More than half of UK consumers are now using delivery lockers for online purchases, as convenience and sustainability top the list of incentives for the service, according to research by Retail Economics and InPost.

InPost locker image

The research found that locker use rose to 71% among Gen Z and 68% for millennials, as convenience, lower costs and speed emerged as the top three incentives for the increased usage.

Security concerns also emerged as a top consideration for locker users after the research also showed that 20% of consumers have had items go missing from their doorstep.

As the lockers have gained popularity, they have now been voted the second most frequently used delivery option, behind home delivery but ahead of click and collect.

The research shows that consumer behaviour when it comes to parcel lockers is also linked to sustainability as it helps to reduce carbon emissions and consolidate shipments.

Retail Economics and InPost said 84.2% of shoppers believe lockers to be a “greener solution” than the alternatives.

As almost half (48.5%) of over 65-year-olds who participated in the research said being offered a broad range of delivery options is “unimportant”, the increase in popularity is being driven by younger consumers.

A third of shoppers (35.5%) from the Gen Z and millennial consumer groups considered having options when it comes to delivery as the most important factor and said they would also be happy to pay more for it.

This comes as the proportion of retail sales made online remained flat in 2023 for the first time in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Retail giants H&M, Zara, Boohoo and New Look were among those who hit headlines last year for introducing a fee for consumers returning parcels as retailers across the board have been battling the continued rising costs associated with the deliveries and returns.

Retail Economics chief executive Richard Lim said: “The retail landscape is rapidly evolving and delivery lockers are becoming integral to its evolution. This ongoing transition reflects developments in technology, operational capabilities and shifts in consumer behaviour.

“With household budgets squeezed, shoppers want to avoid unnecessary associated costs with online purchases such as delivery and return fees. This poses challenges for retailers already grappling with margin pressures and rising operating costs, prompting lockers to rise in prominence as an effective solution.”

InPost international commercial director Peter Blackburn said: “The trend for out-of-home deliveries is only continuing to grow and InPost is proud to revolutionise the delivery journey for customers across the UK and beyond.

“Cost-saving, secure, environmentally friendly and convenient, our solution is resonating with today’s consumer and retailer and we hope to continue this journey together.”