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Thomson, House of Fraser and Tesco deliver UK’s best online retail experiences

The power of ecommerce in Britain was demonstrated when online fashion retailer ASOS revealed its sales had grown by 27 per cent year-on-year to hit 158.4m over a four-month period.

The online shopping rise has been backed up by a study from software firm Citrix and YouGov, which found that high street retailers need to keep things simple and go back to basics in order to satisfy consumers, utilising a less is more approach.

The study revealed that 67 per cent of the UK’s online shoppers believe website speeds are the most important functionality, well ahead of just 15 per cent that had an appetite for aesthetics with design named a priority.

Given that speed is the dominant factor, Citrix created the Retail Speed League using data from speed measurement site GTMetrix and calculated that the retailers with the top website performance were Thomson, House of Fraser, Tesco and O2.

In fact, Thomson announced “next generation stores” back in 2013, which come complete with screens featuring video content of destinations, interactive maps and tables, self-service laptops and advice bar, as well as free wi-fi. 

By comparison, Sainsbury’s, B and Q, Curry’s and Ikea were ranked as the lowest online performers, which is perhaps why the former is making a digital investment with new partners and employees.

Growing online sales is key to the future of the UKs largest retailers. The YouGov research has highlighted that consumers prefer websites that are quick and easy to use when purchasing goods,” said Jason Tooley, UK & Ireland country manager, Citrix.

Indeed, 69 per cent of respondents would be likely to use a different website if the first one they tried took too long to load. That said, 59 per cent said they are loyal to retailers when shopping online, demonstrating that a devout following and solid web presence have the potential to be a potent combination.

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Tooley continued: When considered alongside the results of the Citrix Retail Speed League it’s clear that some retailers have got this balance right, with websites responsive to customer needs.

In contrast, other retailers need to review the performance of their online channels carefully to ensure they are not being held back by substandard technology which is delivering a weaker customer experience.

Check out the web performance rankings in full:

A grade

Thomson Holidays 95 per cent
House of Fraser 94 per cent
Tesco 92 per cent
O2 91 per cent

B grade

Apple 89 per cent
Asda 89 per cent
Boots 89 per cent
M and S 88 per cent
Argos 86 per cent
Next 86 per cent
Debenhams 84 per cent
New Look 83 per cent
Homebase 83 per cent
Sports Direct 81 per cent
John Lewis B 81 per cent

C grade

ScrewFix 78 per cent
Ikea 77 per cent
Currys 76 per cent
B and Q 74 per cent

D grade

Sainsburys 67 per cent

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