Fifty-two per cent of ecommerce shoppers wouldn't buy from a website that didn't display delivery charges alongside prices on product pages.
This is according to a new survey, conducted by Manchester-based online marketing agency Custard, which has revealed that sites that don't make delivery charges crystal clear risk missing out on a huge slice of the January sales shopping pie. This intriguing finding comes as experts predict that digital sales will make up 45% of retailer's revenue by 2014.
More than half of surveyed shoppers claimed that clarity on delivery costs was vital and they wouldn't buy without it.
Other revealing results from the research showed that 58% of online shoppers would prefer to read user reviews of a product, rather than the manufacturer's product information page (24%) or the website's own description (18%).
The rise of video content has led to an increase in sales for many online retailers, but of the online shoppers surveyed - only 10% said they preferred product information in this format. By far, the most popular option was a combination of text and images (66%).
When looking at product pictures, the quality of the image was important to 66% of those questioned, with the ability to view the item from multiple angles coming in a close second. Forty-eight per cent of those polled said this feature was a significant factor in purchasing decisions.
User reviews also came out on top when shoppers were asked which supporting information they pay attention to when browsing for products online.
Custard's managing director Sam Allcock recommended that any ecommerce site without these key features should invest in some development work to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the January sales.
"User reviews build trust amongst online shoppers and sites that don't implement them could be missing out on a big chunk of revenue," he said.
"But even with reviews in place, delivery charges come as a nasty surprise when they are only revealed at the checkout stage.
"Any good will built up by encouraging product reviews often counts for nothing when hidden charges like delivery and credit card surcharges appear – it leaves a bad taste in the mouth."
See the full results of the survey here.