iForce announces 2012 online retail figures

January 8, 2013

8th January
  • Business growth sees an annual 75% increase in items dispatched for clients.
  • Christmas Eve online shopping up 24%, illustrating the impact of early Sales.
  • Boxing Day remains a powerhouse for online shopping “ up 13.4% on 2011
  • Busiest day for items dispatched for Christmas was Tuesday 18th December
  • During biggest shopping week being w/c 9th December, 35% was Collect From Store

NB. iForce clients include John Lewis, Fortnum and Mason, Sainsbury’s, Paperchase, Waitrose Wine Direct, VTech electronics, Glossy Box, Cath Kidston amongst others.   London January 6 2013 Leading retail multi-channel logistics provider, iForce, today released its annual activity results highlighting new trends and developments in the UK’s online shopping habits. Across the whole of Christmas Peak (1st October “ 31st December), orders dispatched were up 12.3% with items up 23% at 6 million. This topped off a year that saw a consolidated increase of 4% in online orders dispatched by the specialist retail partner.   iForce’s busiest week was the week commencing 9th December (which casts some doubt over the relevance of the recent media focus on the so called Cyber Monday phenomenon) during which iForce dispatched 260k orders, up 31% year on year.  This in itself represented 65,000 more items than the previous week and 35% of all orders dispatched were sent to stores for collection, increasing footfall and showing the growing power of this delivery method as a consumer option in the multi-channel world.   Across its combined client base, the biggest online fulfillment day over the Christmas period was Tuesday December 18th with 150,000 items sent out, further suggesting that the Cyber Monday hype was just that.  The flexibility of online shopping was further illustrated as the last order reached iForce’s proprietary order management system, SMaRT, on Sunday December 23rd at 2.55pm, and was then delivered to the customer at Midday on Christmas Eve.   Christmas Eve itself was a big online shopping day this year, with a quarter more shoppers than last year making purchases, suggesting that early sales and the opportunity for bargains resonated strongly with consumers.   As can be seen from recent related industry press announcements, Christmas 2012 was a strong season for retailers with market leading on-line propositions, coming as it did on the back of a challenging retail macro environment. We are proud to be able to partner our clients in delivering a really successful and busy Christmas period, made notable by the passionate focus on delivering great service.   With the busiest online dispatch day in 2012, across our estate, being Tuesday December 18th this suggest to us that Mega Monday was not such a significant factor as was predicted and consumers were holding off for retail offers before ordering, thereby shifting their spending to later in the month.   The volume of orders being collected in Store reflects the patterns seen throughout the year and demonstrates the evolution of disparate shopping habits and certainly more choice and flexibility demanded by consumers. Mark Hewitt, iForce CEO   When factoring in its total multi-channel activity, iForce reports a staggering annual increase in activity with total items dispatched from its warehouses showing a 75% increase on 2011.   The growth in multi-channel retailing is creating some healthy and much needed employment boosts around the country.  As volume increases, seasonal staff help to cope with demand from October to January and we are happy to be able to offer opportunities to these colleagues within our business.  Commented Mark Hewitt.   Some of the retailers who have had strong peak trading delivered by iForce also commented on the logistics specialist:   iForce has been part of a hugely successful year for John Lewis, achieving over and above the service level agreement and helping us to deliver on our customer promise.  Said Phil Courtney, General Manager Multichannel and FulfilmentJohn Lewis.    iForce managed our surge in volume this Christmas with ease, helping to maintain the high level of customer satisfaction with our brand Said Adrian Spence, Head Of eCommercePaperchase.   iForce have once again delivered a strong Peak for Waitrose Wine Direct, demonstrating that its ability to scale up and back according to volume demand, is a crucial part of its service.  Added Dave Thornton, Product and Trading ManagerWaitrose Wine Direct.