DPD research has revealed that three-quarters (73%) of Brits have ditched their online shop at checkout stage due to restrictive or expensive delivery options.

Around 40% of shoppers complained that they are not generally offered a free delivery option, despite the fact this is the preferred choice for three-quarters of consumers.

However, a quarter (26%) of shoppers would opt for timed delivery slots above a free service.

Dwain McDonald, DPD chief executive, says: "Online cart abandonment costs e-tailers millions of pounds each year in lost sales. Put simply, limited delivery options cost sales. Delivery companies are working hard to innovate services in this area and options like DPD's Predict have given retailers a far better customer experience.”

Professor of supply chain strategy at Cranfield School of Management, Richard Wilding, adds: "Generally, the customer does not differentiate between the courier and the company the item was purchased from, therefore a poor experience reflects badly on the retailer. However a good delivery experience can enhance their reputation, gain customer loyalty and increase sales."