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Retail sites ranked in consumer study

14 November 2018 - 09:08 by Graham Miller

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The latest large scale survey from Which? has looked at which retailers offer the best experience for customers when it comes to shopping online.

Rather than focusing on sales alone, the quality of the site was given top billing and the retailer which outdid all of its rivals with a 94 per cent score was beauty products outlet, LizEarle.com.

The rest of the top 10 was made up of sites like RicherSounds.com, ToolStation.com and Lakeland.co.uk. Interestingly there were a lot of smaller retailers that were well represented in the upper echelons of the report, with many of the bigger firms missing out on a high ranking.

At the other end of the scale, Which? also created a list of the worst-reviewed e-commerce sites currently operating in the UK. By far and away the poorest performer was Homebase.co.uk, which only managed to score 55 per cent. SportsDirect.com and DorothyPerkins.com were one step up from the bottom rung with a 61 per cent rating apiece.

Other major brands found in the lowest 10 positions include JDSports.co.uk, WHSmith.co.uk and DIY.com, the latter of which is operated by B&Q.

Analysts identified a number of factors which consumers see as valuable when it comes to the online shopping experience. Personalisation was an important asset, along with the quality of the products being offered and the speed with which they could be shipped to customers’ homes.

Specialist outlets tend to outdo their larger rivals in part because they can focus their efforts on customer service and creating a truly bespoke site. The results of this study could convince more brands to embrace personalisation, although it is important for them to remember that this must also be combined with an easy to use interface, as confusing sites are enough to put off most shoppers.