Online retail sales fell 13.6% in August against the previous month, but still grew 20% year on year, according to the latest IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index.
Based on past etail delivery patterns, IMRG said order volumes are expected to increase by 10% in the run up to Christmas to reach a peak of 120 million deliveries in December alone.
It predicted that the UK will dispatch a record 900 million order or 930 million parcels in 2014.
The Index also revealed that a growing number of consumers opted for next day or specified day deliveries during the quieter month of August, although economy options remained the most popular overall.
“It does suggest that consumers are feeling more comfortable in making last minute purchasing decisions, knowing they can trust retailers to make next day deliveries successfully,” said Angela O’Connell, marketing and strategy director at MetaPack.
“Giving customers more choice and freedom on deliveries will underpin how well the industry handles the pressures of the Christmas peak.
“It seems that August was a dry run for these alternatives and unsurprisingly shoppers have seized the opportunity to take greater control, supporting further investment in Sunday delivery and click and collect services.”