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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 21, 2009

Major British high street retailers up the ante online

British high-street retailers have upped the ante when it comes to improving the usability of their websites, but WHSmith remains the top ranked website for the second year running.

by Helen Leggatt

webcredible logo.jpgMarks & Spencer, Woolworths and Boots all rose to the top of this year's Webcredible "Ecommerce Usability for High Street Retailers" rankings - all showing marked improvement on last year. Marks & Spencer moved from 8th place to 2nd, John Lewis remained in third and Boots and Woolworths tied in 4th having risen from 17th and 14th place, respectively.

The U.K.'s high street retailers' websites were judged on a variety of criteria that evaluate overall usability such as product pages, the checkout process, login/registration and navigation, to name but a few. Planning a website usability test can seems daunting, but Webcredible have put together a comprehensive 6-step guide to kick-start the process.

The increase in revenues from online sales is such that retailers are putting more energy into ensuring online customers get the best shopping experience possible. John Lewis, for example, made more sales online than it did via the company's flagship department store located on London's Oxford Street.

"Again this year we have seen an increasing focus on the user experience of websites by high street retailers to a point where no less than five have scored 80 per cent or more for website usability, which is unprecedented," commented Trenton Moss, director of Webcredible.

Tags: ecommerce, high street, online revenue, online sales, online shopping, research, U.K., website usability

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