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High street brands dominate online rankings

25 May 2011 - 13:28 by Simon Crisp

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A new list of the top 100 sites for safe shopping online has shown a shift towards the multichannel retailers and away from standalone e-commerce firms in the UK.

The Hot Shops list, complied by Experian Hitwise, shows that while the big names in e-commerce are still riding high, the smaller firms are struggling to compete, as high street chains see a surge in the number of consumers using their websites.

Amazon and Play.com are still the major success stories of safe shopping online without the need for bricks and mortar outlets, but the experts have noted that a majority of the other contenders are high street brands which have made the leap into e-commerce and demonstrated how beneficial it can be to a business.

An unavoidable anomaly in the list, which is based on web traffic, saw the site for the Olympic ticketing surge to 35th place as people flocked to its pages to try and secure a place at various events for London 2012.

The high street retailers who saw the biggest improvements in recent months were those which help consumers carry out a bit of home improvement. Wickes rose six places to 49 and both B&Q and Homebase also benefitted from the fine weather throughout April to improve their positions, with the latter finally cracking the top 20.

Those e-commerce sites which dropped down the rankings included airlines and travel agents, indicating that the economic squeeze is definitely having an effect on the way UK consumers spend their holidays.

Even the popular tech firms like Apple, HP and Dell could not cling onto their positions, as the high street sites clawed their way to positions of prominence. With flagging sales in the UK's towns and cities, it looks as though e-commerce will be the saviour of the high street.