Parcel delivery services across the UK are getting cheaper, according to a new report from iForce, a logistics specialist that works with major retailers such as John Lewis, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
The company's latest bi-annual Delivery Options Research found that standard delivery charges have dropped by an average of 75p per order.
Furthermore, online retailers are becoming more transparent with regards to costs, with more firms telling customers about their prices upfront rather than at the end of a purchase.
More information is also being provided about how weekends and bank holidays can affect parcel delivery rates.
Commenting on the research, Geoff Taylor, director of client services for iForce, said the growing emphasis on transparency is a positive trend.
He added: "This appears to be another nod to retaining consumer loyalty through consistency of service.
"This is further endorsed by e-retailers proactively illustrating how bank holidays and weekends will affect next-day deliveries and the like."
Another trend that has been highlighted in previous iForce studies has seen online retailers expanding their range of delivery choices to include Saturdays and named days.
The latest piece of research found a highest next-day delivery charge of £19.95, while the highest standard fee has dropped from £8.80 to £7.50.
Average order values where free delivery is offered were found to have increased from £107 in October 2011 to £117 in May this year.
Publishing its most recent study, iForce said changes to delivery options have enabled web retailers to be "clearer, cheaper and more innovative to retain and grow their customer base".
The company also noted that British consumers spent £68.2 billion online last year, a figure that is expected to rise by some 13 per cent in 2012.
Ongoing growth in this lucrative market means consumer convenience is "king in the purchasing process", according to iForce.
Author: Paul Burn