Prepare for shift in consumer behaviour during Peak 2017, MetaPack
Increased volumes and demand for varied, flexible delivery options will put pressure on retailers, brands and carriers during Peak 2017, according to MetaPack.
“In line with annual trends and based on the delivery volumes we are seeing currently, we anticipate a growth of around 20% from now until the end of the first week in January,” says Bruce Fair, Chief Revenue Officer at MetaPack. “Obviously this will come in peaks, which, apart from slight changes due to Christmas Day falling on a Monday, will be in line with 2016. However, we do think there will be higher demand from overseas buyers than ever before, less tolerance for longer or imprecise delivery time-frames and an expectation that retailers will still be able to fulfil options such as try-before-you-buy, delivery to neighbour and in-flight changes. The ability to support these at such a busy time will entirely depend on pre-agreed commitments between retailers and carriers as well as outside forces, such as weather conditions.”
Recent research by MetaPack indicates that for at least 42% of consumers in the UK, Europe and the US, expectations and behaviour are different during Peak. This is particularly so for buyers aged between 18 and 38. While free delivery is likely to encourage more consumers to purchase than any other factor, low cost and fast delivery are also important, and many consumers also want multiple delivery options and prices. From working with retailers and carriers on its delivery platform, MetaPack believes that careful planning has already been put in place to meet these consumer demands, forecast capacity, and ensure stock inventory is up to date and reliable. However, it will be necessary to closely monitor the delivery promises that are being made to ensure customer expectations can be matched.
“There’s a balance to be struck between managing capacity and taking advantage of increased consumer spending,” says Fair. “Consumers are more, not less, likely to try new delivery options during Peak in order to ensure they get their parcels when and where they want them. This requires retailers to offer a broad choice of delivery options to ensure conversion at this highly competitive time, and ensure they are supported by their carriers. It also means that retailers have an opportunity to impress customers with new options that they wouldn’t ordinarily choose.”