The results of a new survey by consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ has revealed the UK’s best and worst online retailers, according to the experiences of 10,000 Which? members over 6 months.
Homebase, Red Face…In a Bad Place
Unfortunately for Homebase, which is currently undergoing a restructuring that will involve 42 store closures, their online store was ranked lowest with a score of 55%. The low score was mainly due to users saying that navigation was difficult and that the online shop didn’t always provide up-to-date information.
Near The Bottom
Other companies just ahead of Homebase, but still near the bottom of the online retail pile according to the survey were Sports Direct and Dorothy Perkins with 61%, DIY retail giant B&Q with 62%, WHSmith.co.uk with 63%, and JDSports.co.uk also with 63%.
Liz Earle Top
At the other end of the scale, Liz Earle’s online store was voted top with an impressive 94% satisfaction rating, closely followed by RicherSounds.com, Rohan.co.uk, SeasaltCornwall.co.uk, and WexPhotoVideo.com, all with 93%.
Best Big Retailers
The best of the big retailers to make it into the top 10 online favourites were JohnLewis.com in sixth place with a 90% satisfaction score and Dyson.co.uk just behind in seventh place with 89%.
The full tables of best and worst retailers can only be viewed online at the Which? website by Which? members, although many media outlets have published the key elements of the results.
The factors that the numerous online shops were rated on were based on the experience of Which? members as regards things like ease of navigation and other experiences of the online shop itself such as price, product range, deliveries, quality and the returns process.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
ONS figures show that online sales accounted for 17.4% of all retailing in the first quarter of this year, and as such it is a vital component in modern retail success stories. Online shopping offers consumers convenience, speed, a wider choice of products than the physical store, and often better prices, particularly when you factor in the money saved by not paying for travel to the store. There is also a general perception that goods are cheaper online, even if that’s not always the case. With Black Friday and Christmas shopping online ahead, these results are significant for both the retailers and the consumers. For retailers that had low scores, the results (not the publicity surrounding the results) may even be a good thing in helping them to make changes to their online stores that could increase sales.
The results and customer satisfaction tables from this survey serve to illustrate that being able to offer personal service, quality items, being able to give customers exactly what they want, and offering a good delivery service are very important, and these are areas where smaller, specialised retailers can often win.