UK e-tailers are still on track to deliver a record number of orders despite an unexpected slowdown in online sales in September, new figures show.
Last week, the IMRG reported a 7% year-on-year growth in online sales September, the second lowest-ever growth rate on record and the slowest in four years.
But the volume of deliveries is still 10.9% up on September 2013 and cumulative volume growth is holding at 18.9% for 2014, according to the latest IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index.
The Index confirms what other recent retail data studies have suggested that online retail slowed down in September because of how unseasonably warm weather held back sales of newly launched autumn and winter clothing ranges.
However, IMRG head of e-Logistics Andrew Starkey said his company still believes that UK retailers will dispatch a record of circa 890 million online orders and 928 million parcels in 2014.
He added: “We would expect the weather to worsen and drive up autumn and winter clothing range sales. But in order to catch up on a quiet September, it is possible that some online retailers will begin to discount earlier.”
In an encouraging pre-peak season trend, the proportion of orders delivered or attempted within the promised time frame is up on the previous three months –on-time deliveries for September was 94.3% compared to 93.89% in August; and carded deliveries came from 4.61% in August to 3.03% in September.