Online sales: optimising multi-channel delivery options 05/10/2010 Retailers face stiff competition, and with the market for online sales increasing annually against the stagnation of the high-street retail market, online sales are becoming an essential facet for retailers to increase profits by reducing the costs of delivery and increasing the premium service, according to a survey by multi-channel logistics operator iForce. Following research in October 2009 and in April 2010, the research found that the majority of online retailers had yet to embrace the need to offer a variety of delivery options to improve their customer proposition. Despite this, around eight percent of retailers did offer Saturday and Named-Day delivery options, whilst the average standard delivery charge has been reduced by nine percent to GBP£3.52. Next-Day charges have remained high and increased by nine percent to GBP£6.48. Optimising online sales Retailers like Amazon and Play.com have included free delivery on certain purchases as an incentive to would-be online buyers. Indeed, this is clearly a popular trend as retailers in general have increased free delivery options by 25 percent (from 10 percent to 35 percent). This makes fiscal sense as the average customer spend increased by GBP£15. The research found that retailers' products were increased on average by 18.5 percent, adopting free delivery products. Despite this, consumers will benefit from the Next Day delivery option being prolonged on the day of purchase, so customers are more likely to get an item ordered late in the evening the following day. The research also identified a fall in evening deliveries while all other types of deliveries are now offered by more online retailers. Geoff Taylor, Director of Client Services at iForce, said: "This is could be due to either to low consumer take up or prohibitive cost to serve," he said. "Neither of these issues should, however, deter retailers focused on consumer satisfaction from offering evening deliveries."