The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is to draw up guidance on behalf of the Government to ensure delivery charges are clearer for consumers.

The BRC agreed to work with Consumer Futures and other stakeholders to develop industry guidance at a summit hosted by consumer minister Jo Swinson, which was attended by online retailers, consumer groups couriers and enforcement groups yesterday.

The aim is to provide clearer information about how much something will cost to be delivered and what consumers should expect from the delivery service retailers and couriers provide.

Swinson said: “With online shopping revenues expected to break through the £10 billion barrier for the first time this year, it is vital that customers are getting a fair deal when buying goods online. Retailers and couriers should make it absolutely clear at an early stage to all consumers, regardless of where they live, what they can expect to pay to have their items delivered.”

BRC director of business and regulation Tom Ironside said: “UK retailers are world beaters in their innovative use of technology and their success in selling online. Driving this success has been retailers’ investment in user friendly websites, reliable deliveries and convenient ways of buying in-store, at home or on the move.

“We have worked closely with a range of parties in Scotland to identify some best practice principles on parcel delivery that will be launched later in the week. We have agreed to apply these principles to the rest of the UK and to work with UK government and other stakeholders to that end.”