramatic movement in the eCommerce market for the last 10 years and suggest further changes ahead.

MetaPack’s delivery figures are made up from the despatches of over 150 retailers, using a total of 23 carriers. The figures identify a marked uptake in premium services over economy delivery. Three years ago economy services accounted for 80% of the domestic carrier traffic, with premium services making up the rest. These proportions have been turned on their head, with economy services down by nearly a half and now only accounting for 43% of all deliveries. At the same time premium services have nearly trebled to 57% of all deliveries. The huge growth has been in tracked next day services which has really become the new standard delivery, with a sizeable proportion taken up by time specific services.

Patrick Wall, MetaPack’s CEO comments, “This is a ground breaking insight that challenges much of the conventional wisdom in the market on pricing for deliveries. Despite a tendency for many eCommerce sites to offer a standard delivery for free, customers are actually preferring to pay a premium to have the goods in their hands as quickly as possible. Online shoppers are enjoying the immediate satisfaction that’s also offered by the traditional shopping channel. With this trend identified it is now clear that the market will swing further in favour of next day, tracked, nominated day and time specific services”.

MetaPack believes that retailers are realising the competitive advantage and increased customer satisfaction that is provided by choice and the security provided by tracked services. Part of the increase has been driven by retailers who now only offer tracked delivery services and part of the change has been driven by carriers who have upgraded non-tracked services to tracked. This fits in with other trends where average shopping basket value is increasing. In fact, the movement towards tracked and next day delivery is even greater where the ticket price is higher, e.g. for electrical goods. Likewise economy is stronger where the packet price is lower. e.g. for everyday apparel, but even here, premium services have increased from 20% to 40% over the last three years.

Published on: 10:56AM on 9th November 2010