A billion parcels will be sent by online retailers for the first time across 2015, according to an official industry prediction.
Parcel volumes from online orders were up 9.5% in January against the same month in 2014, according to the IMRG MetaPack UK Delivery Index.
The rise is 3.5% below the 13% increase expected for the full year but above the 3.8% year on year growth seen in January last year.
Month on month, the number of orders dispatched by etailers fell 33.2%, following a strong December when they climbed 27.7%. The report said this dip is consistent with yearly patterns and it expects an increase during spring.
It also said there were concerns delivery issues, experienced by an estimated one in three in the run up to Christmas, had dented consumer confidence. However, the growth suggests people have not been put off shopping online as it anticipates the number of parcels dispatched by UK retailers through UK carriers to surpass one billion by the end of the year.
Additional data for January revealed an average order value for the month of £40.13. Meanwhile, use of next day delivery services made up 21.85% of all transactions, down from 31% in January 2012.
Those in Greater London placed the most amount of orders, at 14.5% of the total, the Scottish Isles and the Isle of Man understandably trailed with just 0.04% and 0.4% respectively.
Head of e-logistics at IMRG Andrew Starkey said: “It is pleasing to see that after the trauma of Black Friday, the UK carrier industry has recovered quickly and the level of on time delivery / attempted delivery at 92.5% is at its highest January level since 2012.”
Strategy and marketing director at MetaPack Angela O’Connell said: “The story of January 2015 is how UK retailers and carriers are continuing to cooperate ever more closely to sustain the successful rebound from the challenges of early December.
“A year on year January increase in parcels dispatched is a great way to begin a year when we expect more innovation in delivery choices to enable the growth we and the IMRG are forecasting.”