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 UK’s 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:
Thomson Holidays – 95 per cent
House of Fraser – 94 per cent
Tesco – 92 per cent
O2 – 91 per cent
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
ScrewFix – 78 per cent
Ikea – 77 per cent
Curry’s – 76 per cent
B and Q – 74 per cent
Sainsbury’s – 67 per cent
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