The cost of fuel could see the end of online retailers offering free delivery, according to The Fuelcard Company.
Jakes de Kock, marketing director at The Fuelcard Company said: “New research shows 96% of shoppers say they’re more likely to shop online if there’s free delivery, yet the Government’s failure to control fuel prices and the extortionate levels of fuel duty hauliers are forced to pay means affording free delivery is becoming a serious problem.
“Currently the average charge for delivery of an online grocery shop is just £5, but according to research from Shore Capital Stockbrokers, it actually costs supermarkets closer to £20 to pick out all items, bag them up and pay to have them delivered to the customers’ front door.
“As it stands supermarkets are absorbing these costs, continuing online operations solely to provide a valued service to their customers, despite not generating any profit.
“It’s a catch-22 situation. Retailers are keen to continue providing free delivery, but don’t want to reduce their profit margin – are the businesses that transport and deliver goods expected to foot the bill?