The UK’s Best Online Retailers (And How To Avoid Being The Worst)

    By Amy Montague, Thursday 20 June 2019

    Think that the biggest retailers are the cream of the crop when it comes to online user experience (UX)? Think again.

    The companies setting the UX bar the highest are the ones who cater to their customers’ exact expectations. Often enough, smaller retailers with specialised products outsmart their bigger rivals. As Harry Rose, editor of Which? magazine puts it, household names often provide “poor service or [have] confusing websites”.

    It looks like there are no excuses left for e-commerce outlets of any size to explain why they aren’t giving their customers what they want. The question is, how do you emulate the best and avoid being the worst?

    The Best

    In Which?’s survey released late last year, Liz Earle bagged a huge 94% customer satisfaction rate to beat out Richer Sounds, Rohan and Seasalt Cornwall, who came in joint second with 93%. They achieved this by blending quality products with excellent service – in Liz Earle’s case, throwing in the freebies and providing discount codes was the norm. Additionally, their above average customer journey experiences, which are easy to follow and convenient, meaning that the customer always feels catered for and informed.

    Fundamentally though, each of the top performing retailers had quality products matched by quality UX. By blending factors like competitive prices, various security-ensured payment options, speedy deliveries and online help teams, give their customers freedom, choice and security. They also make it as easy as possible for their customers to take the desired action.

    The Worst

    And now for the chief offenders. Homebase only managed to bring in a customer satisfaction rate of 55%, while Sports Direct and Dorothy Perkins limped over the line with 61% apiece. It would be a bit of a cop-out to say that this trio are simply doing the opposite to the likes of Liz Earle and co, so let’s delve deeper into their pain points:

    Homebase’s site was difficult to navigate and contained out-of-date information. As the stats suggest, this combination can prove deadly. Misinformation breeds distrust in customers and is likely to deter them from revisiting a site and converting. Despite offering value in the eyes of some customers, Sports Direct, by contrast, fell down because of the perception that their products are low quality.

    READ MORE: Rake in the Conversions with these 3 Localisation Practices

    How to avoid Which?’s wrath

    The only way to swerve a public flogging is by knowing about what your customers love and hate about your site before Which? do. Unfortunately, small, in-house testing teams won’t be able to achieve this. Especially if they have also been involved in the development of your website or app, they are unlikely to use your site and its functionalities in the way that your customers do. Even if they do find some of the critical issues turning your customers off, their conclusions and resulting repairs will be inauthentic.

    What you need is a blend of professional testers and real users if you’re going to find the critical and cosmetic bugs which are stopping your customers from converting. At Digivante, we offer just that.

    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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