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John Lewis ranks as best e-commerce site

22 October 2010 - 14:27 by Paul Tissington

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The online shopping experience offered by John Lewis has been ranked as the best in the UK, allowing the high street chain to overtake Marks & Spencer at the top of the usability charts.

This is according to a new report commissioned by Webcredible, in which it compares the online outlets of high street retailers. In the survey, points are awarded out of a possible 100 and John Lewis sailed into the first position with a whopping 91.

In 2009, M&S was in the lead, but this year its 86 points meant that it could not equal John Lewis in the usability stakes and even ended up in third place, after the Early Learning Centre nabbed a close second with 90 points.

The top five shops included WHSmith in fourth position and Boots sitting in fifth, with a perfectly respectable 80 points. A total of 20 different high street retailers were considered as part of the survey and they were marked on 20 different categories, in which e-commerce outlets are expected to perform well.

Among the marking criteria were clarity of business mission and the placement of the search function.

One of the lower scoring high street chains was the Monsoon-Accessorize group, which only managed to earn 59 out of 100 points. Tesco Direct faired only marginally better, with 65 and even Top Shop achieved only a meagre 67 points, for its safe shopping online portal.

The report cited issues with the ease of searching these low ranked sites as key to their poor positions. Despite this, there is a definite improvement in performance across the board for these high street retailers who have ventured into the world of safe shopping online, although the report states that more can be done to make the consumer experience better in most cases.